Talk about insensitivity and misjudgement. Perhaps not the smallest factor in the whopping defeat of the Government's plan to introduce 90-day detention without charge for terrorist suspects was the publication, on the day of the debate, of a Bill that will allow Northern Ireland terrorists who fled during the so-called Troubles to return without facing jail.

Among the 150 or so paramilitaries and escaped prisoners thought likely to take advantage of the Northern Ireland (Offences) Bill is the IRA member responsible for the bomb that killed 11 people and injured 63 at the Enniskillen war memorial on Remembrance Day in 1987. He has been hiding in America.

All told, the new amnesty covers the murders of 2,120 terrorist victims. To have laid out the welcome mat for their killers just two days before this year's Remembrance Day seems the final insult to those who died and their still grieving loved ones.

Still on this subject, two more things to ponder. On losing the "detention" debate, Tony Blair reflected: "It is better sometimes to lose doing the right thing than be doing the wrong thing.'' "Sometimes" is the key word. Is it also a key to Tony Blair?

Meanwhile, what of his chief argument for the 90-day detention - that the police want it? Why, therefore, is he pushing ahead with 24-hour drinking, which the police have warned him will be a disaster?

More from TB: "People look at the wages footballers earn and say: "That's extraordinary." No they don't. They say: "That's bloody scandalous/outrageous/disgraceful.'' Tony didn't want to admit to presiding over the scandal/outrage/disgrace, even though he can't really be blamed for it.

Firmly his Government's responsibility, though, is the NHS. Will they listen to the results of the public consultation they have just launched? Suppose we say: Dentists must work within the NHS similar to GPs, who must themselves resume responsibility for their night calls. Ho, ho, ho.

A mind-boggling contribution to the debate on regionalism by Coun Chris Foote-Wood, vice-chair (as he styles it) of the North East Regional Assembly. He interprets the region's massive 78 per cent vote against an elected regional assembly as a vote of equal magnitude in favour of an unelected regional assembly. Care to put it to the test, Chris?

The National Railway Museum has launched a bid to build Yorkshire's equivalent of the London Eye. A very bad idea. The NRM is about railways and it should stick to that, not embark on turning itself into a theme park. Incidentally, no-one now calls the London Eye by its proper name, The Millennium Wheel.

A very ordinary bungalow with a sea view at Poole in Dorset has just been sold for £3m. Its owner intends to replace it with a luxury bungalow that will be worth £5m. The inflated price reflects the increasing difficulty of buying a house in an attractive location that might not be spoiled. Under New Labour the visual environment counts for almost nothing.

Finally, proof, if you need it, of just how much our world is shrinking. An advertising feature in a newspaper the other day exhorted people to do something more exciting with their weekend than visit the cinema or theatre, or "stay in and order a Chinese takeaway.'' The promoted alternative - fly to... Singapore.