Britain cannot possibly afford its welfare state for much longer. Most people do not realise that state handouts (£207 billion a year) mop up every penny we pay in income tax (£155 billion a year). Everything else, the NHS, schools, transport, police, defence, interest on the debt (nearly £50 billion a year, by the way) must be paid for by other taxes, including the vast sums raked in by so-called ‘National Insurance’, or by more borrowing. As we are more or less bankrupt as a country, such generosity is not noble but plain idiotic. Yet we will not stop doing it. Change is politically impossible.