Voting has literally just finished on the proposal that I posted about earlier today, for a sweeping inquiry into all elements of the decision to go to war in Iraq, and the manner in which the occupation has been conducted since. The results were as follows: in favour of the Plaid Cymru/ SNP proposal to set up the inquiry - 273; against - 298; a majority for the Government of 25.
Not quite the photo-finish that some had predicted, but equally far from a resounding success for the Government, who saw significantly more than half of its majority removed. It seems clear that this will not be enough to put the issue entirely to bed, but nor is it the bloody nose for Blair that many for which many had hoped. A bit unsatisfactory for all concerned, I should have thought. Still, the issue is firmly back on the agenda and, as the handover of power in Iraq begins and troops start withdrawing, the calls for an inquiry can be expected to gain in intensity, as the "undermining our boys in the field" argument loses weight. It remains difficult to see how, in the slightly longer term, the Government will be able to avoid an inquiry.