It is natural, with our increasingly polarised and hostile politics, to try starting again from the middle ground on the lines of Phil Collins’ book entitled Start Again. But in the main we are dealing with identities, and so policies are not the most important point. Instead, any would-be ‘moderates’, ‘centrists’, or similar label, need to pinch the extremists’ reputation for straight talking to ordinary people. Now, people must be told the truth: If they want (a) a high standard of living, and (b) peace – including no risk of nuclear civilwars, they will have to accept a global structure for politics and economy, with national and cultural identities in a subordinate position. If they are fortunate (and wise) much might still be done at the national level on the basis of what the European Union used to call ‘subsidiarity’, otherwise a global gang of criminal scammers would seem more likely. (Some might suggest we have that already.) Tailoring specific policies on matters like migration and civil rights to that recognition need not be so much ‘centrist’, ‘liberal’, or whatever, as Realpolitik for a world where nation states are becoming an anachronism.

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