The modern British public is a demanding political customer. That is not unreasonable. Given the levels of taxation and public spending, we ought to feel entitled to good government and indeed statesmanship. Neither is currently available, hence a widespread mood of discontent. But that has risks. Anger is rarely a wise counsellor, especially when it comes to institutions, many of which have come under attack.

Yet if we take a long view – the only sensible approach to institutions – most of them have served Britain well over the years. It is not clear that any other major country is better governed than us.

Of course, there have been mistakes, but there is no use pining for a Gospel of Perfection. There was one, now lost, which the early Fathers denounced as heretical. Whether that was fair, it would certainly have been an impractical document, at least in this world. Equally, government ministers, and not the institutions which they often abuse, have been responsible for most of the blameworthy errors.