Parliament returned this week. The government suffered its first defeat to a cross-party consensus which is insisting on fair rules for the European Union referendum, but this is not the big news.
The migration crisis dominates, but the reasons for this crisis raise massive and existential questions for our country, for Europe and for global peace and security.
On the issue itself, the Prime Minister is right to insist we take more refugees from the camps on humanitarian grounds.
It is fair enough for the Prime Minister to blame Bashar Al-Assad and ISIL for this crisis. But we have allowed the fundamental problems to escalate.
We are seeing the consequences of a complete collapse of any semblance of a coherent EU, Nato or Western strategy to tackle instability and conflict in the Middle East.
We are reaping the reward of poor post-invasion planning in Iraq followed by premature withdrawal.
If we had stuck to the task, ISIL would not be in Iraq now. The war in Afghanistan was based on a military campaign without a political strategy.
When two years ago, we were offered the possibility of missile strikes in Syria on humanitarian grounds, to protect the civilian population from Bashir Al-Assad’s chemical attacks, I voted for it, yet it was little wonder the voices saying “it’s nothing to do with us” won the day.
But our neglect of Syria’s war is now blowing back on Iraq, on Turkey, and into the EU and on to our own streets.
The Prime Minister promised a “full spectrum response” to ISIL in the summer. Where is it? Look at the mess.
Nobody expects the EU to be capable of producing such a strategy. Germany does not have the mindset to integrate their military capability with their diplomatic and economic clout, and in any case, their military is far too small.
The Prime Minister is right in his ambition. There can be no opting out of our global security role. But he should set out a “full spectrum response” to the global crisis in a new White Paper as a prospectus to take to the EU, to NATO, particularly to the US, and to our other ‘five eyes’ allies (Canada, Australia and New Zealand).
We need a comprehensive plan to defeat ISIL and to restore peace in the Middle East and we should be persuading others to join such a plan.
We cannot expect other Arab nations to lend a hand unless the West provides a coherent lead. And just hoping other countries will do this without us has now proved beyond doubt to be dangerously naïve.