If you are of a certain age, you will remember a US President called Jimmy Carter. In July 1979, Jimmy Carter gave an address to the nation, which was dubbed “the malaise speech”. Carter spoke of a crisis of confidence, a loss of faith by the people in their institutions. This was an America still reeling from defeat in Vietnam, Watergate and the Energy Crisis. The old certainty that the United States of America was a great country had been eroded.

I bring this up because I think Britain is going through a similar process. I think there is a malaise that has affected most aspects of our national life. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great country, and I love it especially as a child of immigrants from the Caribbean. However, something has happened to this country that has eroded our belief in the institutions that we once had faith in. This is not the same country as the one that elected New Labour in 1997. Then there was this huge wave of optimism and belief in the future.

Today, we have lost faith in our politicians, the Police, the BBC, the NHS and the sense that the future will be better than the present.

In London, the Metropolitan Police has taken a reputational battering. Whether it is constant allegations of racism, corruption and misogyny and incompetence. A lot of people will not report a crime as they believe that no serious attempt will be made to investigate or even solve it. There is the added disgrace that a serving police officer raped and murdered Sarah Everard and the attempt to remove officers who should have been kicked out ages ago. We recently that one of the suspects in the Stephen Lawrence murder escaped justice. The Police were told his name and members of his family named him as one of the murderers. He died in 2021.

We have a government that looks almost set to lose the general election next year. The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who was never elected by the voters is doing his best to minimise the catastrophe that is coming his way. All he can do is offer constant schemes to “stop the boats” of migrants crossing the English Channel. The plan to ship migrants to Rwanda has not worked nor will it. The opposition Labour Party is not exactly creating any excitement. No one would call Keir Starmer charismatic, and his front bench are not exactly household names. It is still not clear what Starmer actually believes. He changes his mind depending on which way the wind blows.

The jewel in the crown is our National Health Service, we should be immensely proud of a system that provides medical care free at the point of use. However, it is struggling as the world has changed so much since its creation in 1948. The population is aging, and the NHS has been starved of funds. Doctors and nurses are leaving, in part due to burn out from the Covid 19 pandemic. Some people cannot get appointments with their local doctors and there are not enough dentists available.

Brexit did not help. Medical personnel from the EU left Britain once the vote to leave took place in 2016. Some detected hostility with a strong whiff of xenophobia. Why stay here when you are no longer wanted? The NHS is a cake that too many people want a slice of. The demand outstrips the supply.

Our water companies have been found to have been pumping sewage in the rivers. Thames Water, the largest water company in the country is on the brink of financial collapse. The chief executive resigned, basically abandoning a sinking ship. The bodies that should have been regulating them, OfWat and the Environment Agency have both been asleep at the wheel.

The only institution that we seem to still have faith in is the monarchy. There was a huge affection for the late Queen Elizabeth. She was crowned in 1953 and reigned as monarch until 2022. There does not seem to be a significant Republican movement to replace the monarchy. In turbulent times such as these, we still want some certainty and tradition.