It’s Parliamentary recess and the Easter holidays. Politics has momentarily quietened down. A good moment, then, to take the long view. I had a stimulating meeting in Devizes Town Hall with the Mayor, the Town Clerk, the boss of the Wiltshire museum and two of our county councillors.
The Union of England and Scotland is in peril. This 300-year old arrangement, perhaps the longest and most successful marriage between two countries in history, is close to breaking point as its two protagonists tire of each other.
The good news continues. On Friday I spoke to our local NHS and council chiefs who confirmed that infection rates continue to decline in all age groups; overall we have now had three weeks of consecutive daily decreases in new cases.
The paradox is the problem. On the one hand we hear about the truly phenomenal success of the UK’s vaccination programme which - despite some inevitable local messiness - continues to reach more and more people.
The strange half-life of the country during lockdown is reflected in the work of MPs too. We are as busy as ever but it’s all from home, by zoom and email. I took part in a debate last week remotely (watch here if interested - about how to restore our social fabric).
A sad last newsletter of 2020, which started so well with a clear Commons majority for getting Brexit done. We did that, but the much-wished-for, much-promised corollary, a new trade deal with the EU, hangs in the balance.