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IMHO, it would have been extremely unlikely to see the government lose a vote this week, after Dunfirmline. If the MPs forced a defeat on Blair, it'd look like the Labour Party was in an even greater shambles than it already is. At the moment, I don't think Labour MPs have anything to gain from defeating Blair. They've got their dual premiership and can still use Blair as a shield for all the negative publicity, allowing Brown to get a "honeymoon" period when he eventually takes over.

Things might be different if May turns out to be a disaster, but at the moment I expect Labour will win all their votes - perhaps even the education bill.

Of course, another way of looking at it is that the MPs are handing Blair his "legacy" by bringing in all these changes, as a way of politely saying "you've made a difference now. You can sod off."

The difference between what the Government was proposing and the Lords amendment (supported by the Tory frontbench) was too small to justify the Conservative Party voting against. I'm afraid that it's an example of the clever/stupid oppositionalism that did us no good from 97-05. You just KNOW that various senior Tories got overexcited about the prospect of sticking one on Blair.

As always, it's not what we say about Labour that impacts with the public - it's what our actions say about us. Irresponsible - possibly. Unprincipled - probably. Opportunistic - certainly.

As a free speech extremist I don't believe glorification of terror should be illegal. It may be unpleasant and offensive but that's the price of living in a free society. If someone commits a terrorist act it is their fault alone and they should be punished for it. Someone saying "terrorism is great" might be an offensive idiot but he isn't causing any infringement on life or property.

Tony Blair continues to take the stance of "tough decisions in difficult circumstances." Poor Tony. The point is, we already have the legislation to arrest the Abu Hamza's in this country, and the Labour Government had ample opportunity.

This is the kind of anti-civil libertarian offence which this authoritarian Government loves to create. It is sufficiently woolly that it could catch all sorts of things in theory. It won't in practice because enormous discretion will be left to prosecutors who are likely to dance to the tune of their political masters. So those who extol Hezbollah and call for the murder of Jews in the streets of London are most unlikely to have their collars felt. Likewise the many supporters on the UK left of Sinn Fien and the IRA. If Tony Blair were serious about tackling terror, then he would have accepted Ming Campbell's proposal to admit telephone tap evidence. That would make life much more difficult for extreme Irish Republicanism.....no doubt the reason why Blair declined to accept the offer.

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