The political landscape in the UK has taken a beating this week, if you believe what the mainstream media and political pundits say. Cameron's defeat in the House of Commons Thursday is still making waves and headlines around the world. Even President Putin has expressed his surprise Saturday that the UK is now ruled out of any action against Syria. As always hindsight is a wonderful thing and perhaps Cameron would have handled the matter differently had he realised just how much of the proverbial was going to hit the fan.
David Cameron "dead" political man walking?
The loss of such a crucial vote in the Commons could in theory end a premiership. In the past that probably would have been a no-brainer. Lose such a vote and you are out. This time around that may not be the case but Cameron's authority and political clout has taken a bashing.
His cabinet re-shuffle predicted for as early as next week will be full of revenge moves. Those who did not tow the party line in Thursday's vote will be out. As sharp eyes are kept on the re-shuffle though will he want to look blatantly vindictive?
It could have been so very different if Cameron had waited and not recalled parliament early. As one of the main leaders banging the drum for military action he may have thought the matter was all sewn up. Away on a summer vacation it is easy to be out of touch with colleagues and the nation. Had Cameron waited until the UN weapons inspectors had completed their task, and collated any evidence, it could have been a different call.
ED Miliband condemned for flexing political muscle
Ed Miliband, who many think spectacularly engineered Cameron's demise in the vote, has not come out of this unscathed. BBC Newsnight carried an interview Friday with Dr Rola who has been working in Syria. She was scathing about Miliband and invited him and his family to visit Syria, at her expense, and experience the daily degradation and regime violence for himself.
It made good television but was a low blow. The violence escalating out of control is as much the responsibility of the rebels as the regime. If the regime were a pro American partner we have little doubt that the US would be helping pound the rebels and oust them from the country.
No doubt Miliband only made sure the UK was ruled out of military strikes against Syria as he feared or knew they were imminent. You got the sense as he laboured the point that Cameron would not use the "royal prerogative", acting independently of the vote, that he knew or sensed action was in the air.
With the G20 summit scheduled for next week diplomacy should still be possible as leaders gather once again at a costly, and some would say, often pointless foreign jaunt.
Nick Clegg deputy PM and Lib Dem
Perhaps Nick Clegg, now so adept and straddling the political fence, will come out of this the best. He is a good wordsmith but he of course knows that nine of his ministers did not support the vote. That is quite a lot when you are the small contingent in a coalition government. Ever the "liberal" Clegg is reportedly not angry that some of his ministers voted with their heart rather than their political party.
Politicial parties have a chief whip who tries to keep ministers following the party line. Sir George Young is expected to be ousted by Cameron in next week's parliamentary shuffle. Young was appointed as chief whip in October 2012, following the sacking of Andrew Mitchell in the Downing street bicycle affair, and less than a year later he may face the sack. Young did not exercise the "whip" meaning some ministers stayed on their foreign vacations and did not return to the UK. Had he done his job we could now be signed up to support miltary strikes against Assad.
It is all too easy to watch footage from Syria and feel moved to action. To sense the horror of life in Syria and want to help ease suffering. In an increasingly cynical world, thanks to government spying and lies, we are right to take the cautious approach. There is no hard evidence who launched chemical attacks against civilians in Syria. It could be the rebels alone or with the help of outside forces, or it could be outside forces.
These days we all know that western governments are quite capable of killing, calling it collateral damage" to further their own ends.
In many ways our leaders, past and present, have themselves to blame for our cynicism.