September has not been quiet

History tells us that September is traditionally a quiet month for Parliament, with MPs in constituencies and then a week by the seaside for the party conferences.

It is true to say this September has been far from quiet.

First the government suffered a major defeat over the Affordable Homes Bill – or rather the ‘bedroom tax’ part of it. Not only did the Conservative side of the government fail to get their MPs there to vote, but the result threw into doubt the passage of the EU Referendum Bill.

Talking of referenda, the nations held their collective breathe over the outcome of the Scottish Referendum, which although ‘No’ won by a wider margin than predicted, important questions were raised about the future of devolution.

It brought into sharper focus the West Lothian question and English MPs voting on English matters. Let’s be clear, there is a real, live issue here.

But the government’s knee-jerk reaction, which would in effect require an English Parliament, may produce the very break up we tried to avoid in the Scottish Referendum.

And then Parliament was recalled to vote on military action in the skies above Iraq to stop, turn back and help defeat the barbaric terrorists of Islamic State.

The vote was clear, but it left hanging the issue of what further steps may be necessary including the pursuit of ISIS into Syria.