THAT WAS SOME WEEK THAT WAS!

And, such is the way of these things, only after the vote, only after the bombs have started to drop, do we get the usually supine press in Club Cameron getting around to expressing doubts.  Maybe there isn't a 70,000 strong army ready and willing to go to war on ISIS after all, wrote one broadsheet loyalist.  Maybe some of them are actually jihadist groups. Maybe it was just a wild guesstimate and folks told Number 10 so long before the PM did his Tony Blair number at the dispatch box.  But hey, Dave got his way, Labour was roundly embarrassed, the right wing got some new red meat, and who will remember the details of the debate exhortations to war anyway.  Well, hopefully, quite a lots of us.

But much good will that do the families still cowering in what's left of their towns and villages, facing a winter of unimaginable deprivations or trekking across continents and high seas to an ever more uncertain welcome from a fractiously divided European community.  The latter don't know how to cope with sudden millions of asylum seekers, and economic migrants.  Who does?  But they surely know, as the UK government surely knew, that more bombs mean more refugees as sure as night follows day.

And what of the political fallout domestically? The SNP held fast to their anti bombing stance, and were duly accused of control freakery.  How desperately their accusers must have envied that degree of cohesion! The UK Labour Party flounders in disarray, the new politics having delivered an opening and closing debate speech completely at odds with each other.  Whatever side you supported, that cannot make political sense.

Was Hilary Benn making an opening pitch to replace Jeremy Corbyn?  Only he knows for sure, but personally I despaired at Tony Benn's son being lauded for an oratorical tour de force in favour of more wrongheaded and desperately dangerous interventions in the cauldron of complex hostilities which is the current Middle East. A radio 4 programme pronounced that his father and grandfather, war veterans both, would have been pleased with his performance.  I doubt it. Their wars were not this war. 

And of course the leak of Cameron's pitch to his own party urging them not to go into the lobby with "terrorist sympathisers" and his subsequent refusal to apologise, tells us quite a  bit about the man behind the public Etonian polish.  He is not a compassionate Conservative  (though that is not always an oxymoron); he is more than capable of political thuggery backstage.

I find myself more conflicted by Mr Corbyn.  I disagree with little of what he says, yet cannot believe he has the skill set to unite and build a party which will pose a serious electoral threat to the Tories. That he is a good and decent man I don't doubt. He is not an accomplished politician and therein lies both a compliment and a fatal flaw. It leaves Kezia Dugdale with a higher mountain to climb as she tries to reconcile the need to fashion a credible electoral force in Scotland whilst surveying the serial car crashes in the south.

Ironically Nicola Sturgeon's main problem now is one of success;  Scotland has a track record of cutting down its tall poppies and doubtless the snipers will be out in force in the run up to May.  And of course that burgeoning membership, whilst a cause for celebration, also has to be filed under unpredictable.  On the other hand, by common consent, she is, unlike Mr Corbyn, a modern politician to her well manicured fingertips

Meanwhile the much vaunted Vienna peace talks are, we learn, a feast of blame and back biting behind closed 

doors and, in any event, do not feature the two main causes of the ongoing tragedy...Assad and Isis. History tells us that however unsavoury the prospect, dealing with terrorists and malign dictators always involves confronting them without a weapon in your hand or theirs.

Yet still we embark on courses of action almost bound by definition to radicalise young Muslims appalled at the civilian carnage and and committed by their religion to treat all fellow Muslims as family.  A religion, as we know, which also urges tolerance but which, just like Christianity and every other belief system can be hijacked and manipulated by extremists.  We will not win hearts and minds and promote peace and diversity by repeated military adventures in countries whose culture and history we rarely take the trouble to examine before becoming bellicose all over again. This is history indeed repeated as farce and tragedy.

It has been a turbulent old week. One which many members of the Commons will live to regret. But not as much as those whose country we help to demolish.