'Nailing his colours to the mast', but where is the PM sailing to?
From Benedict Brogan: The House of Commons voted to reject the EU's ECHR ruling that prisoners in jail for breaking British law must be allowed to vote in British elections. The PM had urged the House to do so, and has been described as 'nailing his colours to the mast'.
Now what? Britain is bound by treaty to observe EU law. (Mary Ellen Synon has details.) Does Cameron hope the EU will let this slide or does he think this event will be lost - as so many have been - in the riptide of history?
Roman history, which every British schoolboy used to know, records how Pompey the Younger brought a ship laden with grain across the Mediterranean. Encountering a devastating storm, the terrified sailors gave the ship up for lost. Pompey yelled, 'Navigare necesse est, vivere non est necesse!' To sail is necessary; to live is not necessary!' They reached Rome.
As every British sailor used to know, sailing means navigating.