“A paradox, a paradox, a most ingenious paradox…” This week’s events seem to justify a quick burst of Gilbert and Sullivan.

The situation is indeed paradoxical. The Remainers, including the Speaker who is supposed to be politically neutral, want the EU to keep its sovereign primacy over Parliament, but they are using Parliament to keep it in subjection to Brussels. The Leavers, on the other hand, want to restore Parliamentary supremacy, but they are playing fast and loose with Parliament in order to do so. This has been going on for over two years.

As a result our current Parliament has become a zombie. It has been able to do nothing as its various factions construct ever more arcane manoeuvres in their attempts to frustrate their opponents, manoeuvres which must exasperate and mystify the public. It has passed little in the way of legislation and, like all institutions without direction, has infected the body politic with drift and sourness.