Tony Blair has dismissed his defeat yesterday on the grounds that Parliament is out of touch with public opinion. To which a conservative must reply, “And a good thing too!” Mr. Blair would do well to reread the most important section of Edmund Burke’s Speech to the Electors of Bristol. The following excerpt could have been directed at Mr. Blair himself:
My worthy colleague says, his will ought to be subservient to yours. If that be all, the thing is innocent. If government were a matter of will upon any side, yours, without question, ought to be superior. But government and legislation are matters of reason and judgment, and not of inclination; and what sort of reason is that, in which the determination precedes the discussion; in which one set of men deliberate, and another decide; and where those who form the conclusion are perhaps three hundred miles distant from those who hear the arguments?
Mr. Blair might also do well to remember that there was a little thing called a General Election just this year.