Jonathan Sumption is notorious for being one of Britain’s cleverest persons. The retired judge doubles as a historian and if there are thoughts to be thunk then Sumption is your man.

With that in mind, the BBC has invited him to deliver this year’s Reith lectures. On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning listeners were offered a taster. If the taster is any guide to the starter and main course then, in this case, I suggest sending it back to the kitchen, with instructions for the chef to rethink.

The central premise of his argument was that there is a dangerous shortage of political engagement in Britain, highlighting a decline in politics.