At the start of the reign whose 60th anniversary we “celebrate”, Britain was one of the best-ordered societies in western Europe. Now, 60 years later, it is easily the most crime-ridden.

Unpleasant social disorder is everywhere; in many places, a virtual dusk-to-dawn curfew has been imposed on old people by the drunken disorder that appals and disgusts foreigners.

Our police, once a model to the world, increasingly resemble an alien occupying army, or fascist militia, festooned with all the apparatus of repression, who inspire fear mainly in the innocent, and who are bullying yet ineffectual.

The state of the country is parlous in more ways than one. Large areas, once industrial, resemble the Soviet Union with takeaway pizza. The only “private” enterprise consists of retail chains that recycle government subventions to the unemployed. The middle class in such areas is composed almost entirely of public employees and professionals who cater to the social problems created by mass unemployment.