Something strange just happened. Parliament has asserted itself over the Government. It doesn’t occur very often, and I can’t remember the last time the government lost a vote on a foreign policy matter. I am reminded of Viscount Cranborne‘s famous mea culpa after having been rapped over the knuckles for exceeding his authority. Like the good marquess, the executive “rushed in, like an ill-trained spaniel“, only to be chastised by the master it had almost forgotten it had.
Of course, the matter is not settled by any means. Parliament may wake up hung over and remorseful, and I’m sure the spaniel will be prowling the darkened halls of power, looking for someone to sink its teeth into, but for once it feels like we’re in a parliamentary democracy rather than an elected dictatorship.