Never has the political class been so in need of a holiday. Like a collection of drunks on their way home from a night out, MPs, Peers, and advisors have staggered their way from lamppost to lamppost over recent months, and finally this week they reach the safety of home.
The reason for our current stupor? Well, both the Conservative and Labour Parties are beset by fundamental schisms. For the Tories, the split is over the nature of Brexit and Britain’s future relationship with the EU and the rest of the world. Hard or soft Brexit? Deal or no Deal? Those decisions need to be taken within months, and civil war wages over which way to go.
Overlay that with the fact that the Party is led by someone who has none of the personal or political skills necessary to manoeuvre her colleagues to where she wants them to be, and we have stalemate.
The problems in Labour are no less. The anti-Semitism rows continue, added to the Brexit rows, but fundamentally they all come down to the question of what sort of political party is Labour. For its entire life, Labour has been a moderate social democratic party in the European mainstream. As Harold Wilson famously said, it “owes more to Methodism than to Marxism” but this week we’ve seen the young Corbynite wing trying to redefine the Party as “literally communist” at times.
We haven’t even mentioned the Lib Dems. A party in such a state of shambles that the leader and his predecessor cannot even make it to Westminster to vote against Brexit, probably the only issue on which the public knows what they stand for.
So go on holiday dear politicians. Spend time with your loved ones. Ask them if they think the political class is serving the country well right now. Because as someone from a previous political era put it, Britain deserves better.
The Word from Westminster will return in September.