I suspect that the main evil of the past several decades in England has been the erosion of truth, of honesty, as a value.
The process has been very rapid and very obvious in England; the change has been enormous; and it is one which shocks me deeply.
Public discourse in England, discourse within the state bureaucracy, within any large organization, is now routinely and pervasively and deliberately dishonest - in private as well as in public.
This is not a matter of Machiavellian officials being candid with each other behind the scenes and manipulating the masses; rather it is a matter of officials lying all the time, to each other as much as to the public, and lying to themselves about even this.
Modern English organizations are not even trying to be honest, they are not even pretending to be honest.
Yet a mere forty, even thirty, years ago the opposite was the case - most English organizations and communications were boringly, almost ridiculously, concerned with literal accuracy, with understatement, with not-exaggerating.
It was, indeed, a defining national trait.
The change has been led from the top, by the UK government, by public administration, by bosses and executives; the rot of dishonesty began in the head and spread downwards.
Let me be clear: I am not complaining about specific lies, but of making no attempt whatsoever to be truthful.
Because truth is a habit, or it is nothing.
Once the habit of truth has been lost, public truth is lost and cannot be found by individuals. Truth becomes a private affair.
And this is the state of affairs.