The news this morning carried two very disconnected stories both of which point towards a common problem, that our Parliament operates in a manner that places our reputation as a world power at serious risk. The discussion yesterday in Parliament included a debate on Badgers, cattle and Hedgehogs. It is unclear from the recording I heard what the 650 MPs were meant to be discussing. However we had MPs calling for the Badger cull to be extended to their own constituency in order to please their local milk farmers. Other MPs defended the Badgers and pointed to the lack of evidence that the cull was having any effect on the cases of Bovine TB and calling for the data on the existing cull areas to be analysed before it was extended. It was at this point that the issue of Badgers eating Hedgehogs was introduced and the badgers were being implicated in the massive reduction in the Hedgehog numbers. The discussion would have been entirely suited to a coffee bar, pub or even bridge hand. There was precious little data in evidence and not a great deal of logic, based on the clips I heard. However this is our Parliament, the place where our laws are made. It is very disturbing that our elected representatives are prepared to allow the time we pay for in the House of Commons to be wasted in this way.
The second story is a great deal more serious. On Monday David Cameron told the House of Commons about the drone strike over Syria, when two British men were killed. The reason given, something that was reinforced in interviews later that day by Michael Fallon was that the two men were planning terrorism attacks within our nation, by implication these attacks were intended for high profile targets such as our beloved Queen and her Government. However we now know that when a British Diplomat explained the decision to the UN, that he justified our actions as being in the defence of Iraq. It is embarrassing to have a Government so inept that it cannot keep its story clear, but more importantly it is frightening that our Government is prepared to summarily execute our own citizens without any process or accountability outside of the Prime Minister and his military advisors and the pilot controlling the drone.
It feels as though in the first week back from the Summer recess that our Parliament is determined to show itself to be in need of replacement.