At the time of writing, the US Presidential election is in its final phase. You think that a general election is a drawn out affair – it is nothing compared to the US, where the early phases occurred some two years ago. However this particular election has kept the interest of many throughout the world despite the length of time, partly because it has been at times a gruesome affair, different from any previous contest, and also because, whatever the outcome, it affects the whole world.

Read more: Bulletin November 2016 How does the US Election affect us?

The June 23rd Referendum was about a variety of things beyond the question on the paper, i.e. to leave or remain in the EU. One of the effective campaign slogans of those who wished us to leave was to ‘take back control’, a phrase which amongst other things clearly implied ‘recovering’ the ability of UK judges to pronounce upon UK law, and for the rights of a sovereign Parliament to make our laws in the first place.

Read more: Burt on the Benches Nov 2016 Taking Back Control

As Party Conference season ends, and Parliament returns, the reality of where modern politics now finds itself will be clear over the next few months.

We have seen the most turbulent domestic political period since 1945, with the vote to leave the EU, the fall and rise of a Prime Minister, and the seeming self destruction of the major Opposition Party in the UK. None of this is going to matter very much by the time of the next general election. What will matter is how Parliament and Government shapes up to the enormous tasks currently facing them.

Read more: BURT ON THE BENCHES Oct 2016 Now Reality Sets In

As we recover from the triumphs of the Olympics and Paralympics, and as a new football season announces itself via a Premier League transfer shopping spree of over a £1 billion for the first time ever, it’s time to recognise and support club based sport at a different level.

I have been a keen soccer supporter since childhood, with an allegiance to my home town team of Bury, which has spent all its existence in my lifetime in the lower leagues of professional football. I had little contact with non-league football until I came to Bedfordshire, beyond, I believe being the only then serving MP with an actual playing registration for a non-league club, my school old boys.

Read more: Bulletin article October 2016 Non-League Day – the joy of sport beyond the gilded elites

Recently I was the guest of those involved with the Ivel Sprinter at their anniversary tea at Biggleswade Conservative Club to celebrate twenty five years of their excellent bus. The Sprinter is the voluntary service operated by the East Beds Community Bus Ltd., and its story is a great example of what can be done to readjust a public service when conditions change.

Read more: BedsLife October 2016 Three Cheers for the Ivel Sprinter