“War, I fear, is coming.” That was the conclusion reached by historian Niall Ferguson at the end of a long analytical piece published on Bloomberg Opinion on 2 January, warning that President Biden, the EU and NATO would be powerless to prevent war in Ukraine. Other commentators are warning, with some credibility, that we are closer to nuclear war than at any time since 1962. The controversial Franco-American-Russian commentator, Vladimir Pozner, formerly a Soviet propagandist, has told an American university audience that the West created Vladimir Putin and has only itself to blame for the current crisis.

You do not have to be an uncritical receiver of Pozner’s opinions to recognise the truth of that claim. For a generation – the post-Thatcher/Reagan era – the West has been afflicted with inadequate, incompetent, often narcissistic, leaders and now the chickens are coming home to roost. Fukuyama’s inane mantra “the end of history” and its uncritical acceptance among Western elites speaks volumes about the wave of delusion that engulfed governments at the end of the Cold War.