Well, all these media pundits have newspapers to sell and broadcasts time to fill, and everyone likes a decisive piece of insightful journalistic summing-up after an event like the Syria vote. But while we consider claims that the events of last week have finished Cameron's authority and made Miliband a shoo-in for 2015, let's maintain a strong sense of perspective.
To Mrs D's dismay my study is silted up with a sandbank of newspaper cuttings from the pre-web era, and perusal of items from the days of Kinnock's long incumbency at Walworth Road provides a salutary reminder. Kinnock was basically a no-hoper, rumbled by nearly everyone from the word go. He had a lousy inheritance, they said; but the sentence would always continue: if
it had been any better, it wouldn't have been his.
He was up against Thatcher at the Despatch Box, and then Major. Now Mrs T had massive lows as well as highs in her time in office, and of course Major had a series of ultra-lows. So on a cyclical basis, Kinnock was forever being praised for having turned some corner, for being statesmanlike at last, for showing finally that he was made of prime-ministerial stuff. Never glad confident morning again for the PM !
But it was journalistic tosh. A few weeks would pass, the front pages would be occupied by some other event more congenial to the government, and the Welsh Windbag would be consigned once more by the political column-writers to supposedly watching his back for an imminent palace coup. He hit two general elections at the wrong stage in the cycle and retired to spend more time with his wife and their fine collection of euro-dosh.
A key element in all this is Punter's Amnesia, that chronic condition afflicting almost all voters and, it often seems, almost all political correspondents. Who now recalls that Cameron's response to Leveson was supposed to have dished him for all eternity in the eyes of the unforgiving public, and that Miliband (+ Clegg) had assumed impregnable moral high-ground on the same issue ? Eh ? And that was March of this year !
Yup: no-one remembers. It didn't dish Cameron; and it wasn't the making of Miliband, who had the usual, cyclical, dreadful time in the meejah over the summer.
Of course, some things have a cumulative subliminal effect on the public consciousness, like the laying-down of sandstone strata over millions of years. But that tends to be the little clues to true personality, rather than the articulated lessons of well-remembered events. This is the process that did for Kinnock, as now he more-or-less himself admits. He just wasn't up to it. And - no hard feelings - we all knew.
And we will all have our own views on Cameron and Miliband, formed quickly or slowly and refined with time and events. But it will be the combination of this long-laid-down process, plus Events-dear-boy at the time of the next election, that will determine the public vote.
Not the vote of MPs on a day in August 2013. Roll on the next Event.