Over a decade ago, My Little Tony detached himself from George W. Bush for a sufficiently long time to steamroller an illegal war through the House of Commons. He was assisted by the electoral system delivering a large majority in 2001. Last night, Cameron, the self-described heir to Blair, discovered that the electoral arithmetic of a hung Parliament did not permit him to emulate the despicable feat.
If the UN concludes that Assad has used chemical weapons on his own people, that remains an atrocity and a crime that should be subject to all due process. The Stop the War simplistic mantra of "Hands off Syria" has no real traction in such a situation; there are, however, many other ways of approaching evil than unleashing actions of moral dubiety and counter-productive revenge. International law was not clear in its justification for Cameron's approach - the required level of casuistry would make even the most accomplished Jesuit blush.
Besides, the West's experience of unmandated intervention is hardly inspiring. If a solution is to be found it has to come through the UN and the Arab League, not imposed by post-colonialism - as all that does is store up festering resentment and undoes the self-proclaimed good. Cameron could only see that some form of delusion over British power and influence could be peddled by jumping the gun on the international community.
For once, Labour stood up and were able to carry the Nationalists and sensible dissident Coalition MPs with them. Removing the dictatorial powers of the Prime Minister and imposing checks through the Commons can only be welcome - the spoilt brat reaction of Michael Gove emphasises quite how desirable this is. Government is by consent of the citizenry - public opinion can be right. The time-servers and arrogant twits of the Tory party are now united in demonising the democracy. Cameron is damaged - and he should remember that what was Blair's tragedy could well end up being Bullingdon Dave's farce.