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.

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