You know you’ve had a good holiday when it’s hard to return to reality.

I tell my team ‘You don’t have to do anything on your first day back; just don’t resign’. I felt the same on my return. Back to school for my son (not easy after eight weeks’ holiday) and back to work for me (just 83 e-mails to work through).

The washing machine worked overtime; away for just one week and, somehow, we produced a month’s washing. All pretty routine; much as expected.

What was harder to come back to, something I hadn’t expected when we left, was deeper rancour and further division in the country over Brexit; parliament prorogued (such a fabulous word that I never knew existed before…), public protest on the streets, the prospect of a general election. Each side is becoming more entrenched and, as when Charles I shut down parliament in 1641 because they wouldn’t give him what he wanted, each side justifies their actions as fulfilling the will of the people.

It’s a sorry state of affairs so reminiscent of the English Civil War. The country is divided down the middle. There doesn’t seem to be any prospect of a compromise – we are either in the EU or out of it. And, as I’ve written before, and anyone who has been involved in divorce proceedings will know only too well, compromises are extraordinarily difficult to strike. By their very nature, they are something that neither side wants; each side has to be gracious enough to give up ground because they believe that the avoidance of conflict through a compromise is in the higher interest. The Brexit debate certainly lacks grace; each side seems to believe that the country’s best interest is served, not by negotiating a compromise, but an absolute grasp of power.

And as in the Civil War, each side is resorting to a show of strength in order to assert its authority. As I write (and I know this will be out of date by the time you read this…) Boris Johnson threatening to eject anyone that disagrees with him; on the other side, there is talk of parliamentary sit ins and civil disobedience in order to press home their point.

A sorry state of affairs to come back to; the ‘mother of all parliaments’ reduced to a shambles and become a laughing stock throughout the world as each side tries to outmanoeuvre the other in procedural contortions.

Meanwhile, persistent warnings by retailers of food shortages, shortage of drugs and inevitable job losses, mean that, as in the English Civil War, the poor and disadvantaged will be the ones who pay price of those in authority to play out their power battles. History repeats itself.