Beyond the soon-to-be-depleted piggybanks of Westminster, the Copenhagen climate change talks are in crisis and Afghanistan in such a grave state that Barack Obama's allies fear that the war, rather than the Republicans or the economy, may mean that he is fated to be a one-term president. British soldiers are dying, our alliances in Europe are under threat, and – with the ascendancy of China – our place in the world is shifting towards the shadows.There is sense in that. MPs do not have time to indulge in "small-world politics" and, much though elements of the blogosphere and the chatterati may love it, many of us have little patience for such self-indulgence. The MPs need to sort this, quickly, get it out of the way and get back down to work – the little that is left from them to do.
Questions of size do not only concern the state. The contest is on between big and small-world politics. Rarely has there been a greater need for Britain to look outwards, and rarely have politics seemed so insular. Against a backdrop of global turmoil, the only sounds from Westminster are the rustle of Flymo receipts as MPs prepare to justify their gardening bills and the mutter of backbenchers who think they might like to unseat the Prime Minister after all.
A protracted orgy of recrimination over this issue will merely reinforce the impression that MPs have very little else to do – which is perilously close to the truth. It is not a good idea to confirm what at the moment is in many minds only a strong suspicion.