… about the vote on the Terror Bill. I’m tired of all the media hyperbole about ‘defeat’. The scandal is not that Blair lost the vote, but that this is the first one he’s lost since he became Prime Minister in 1997. A sure sign that a deliberative democracy is working is occasional — or even regular — defeats of governments in Commons debates. It means that issues are being decided on the basis of MPs making up their own minds, rather than voting to the Whips’ instructions. But Blair’s first two (huge) parliamentary majorities meant that Britain was governed for nearly a decade by an elected dictatorship. Now at last we have something a little more representative — and possibly also a bit more reflective. Hooray!