So the House of Commons has voted, with a 212 majority, to reject plans to give prisoners the vote.
I'm delighted with this, for two reasons:
One, that it is the right thing to do. Prisoners should not have the ability to vote on those who make the laws we live under. As is often said, "those who break the law should not make the law" or, put another way, your human rights, other then the very basic ones of food and shelter, end the moment you moment you infringe mine by theft or assault. Parliament's decision is a sharply-defined moral choice, at a time when making such moral choices is unfashionable.
Two, it demonstrates that our Parliament has the ability to decide for itself. Cameron has wrung his hands and said we can't vote no because of our commitment to the ECHR, but Parliament has stuck two fingers up and done what they wanted. That is how Parliament should work, and always did work before our Prime Ministers became Presidents in all but title.
What happens next will be interesting. The decision is not binding on the Government, which has until April to decide what to do. Either it will go with what Parliament wishes, which will bring it into direct conflict with the EU (and if Cameron wants the support of the British people, that's a good way to get it), or it will fudge and compromise - say, by giving the vote only to nice prisoners - and thwart the will of the people as expressed by their elected representatives.
Either way, we are heading towards a crunch. I hope Cameron grows a backbone, remembers his 'cast-iron' promise, and tells the EU to stuff itself. This could be the start of the process of disengagement from the EU altogether. Public opinion is against the EU, but not galvanised enough to do anything about it. A constitutional crisis such as this might well be the tipping point that gets people up off their sofas and shouting. If he doesn't, and compromises with, say, votes for prisoners on sentences of 12 months or less, then Parliament will rightly say that he is acting for his EU paymasters and not the British people.
And David Davis is waiting in the wings. I wouldn't underestimate him.