I hear that Dorchester Arts have a show for children coming up at 2.30 pm on Saturday November 2nd.

It's supported by the Dorset Youth Parliament, and it’s called How Does This Politics Thing Work Then?

This is of course very timely question. In fact, just now, almost all the adults are asking it. Or at least they are asking the highly connected and rather more pessimistic question, ‘does this politics thing work then?’

After three long years during which British politics has been struggling to establish a consensus in favour of any way forward on Brexit, it is not surprising that many people have come to the conclusion that our political system is fundamentally broken.

I have some sympathy with this view. When the dust has settled, it will surely be appropriate to think again about our constitution, and about the capacity of our representative democracy to find consensus in the face of fundamentally divisive structural debates. We need a system that provides strong incentives for elected politicians to deal with the most difficult problems in a grown up, consensual way - and if our current system doesn’t do that, then we will need to consider reform.

But I hope we won’t, in that process, forget that our present politics does in some ways work pretty well.

I have been involved for quite a long time in an all party group that has been attempting to deal with the epidemic of dependence on prescription drugs. This group of MPs and members of the House of Lords, from across the political spectrum, has been working with experts and people with personal experience of the horrors that can be caused by dependence on anti-depressants and other such drugs, when they are used for too long.

The result of this work has been an absolutely excellent report from Public Health England which both lays bare the scale of the problem and makes a range of very recommendations about how to solve it.

But, quite apart from the huge significance of all this for thousands of patients, I think it does illustrate that — in fields that don’t get occupied by partisan armies clashing by night — the British political system can actually produce grown up approaches to difficult problems. This should give us a basis for hope.