It is now common cause, to the degree that it has become a truism, that our politics is generally manifestly stupid. That is a blunt description, but one demanded by the illusion that it is anything otherwise. It is populated by many out-and-out idiots. Otherwise, by those too mediocre to distinguish insight or original thought from dogmatic cliché or slogan.

There is the odd exception, as with any generalisation — a handful perhaps, of genuine intellectuals. They are about as welcome as someone quarantined with a dread disease. Isolated, abused, alienated and on the margins, their effect is as resented as it is negligible.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now