What has happened to my country? I have been a student, activist, MP, minister and writer in its political life for five decades. Never has it been so broken, divided, confused, uncertain about its future. The Queen’s death marked the last moment when the United Kingdom was briefly itself.
Britain now feels like Weimar Germany or fourth Republic France. England has become Argentina without the footballers.
Inflation is heading to the skies. The pound now looks like the Italian lira in the 1970s. There are 14 million people living under the poverty level. The production of the electric mini has just been transferred to China. The pride of the Royal Navy, the new aircraft carrier Prince of Wales, has spent 75 per cent of the time since its launch, in dock for repairs.
There is no confidence in any sector of the political class. Scotland is gripped by nationalist secessionist politics. But its once proud education systems sinks lower and lower in the PISA rankings of the OECD under politicians who copy their English colleagues in proclaiming the virtues of national identity.
The small British ruled province of Northern Ireland is still in thrall to homophobic Protestant identity politicians who believe the world was created in 4004 BC and consider the European Union to be a Satanic creation.
When a nation decides to abandon reason and embrace decay it is a frightening sight.
The Britain that was known for its stability, tolerance, its cautious conservativism, for its commitment to international rule of law, its long enduring institutions, its liberal values, its transformation from an empire into a commonwealth without the agony of Algeria or other wars of decolonialisation now seems to belong to a different era.
The detonator for this extraordinary change was when 37 per cent of the British electorate voted in a populist plebiscite for a lie in 2016. For 20 years, politicians like Boris Johnson, and many on the left, sold the myth that if only Britain cut all links with Europe a splendid new future would open.
The following six years saw the disintegration of British politics. Leaders like Boris Johnson for the Tories, who promoted right-wing isolationist myths, and Jeremy Corbyn for Labour, who argued that only the full hearted embrace of ultra-left fantasies would transform Britain, became leaders of the main parties of government.
Liz Truss, who opposed Brexit in 2016, decided she had to swallow the lies of Brexit to become prime minister. Even as Britain lost trade, witnessed regular devaluations of the pound, watched the country become poorer as its GDP shrunk and saw its businesses, scientists, university teachers. students, and young artists being forced to cuts link with Europe, no politician was prepared to say Brexit was a mistake.
The new Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, the most cautious conservative leader the Labour Party has ever had, has insisted Brexit cannot be questioned. There can be no question of copying Norway or Switzerland and at least enjoying the benefits of the Single Market or allowing British citizens to live, work or retire on the continent.
There is a massive shortage of doctors, nurses, dentists, agricultural workers in Britain. There are so few dentists in some areas that old, poor people with rotten teeth have taken to using pliers to pull their teeth out.
But Tories and Labour alike refuse to let European medical workers come and contaminate Brexit Britain with their skills. Instead, at huge expense minister are importing thousands of immigrants from Nigeria, Pakistan and India to do work that until 2016 was done by Poles, Portuguese, and other European workers.
The CBI and British Chambers of Commerce refuse to criticise Brexit. The BBC tries to avoid any criticism of Brexit.
Britain has been living a lie for six years that isolation from Europe was in the national interest. When the entire leadership of a nation agrees to live a lie it produces prime ministers or finance ministers who make grotesque mistakes like the recent debacle over promising big tax cuts for the rich paid for by more and more debt.
The global investors which for 200 years have placed their money in London decided that a British economy based on such nonsense was one to be avoided like Argentina or Greece or Italy in the last century.
The crisis will endure. A new election will not make a big difference if Labour still believes that Brexit cannot ever be discussed let alone challenged.
The main global backer of Brexit was Vladimir Putin who hates the existence of the European Union and wants to see the EU disintegrate into rival, quarrelling nation states which he can play with one by one.
Boris Johnson was his useful idiot who weakened Britain. Six years after Brexit there are few politicians left in Britain prepared to defend it. But nor are they willing to say it must be changed, reformed.
The crisis of Britain is only just beginning. Until new political, business and media leadership emerges that says an isolated Britain will get weaker and weaker and Britain must accept it is part of Europe, the politics and economics of the UK will worsen.