In the 1964 film ‘The Fall of the Roman Empire’ at one stage the narrator says: “A great civilisation is not conquered from without until it has conquered itself from within”. Then, as the mighty Roman Empire starts to crumble around him, the Emperor Commodus tilts his head to the skies and says to his childhood friend, now turned foe, Livius: “Livius, if you listen very carefully, you can hear the gods laughing”.

I’m reminded of the old saying: “Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.”

Indeed, it made me think that, when we look around our country, maybe the gods have been having a high old time of it over the last six decades or so.

It would appear to me that the gods have particularly had it in for intellectuals, academics, the legal fraternity, pseudo-intellectuals, Mickey mouse graduates, the majority of politicians, large sections of the House of Lords, the civil service, the TUC, vast numbers of logically challenged celebrities, the BBC, the MSM in general, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.

And let us not forget some of their ivory tower institutions: the judiciary, the police, the NHS, schools, universities, the professions, the quangos, major charities (special mention for the National Trust), think tanks, lobby groups, the ‘jobs for the elite’ network and the Honours System.

Have you noticed that they all appear to be becoming increasingly batty? And how, with an intense, fervour that some might call fanatical, they all now appear to be worshipping an assortment of new and strange ‘gods’ within the inane, totalitarian, ‘political theocracy’ that is Political Correctness.

GK. Chesterton is reputed to have said:

“When a man stops believing in God, he doesn’t worship nothing, he worships anything”

Can that explain the emergence of the ‘imposter gods’ such as diversity, fairness, inclusivity, equality, anti-discrimination, entitlement, dependency, victimhood, homosexuality, anti-racism, gender confusion and transgenderism; and is it their unwelcome arrival that has angered the old gods?

Or, on the other hand, it could be that the visiting of these lunacies upon us is simply the well-deserved retribution for the unbelievably arrogant, childish, utopian stupidities of the last sixty years. And God knows, if you’ll pardon the expression, there have been plenty of those.

Would it not have been unthinkable for the wartime and baby-boomer generations to believe that Great Britain, which saved Europe from Nazi domination, would then see its own freedom and democracy betrayed by successive political elites, through the secretive surrendering of their power and independence to the European Union?

Unthinkable also, that our nation’s fine history would be subjected to malicious revisionist attacks and that the distilled wisdom of previous generations would be undermined and scorned. Difficult ethical decisions of the past would be second-guessed by ill-informed, and often vindictive, lesser minds from the warm comfort of undemanding theoretical safety.

Confidence would gradually be lost in a political and judicial system that had been adopted by so many other countries. The verdicts and sentences of the courts would seem to become increasingly bizarre and at variance with what the public viewed as justice. The characteristics of faith, honour and fairness that had attracted so many from foreign countries to come and live here would be mocked, derided and undefended.

Unthinkable that poppies, the symbol of remembrance of the huge sacrifices of others, would be sickeningly demeaned, by some unworthy and ungrateful beneficiaries of those sacrifices, as ‘a glorification of war’. They would also be burned on the streets by Islamists with apparent impunity.

And the police, once so trusted, would morph into some sort of bizarre and unreliable social service; far more concerned with mediating over assorted made up ‘phobias’, fashionable fads, ‘causes’ and tending to the rights of the criminals, than the protection, welfare, lasting suffering, and right to retribution of the victims.

“Come forward and you will be believed” would be the rallying cry of the Prosecution Service to all and sundry. Unsupported allegations, no matter from how long ago, would seem to become credible proof. The police and no win, no fee solicitors might choose to trawl among unscrupulous chancers and opportunists for witnesses and claimants.

Unthinkable that police would paint their cars to show their ‘right-on’ support for ‘rainbow’ rights. Councils would fly similar flags in virtue-signalling solidarity. Police would paint their fingernails to demonstrate their anti-slavery credentials.

‘Professional racism activists’, perhaps secretly concerned at its natural diminution over the years, would have to constantly invent and imagine a succession of new forms of perceived prejudice and discrimination to fuel and perpetuate their political obsession. No innocent humour, gentle TV programmes from long ago, or children’s toy would be safe from their malignant scrutiny.

Children would be sexualised and propagandised, at even younger ages, and could be placed on a ‘racist language’ register for asking an innocent question.

The term marriage and associated gender-related terms would be redefined to accommodate an imaginary ‘alternative reality’, and to accommodate a ‘rich spectrum of broad gender self-identity’.

A street Preacher would be locked up for suspected ‘hate crime’ after quoting the Bible to a gay teenager.

A man would be arrested for quoting passages from Winston Churchill’s 1899 book ‘The River War’. But flag-carrying Islamic terrorism sympathisers would suffer no such inconvenience.

Bakers would be no longer be free to refuse work they were offended by. Bed & Breakfast owners would no longer be free to refuse customers whose lifestyle offended them. But God help them if they inadvertently offended any of the special, chosen, privileged groups.

Truly, the list of idiocies, injustices, and stupidities is endless. I have not talked about multicultural madness, mass immigration, open borders, Hope not Hate, thought crimes and the speech police. But I hope my point is made nonetheless.

So I ask, have a quiet listen to the heavens. I suspect you’ll hear contented, celestial chuckling…