We are right to value democracy, and to demand free, fair, regular, competitive elections. But an election is not an end in itself. Elections do not guarantee freedom or good outcomes. Democracy is much more likely to function well, when the rights of all are guaranteed by independent courts, even if this offends the majority. And elected governments are much less likely to become tyrannical when the people keep tabs on them through a free press, and when people are willing to protest. In fact, and this is not an alternative fact, every healthy democracy needs trouble makers.
Refugees are and should be welcome in the UK and other EU countries. They deserve better than this frankly appalling treatment. They're not trying to 'scrounge' from us. They're not just a 'bunch of migrants', like David Cameron said last week. They're people. It's time that they're given the help that they so desperately need.
This week the Walthamstow community seems to have cracked itself apart. For once it wasn't about Mini Holland, the controversial scheme to make Walthamstow Village more bike-friendly. No, this latest schism concerns something on a far less local scale - the vote on the airstrikes on Syria. And the figure at the centre of it all is Stella Creasy.