A torpor has settled on Parliament. A siesta. What a long goodbye it is. They’re leaving early and arriving late and very often not turning up at all.
Thursday is Topical debate day, part of Jack Straw’s package to allow members to bring issues of the hour at a moment’s notice to the floor of the House.
This week there’d been no suggestions for the Topical debate. None. Not one. Maybe nothing is happening. Maybe there is no issue of the hour. The postal strike was secretly resolved. The growing rift between the chancellor and the governor and the bank of England had been healed.
Why else had Harriet Harman chosen for the debate the motion "Securing economic recovery"? As George Young said, they'd had a Tory debate on the subject three days before. Only four Labour back benchers had turned up and they'd run out of steam half way through. Now the same debate was being floored on a governmet motion and only three Labour back benchers turned up to the start. Three!
The BNP on BBC's Question Time - was that not worthy of debate? We had Evan Harris ask a Business question. Wasn't the BBC right to say that government shouldn't try "to outsource censorship"? Harriet wouldn't be drawn. "The BBC would reflect on its position" after the programme had aired. That was the leadership on offer.
Mark Harper made the further point that 1m people had voted for the BNP and they should be engaged in argument with a view to defeating them. Harriet presented her arguments. They included celebrating immigrants and reassuring communities.
But that hasn't yet crushed the BNP like cockroaches.
Our MPs may be missing an inconvenient fact that 10 per cent of Britain have strongly-held racist views. That goes across the board and across the races. And in certain circumstances (when neighbourhoods are rapidly changing their racial identities) racist views and feelings are entertained by a clear majority.
But good luck to her, Harriet is a missionary bringing trousers and Bibles to our savage and godless working class.
She also suggests that the party will fail because it has a racist constitution. But this is Griffin's clever strategy. He nicked it from Tony Blair. A racially inclusive constitution is the BNP's Clause 4 moment. Griffin's modernisation plan is to take his core vote of nutcases for granted and triangulate a new voting sector by de-racialising his party.
So, if you want to defeat them, don't keep calling them vile, loathsome, disgusting - invective rather strengthens them. No, when their new constitution comes into force - ethnic minorities should join them.
Once there is a majority of black patriots, they can stack the selection committees, fire the leadership and ask Harriet Harman to lead them, the Black National Party. And Britain will be proud again!