“There’s aye someone worse off than yersel’,” as John Swinney might say, though in his case the only possible candidate would be Rishi Sunak. Apply that dourly Stoic Scots proverb collectively to a nation and it becomes evident that Britain, mired in an election that can have no satisfactory outcome and facing an uncertain and turbulent future, is still in a better situation than its nearest continental neighbour, France, similarly in the throes of an unexpected general election.

Surely that is a wildly counterintuitive perception, will be the knee-jerk response of all those schooled in the self-hating notion, predominant in the former Remain camp, that Britain is permanently the sick man of Europe; that our former EU partners are, in every way, wiser, culturally superior and more economically successful than the British, whose departure from that forum of civilisation and sophistication marked our terminal decline into insular barbarism.

France, in particular, is an icon of the supposed superiority of continental nations: its food, its wines, its climate, even its TVG train system, efficiently transporting passengers across the country, while Britain’s high-speed network is a desolate trail of abandoned farmhouses and despoiled natural habitats, more like an archaeological site than a 21st-century transport network. And so on.