Anorak News | Defeat Is Made For Walking

Defeat Is Made For Walking

by | 10th, November 2005

‘THE coating has not completely come off Teflon Tony – it’s just been scratched a bit.

Peas in a pod

Defeat over his Terrorism Bill has certainly wounded the Prime Minister. As the Telegraph says: “Tony Blair has finally lost the power to get his agenda into law.”

Outgoing Conservative leader Michael Howard, who knows a thing or two about losing, says Blair’s authority has been reduced to “vanishing point”. He says: “This vote shows he is no longer able to carry his party with him. He must now consider his position.”

Fair enough. Let’s see if we can help. MPs have rejected Tony’s call for a 90-day terror detention, including a clutch of his own Labour MPs who voted with the Opposition.

But Tony has earlier this year led his party to another resounding victory at the ballot boxes. His call for the 90-days was popular with the masses. He remains Prime Minister. Tony’s damaged but he’s still there.

One defeat may well lead to others, as the Times says, but for now Tony’s loss is no prelude to his rapid departure from office.

And the Times puts Tony’s set back in some historical context. Margaret Thatcher was defeated in the Commons on immigration in 1982, and again in 1986 on her Sunday Trading Bill. She survived in the top job until 1990.

And then came John Major. He was twice defeated in 1993 over the Maastricht Bill. In 1994, Major was defeated on extending VAT on fuel for charities. And in 1995, Major was defeated on the EU fisheries “take note” motion.

Of course, Major only had a painfully thin Commons majority. And Tony may take heart from realising that although one defeat is bad, he’s not yet in Major’s class.

Although Tony may well be less delighted to realise that he’s now talked about in the same breath as predecessors the electorate turned against…’

Posted: 10th, November 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink