A protest against the UK's military involvement in Syria, outside the Houses of Parliament on April 16. CREDIT: GETTY
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The wider problem exposed by the lack of parliamentary approval for bombing Syria

Almost half of the bills required to manage Brexit have yet to be introduced to MPs.

Another day, another emergency debate on Theresa May’s decision to participate in the US-led bombing of Syria. Jeremy Corbyn has chosen to fight on territory that unites the bulk of the Labour party, leading not with whether the air raid was right in principle but whether the Prime Minister ought to – from a moral rather than a constitutional perspective – asked Parliament first. 

The Labour leader thinks he both has the answer – yes, she should have asked first – and the solution in his proposed War Powers Act, which would limit the power of a PM to act militarily without seeking parliamentary approval first. 

But as the ongoing row over Generation Windrush and the continuing paralysis of the government's Brexit legislation shows, there is a wider problem with our unwritten constitution than just what the Prime Minister can do in the world elsewhere. As Jess Elgot writes in the Guardian this morning, almost half of the bills required to manage Brexit have yet to be introduced to parliament – among other things, because the government fears defeat. 

That means MPs are likely to have to vote without a clear understanding of what Brexit means when the final deal comes before parliament. Now it's true to say, from voting its leverage away by passing Article 50 so meekly, to the large number of Conservative MPs who voted through the hostile environment policy who are now astonished to learn that the result is a hostile environment, that MPs have done a poor job of using the constitutional powers they do have.

But a constitutional settlement where the executive can take contentious legislation to the corner flag in order to force rebels to back down has big problems that go well beyond the need to codify who can do what as far as peace and war are concerned.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman and the PSA's Journalist of the Year. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.

Arsène Wenger. Credit: Getty
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My biggest regret of the Wenger era? How we, the fans, treated him at the end

Arsenal’s greatest coach deserved better treatment from the Club’s supporters. 

I have no coherent memories of Arsenal before Arsène Wenger, who will leave the Club at the end of the season. I am aware of the Club having a new manager, but my continuous memories of my team are of Wenger at the helm.

They were good years to remember: three league titles, seven FA Cups, the most of any single manager in English football. He leaves the Club as the most successful manager in its history.

I think one of the reasons why in recent years he has taken a pasting from Arsenal fans is that the world before him now seems unimaginable, and not just for those of us who can't really remember it. As he himself once said, it is hard to go back to sausages when you are used to caviar, and while the last few years cannot be seen as below par as far as the great sweep of Arsenal’s history goes, they were below par by the standards he himself had set. Not quite sausages, but not caviar either.

There was the period of financial restraint from 2005 onwards, in which the struggle to repay the cost of a new stadium meant missing out on top player. A team that combined promising young talent with the simply bang-average went nine years without a trophy. Those years had plenty of excitement: a 2-1 victory over Manchester United with late, late goals from Robin van Persie and Thierry Henry, a delicious 5-2 thumping of Tottenham Hotspur, and races for the Champions League that went to the last day. It was a time that seemed to hold the promise a second great age of Wenger once the debt was cleared. But instead of a return to the league triumphs of the past, Wenger’s second spree of trophy-winning was confined to the FA Cup. The club went from always being challenging for the league, to always finishing in the Champions League places, to struggling to finish in the top six. Again, nothing to be sniffed at, but short of his earlier triumphs.

If, as feels likely, Arsenal’s dire away form means the hunt for a Uefa Cup victory ends at Atletico Madrid, many will feel that Wenger missed a trick in not stepping down after his FA Cup triumph over Chelsea last year, in one of the most thrilling FA Cup Finals in years. (I particularly enjoyed this one as I watched it with my best man, a Chelsea fan.) 

No one could claim that this season was a good one, but the saddest thing for me was not the turgid performances away from home nor the limp exit from the FA Cup, nor even finishing below Tottenham again. It was hearing Arsenal fans, in the world-class stadium that Wenger built for us, booing and criticising him.

And I think, that, when we look back on Wenger’s transformation both of Arsenal and of English football in general, more than whether he should have called it a day a little earlier, we will wonder how Arsenal fans could have forgotten the achievements of a man who did so much for us.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman and the PSA's Journalist of the Year. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.