Ed Miliband [Reuters].
For a man who is widely credited with scoring a leadership-saving political coup over Syria last week, Labour leader Ed Miliband has seemed strangely reluctant to blow his own trumpet, or even let his aides do it for him.
His desire not to be seen celebrating a "victory" over a vote which impacts so directly on issues of life and death is not only borne out of a proper sensitivity, although that undoubtedly plays a part. And, after all, it is much better when you can keep a modest silence when others heap praise on you.
It also results from the fact that this particular drama still has a very long way to go and the final outcome is far from certain. There were early signs that the wind might quickly change on the issue a day after the vote, when mutterings were heard on Labour benches that Miliband might have over-played his hand and could stand accused of playing politics with people's lives.
Much of that was dismissed as Tory fury at the way he outmanoeuvred their man, and was lost amid louder assertions that the Labour leader had, unlike the prime minister, chimed with the public's view on Syria.
But, as the days have passed and the praise for Miliband has started to dissipate, so the wariness has grown on the Labour benches. That wariness was echoed by a senior Miliband aide who, when asked to agree that his leader had done well, told IBTimes UK "we'll see".
That was not an expression of disloyalty or an admission Miliband should have behaved differently. It was instead a perfectly understandable reaction to the fallout from a debate that has seen Miliband's position misrepresented, deliberately or otherwise.
There is a real fear in Labour circles that Miliband will be labelled as the man who stopped military action against the Assad regime and who continues to be the roadblock to any future action.
But, of course, that is not what Labour demanded during that extraordinary Commons debate last week. Miliband's alternative motion specifically did not rule out the possibility of future military action against Syria, but for a delay.
In fact, the wording of his motion was so similar to Cameron's motion there were many Tories who claimed the government would simply have accepted it, had it not been for Cameron's political and personal pride and his obvious misreading of his own MPs' opposition. In the end, of course, both motions were defeated.
An ICM poll for the BBC today also suggested that, while 71% of the public believe the outcome of the vote was the right one, 39% did not approve of the way Miliband handled the affair, compared to 33% who approved. These are difficult signals for Miliband to decipher.
If the Labour leader's opponents succeed in labelling him as the roadblock to action and Assad commits yet another atrocity there is the real danger he might yet be left appearing on the wrong side of public opinion.
At the moment, though, there is little to suggest this characterisation is sticking or that the public mood is that volatile. If anything, voters appear set against any military action, believing it would not help the situation in Syria or its suffering population.
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