MPs returned to Westminster today and already rumours are circulating about the 42-day detention provision of the Counter Terrorism Bill. I am not up to speed on the precise timetabling of remaining Parliamentary business. But I am aware this could be the first test of the Labour Party's new found unity. On the one hand there are the stories of Nick Brown's (re-)appointment as Chief Whip threatening tighter control on backbench MPs, on the other is the appointment of Jon Trickett as the PM's PPS. I am presuming Jon will be saying in private: Prime Minister, we need to drop this. (Yes, I know he voted for the provision at 3rd reading in the Commons. But there are lots of MPs who vote for a government policy against their better judgment.)
We have got to focus on the economy. If that wasn't screamingly obvious, a quick look at the FTSE 100 today (down over 5%) is a salutary reminder. We are not going to get the economy moving again wasting political capital on a theoretical possibility that even law officers, the police and the security services can't agree on. Government can maintain its concern on the record, so that in the event of the need for longer powers of detention emergency legilsation can be put before the House. And we can all get on flushing out the next issue that government ministers have set their hearts on without thinking through the political ramifications thoroughly in the context of Labour values.