Following Euan's post on Blair's Big Loss:
The point I want to make is that the big winner is the House of Commons. And this is a good and refreshing news. Possibly, this is the important point. Democratic and Representative politics is not dead, is well and alive and lives in Westminster.
Yesterday, there were no party games. British politicians are rightly concerned about the security of the country. All of them. This does not mean, however, that the whole country has to abyde by what Tony says. Of course, Blair thought that 90 days of detention without trial for terrorist suspects was the RIGHT thing to do. I am sure he's god damn persuaded about that. But, he did not manage to persuade anybody else. His only strategy was to say: this is the OBJECTIVELY RIGHT thing to do, so let's follow me and do it.
That message failed to convince fellow members of the labour party. Needless to say, it also failed to convince lib-dems and tories. And the good news is that is politics at its best. Either you have a compelling political reason to enact a policy or you risk to lose confidence.
I am not quite sure that this is a big blow for Tony, though. He felt compelled to do what he thought was right. A good politician must have a strong vision and must try to realize it. The Parliament, on the other hand, had the duty to review the reasons for that policy. After careful consideration, the Parliament thought that 28 days of detention without trial was enough. They struck a compromise, and they will be liable in case this compromise proves ineffective.
Yesterday was a great day of constitutional politics in action. The rest is irrelevant.