Politicians rarely make sense in the aftermath of a by-election. Neither Clacton nor Heywood and Middleton (9 October 2014) were exceptions. David Cameron claims that a vote for Ukip will put Ed Miliband in Downing Street. Nigel Farage suggests that voting Labour benefits the Tories.
The recall of Parliament during a recess is a signifier that grave matters are afoot. As the debating forum of a democracy, it does more than make decisions – it expresses itself in full view of the electorate it is there to represent.
The UK parliament has prudently rejected Prime Minister David Cameron’s call to join in military action in Syria which would almost certainly have been unlawful. While tough measures are needed, vigilante ‘justice’ contrary to international law could have catastrophic consequences. A US attack is still likely.