Unlike some bloggers, I don't attempt to dress up personal speculation as fact, and neither am I going to pretend I've spent half the day on the phone to "senior Labour sources" getting the inside story on last night's Iraq vote. So the following predictions are entirely the product of my own imagination, though admittedly based on some knowledge of the players involved and some experience of how politics works.
Anyway, here goes.
1. If and when he becomes Prime Minister, Gordon Brown will announce an inquiry into "the way in which the responsibilities of Government were discharged in relation to Iraq and all matters relevant thereto, in the period leading up to military action in that country in March 2003 and in its aftermath."
2. Furthermore, he will announce this in the course of his first 100 days in office, in an attempt to stamp his authority on the Government and draw some kind of line under what is, by common consensus, the most disastrous aspect of the Blair Years.
3. When the results of that inquiry are eventually published, Gordon will say that while he still believes the decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein was the right one, terrible mistakes were made both in the use of intelligence and the planning for the post-war reconstruction. He will make clear that nothing like it will be allowed to happen again.
4. Labour MPs with Brownite sympathies who might have been considering rebelling last night will have been fully appraised of this scenario and encouraged to keep their powder dry until their man is safely in No 10.
From all this, it follows that, whether or not he actually intended to let the cat out of the bag, Defence Secretary Des Browne was essentially telling the truth when he said last night that "when the time is right of course there will be such an inquiry."
For "when the time is right," read: "When we've finally managed to get rid of that bastard Blair."