Whenever I think about politics, there is a phrase which constantly recurs. It is from Juno and the Paycock: ‘The whole worl’s in a terrible state o’chassis [chaos]’. That said, Adam Smith reassured us that there is a great deal of ruin in a nation. Let us hope that he is right.

Moreover, and by comparison with other major nations, the UK is not in such bad shape. One’s American friends are appalled at the thought of a Biden vs Trump re-match, yet it seems all too likely. Churchill declared that democracy was the worst possible system of government. apart from all the others. Confronted by today’s multiple degringolades, would he still be as certain?