It is against this backdrop – and once again without a majority in Parliament – that Theresa May must decide how Britain responds to the latest atrocities in Syria, with scores gassed by Assad’s Russia-backed forces.
Her task is made even harder by the personality and style of the current US President. Whilst George W Bush may have been an unpopular partner for Tony Blair in 2003, Trump takes that to whole new levels. Even those who instinctively want to support action against Assad are profoundly nervous about how the US leader will spearhead the Western response.
Despite all that, it does appear that a coalition led by the US, Britain and France is edging towards action in Syria. For all the difficult challenges Theresa May has faced in nearly two years as Prime Minister she is yet to lead Britain into conflict. It is on issues like these, and decisions like these, that perhaps we should all be more respectful of agonisingly difficult life-and-death decisions a Prime Minister must confront.