This week Parliament has returned with some key arguments on the ongoing difficulties in Afghanistan and a big debate about how we fund adult social care. It is the return of Parliament in more than one sense because it is also the first time in over a year that Parliament has been sitting properly without social distancing.
During the lockdown, like every other working environment, there were restrictions with strict limits on how many MPs could be in the chamber at any one time, electronic voting and social distancing measures. The return of voting in the old fashioned way with MPs passing through voting lobbies to be counted as a reminder of what we lost during the lockdowns. The ability to bump into people and have open, chance conversations about issues or problems other MPs want to raise; the ability to attend events and proper meetings of the Cabinet around a table rather than on a zoom call. Our democracy relies on those personal interactions and while we have all made things work as best we can over the last eighteen months, there is no substitute for meeting people in person.