It’s Autumn term for parliament and governing’s been cancelled

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Parliament returns today for a two week sitting before the party conference recess.

One of the first pieces of business will be a report from Theresa May on the G20. If she's honest the report will be clear and simple: she should say the message from the rest of the world is that they don't like Brexit, they think it will cost the UK, that they are sure it reduces the UK's international standing, and some of them have the means to ensure that is the case.

Well, you might say, they would say that, wouldn't they? After all, the essence of the G20 is the maintenance of the global financial power structure, and the Brexit vote is a rejection of that. It may be in their interests to make it look unappealing, but reticent as I am about that global financial power sructure I do not have to work hard to believe they are right to express concern.

Looking purely at the UK's domestic situation it is staggering how ill prepared we are for what is to come. The best parallel might be 1939, when another crisis happened with far too little preparation. We then had a phoney war for six or so months and the full consequences of our unpreparedness hit us. Only our isolation and some luck saved us then. There is no guarantee the trick can be repeated.

But in the meantime all the effort of government will inevitably shift to the consequences of Brexit: everything else will be sidelined. Parliament has returned not to really partake in a legislative programme because that is a mere sideline. It will instead be left watching a process where the government seeks to withdraw from Europe without any obvious plan as to what it wants to achieve from from the immediate task of doing so and without any understanding of the long term goal for the relationships that must be built to replace those with the EU.

And that's why our prospects are so much worse than in 1939/40. Then we knew the end goal. In the meantime it was survival by working with any reasonable ally we could find, and there weren't many to pick from. There is no such clarity now.

Theresa May has inherited a mess that is at least partly of her own creation: she has served at senior level in the government that created this situation. I suspect she has not a clue what to really do next. And we are all going to suffer for that. We don't even have an Opposition to hold her to account. The prospects for the coming parliamentary year are not good.