Britain cannot possibly afford its welfare state for much longer. Most people do not realise that state handouts (£207 billion a year) mop up every penny we pay in income tax (£155 billion a year).

Everything else, the NHS, schools, transport, police, defence, interest on the debt (nearly £50 billion a year, by the way) must be paid for by other taxes, including the vast sums raked in by so-called ‘National Insurance’, or by more borrowing.

As we are more or less bankrupt as a country, such generosity is not noble but plain idiotic. Yet we will not stop doing it. Change is politically impossible…

The working poor, who live next door to people whom they know to be cheating, are the most outraged by these abuses, and the most powerless to change them.

The new political elite, who hope to buy votes and power through handing out other people’s money, will not stop doing so until that money runs out.