There is also the most hideous scenario of all to be contemplated: that another terrorist attack succeeds. If that were to happen, this whole debate would look very different. Suddenly, Brown’s approach would be far more appealing to the public. The electorate might also turn on those who had appeared unserious on this subject. I can’t imagine that this has escaped Brown’s attention.
The Tories should avoid walking into this trap. If they are to oppose the measure, they must do so in a high-minded way and eschew making political capital out of it. Pressing on the question of whether it will be a confidence measure is particularly foolish, as it highlights just how political the Tory approach is.