For friends of America these are not easy  times. The disgraceful denouement of the Trump presidency, that began with his man-child refusal to accept defeat in November and deteriorated via buffoonish incitement to riot at the Capitol building on 6 January, has made for compelling but deeply disturbing viewing. At times in the last ten days it has seemed as though the world’s leading democracy is undergoing some kind of collective nervous breakdown.

But let’s get this into perspective. Next week, barring a plot twist in the script such as an alien invasion, the next president of the United States will be inaugurated. This time next week, Donald Trump will be an ex-President of the United States. And then he will discover, like a fallen character in Tom Wolfe’s