THERE’S been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth about the sovereignty – or otherwise – of the British parliament in the past few weeks. What a shame, then, that there wasn’t much yesterday when the European Union voted in favour of an arms embargo against Saudi Arabia.

That EU vote, unfortunately, doesn’t force David Cameron and his bomb-flogging Tories to rethink their position on shipping weapons to a country attacking civilian targets, in breach of international law. And, sure enough, the Foreign Office was quick to dismiss the overwhelming views of the elected members of a multi-national parliament.

The Tories know best, of course.

It was particularly galling to watch Cameron speaking at BAE systems yesterday, at pretty much the same time as the vote was happening, boasting of the “brilliant things” we are shipping out to the Gulf.

We certainly ship a lot of them.In 2015 alone, we supplied export licenses for up to £3bn worth of arms to Saudi Arabia.We’re a little unclear as to what Mr Cameron thinks are being done with these weapons. Does he think they’re just sitting in a complex somewhere, a useful deterrent against the kingdom’s enemies?

Of course he doesn’t. He knows exactly what our British-made bombs are doing. They are being fired at civilian targets – at hospitals, at refugee camps, at buses, at weddings, schools and factories.

A UN report last month said as much. It concluded that 119 sorties over the impoverished country of Yemen had violated international law. Does Mr Cameron think that these bombs are not ours? That the Saudis are only using British-built weapons on “legitimate” targets?

Well, of course he doesn’t believe that – because not only are we supplying the Saudis, we’re training them, and working with them to help them hit their targets. British advisers are in the control rooms when the Saudis launch their raids.

More than 5,800 people have been killed since the bombs starting falling last March. It’s long past time we cut off their supply.

Tories are happy to fuel the bombings in Yemen by approving arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Murphy bearing the brunt of the blame for Labour’s rout

ONE of the difficulties former Labour MPs faced in the run-up to the last election is that, in the mind of a fed-up electorate, they all sort of merged into one.

A stereotypical character took form – the career politician who didn’t have a clue why the SNP were winning, and had never had to work for a vote in his life.

They couldn’t have all been like that, of course. So it was interesting reading the reasonable thoughts of Labour MSPs, many of whom may face the same fate this year, on why the party lost so emphatically in the Westminster elections. It’s startling how nearly all of them blame the person in charge.

“We’d lost our leader in a really embarrassing way,” one said. “We were sinking like a stone in the polls. And what did we do? We turned to Jim Murphy...”

Poor old Jim. The wrong man, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. But at least some in Labour seem to be getting it, at last.

Labour MSP: 'We were slipping, and what we did we do? We turned to Jim Murphy...'