Well, maybe. And I sincerely hope so. And being of a forgiving nature, I find myself wanting to believe that the lessons of the run-up to the invasion of Iraq may have finally been learned - at least here in the UK. There`s little doubt that we were press ganged into that fiasco by the disingenuous assurances given by Blair, his rotweiller Campbell and their duplicitous chums as a result of quite pitifully seeking the approbation of Bush, Rumsfeld and company.
So the fall-out from Cameron`s defeat in the Commons last evening could be interesting, not only for the `special relationship` and for Cameron himself but also for other reasons. For instance, we have been reminded repeatedly over the last few days that our elected leaders have understood, perhaps for the first time with such vivid clarity, just how sceptical, cynical even, the great British public has become given the experience of Iraq. And I just wonder whether that reality might now embolden Sir John Chilcot and his long running Iraq Inquiry at last to publish their report in the knowledge that the public might actually welcome any condemnation it may contain of those responsible.
But maybe the most encouraging lesson from last night`s Commons vote was the reminder to both politicians and voters that Parliament is there to represent the electorate and to provide a check on the activities of the executive. For too long in recent times, those in power have assumed that they can more or less do as they wish and get away with it and if that arrogance has been hauled back into line then so much the better for all concerned. After all, we have seen that absolute power can indeed corrupt absolutely and if nothing else, a sharp reminder has been issued that in our modern day democracy absolute power has a very limited shelf life.
I find it disappointing but predictable that, in all the sound and fury of the last 24 hours or so, we have heard nothing from Blair who, just a couple of days ago, was once more pressing the case for Britain to dangle under the apron strings of America and join in yet another doomed misadventure. Neither have we heard from the EU and its `High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy,` one Cathy Ashton. Come to think of it, maybe it`s just as well.
I guess, in the end, what we have witnessed is yet more proof, if any more were needed, that like all `empires` before it, Great Britain has had its day as a world power and it should perhaps finally accept that as the sun goes down on its horizon, maybe in the calm of its fading twilight, Britain will find that there is much to be desired from playing the world game in pianissimo rather than the strident fortissimo it used to assume as of right. And maybe that will be the most profound lesson of all to be learned.