To debate foxhunting, there were 700 hours of parliamentary time. But to debate war in Iraq, there were only seven hours of parliamentary time. And to debate world war with Russia, which is what intervention on the other side in Syria would be, there is to be no parliamentary time at all. The question of having to recall Parliament would not arise if the thing could be bothered to sit a bit more often.
Both sides in Syria are morally repugnant, but only one of them would be a threat to us if it won. Guess which one we are going to be aiding and abetting? On a local note, one of the first in the field to oppose the prospect of war in Iraq was the Durham Miners' Association, which remained and remains a key organisational point in the wider trade union movement and on the wider Left. Yet it has been, and it remains, silent this week. Why is that?
Since the end of the last world war to date, the foreign policy of the United States has been the foreign policy of the United Kingdom, meaning that elections in Britain had no effect on it, although, up to a point, elections in America did. But now, even elections in America have become irrelevant to it. Hillary Clinton might as well have won. Clearly, Donald Trump has been warned that no one would bat an eyelid at the "heart attack" of a man in his seventies with a famously bad diet and with one of the most stressful jobs in the world.
Oh, well, if the war has begun before the Commons vote, then it will be impossible for the Government to retort that, "This House voted for it." That will make parliamentary scrutiny of it easier. That scrutiny needs to be remorseless. It is hardly going to come from the media. For example, The Times, which on 12th March reported on its front page that Sergei Skripal was dead, today describes Damascus as "rebel-held".
This is David Davis's moment of truth. Having voted against this in 2013, will he resign rather than go along with it now? This is the DUP's moment of truth. Having voted against this in 2013, will they bring down this Prime Minister by voting against it again now? This is Jacob Rees-Mogg's moment of truth. Is he truly his generation's leading High Tory, or is he just another neoliberal and neoconservative, only with funny clothes and a funny accent? This is the Lib Dems' moment of truth. What, exactly, are they for?
But above all, this is Jeremy Corbyn's moment of truth. The motion needs to be tabled: "This House regrets the British military intervention in Syria, and calls on Her Majesty's Government to cease and desist from it immediately." A three-line whip, and let Constituency Labour Parties, followed if necessary by constituents at large, make up their own minds about any Labour MPs who hated Corbyn so much that they were prepared to vote instead with John Bolton and John McCain, with al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State.