POLITICIANS are falling ever lower and lower in public esteem.

The continuing wrangling over Brexit, the floundering Tory leadership race and the latest scandal surrounding Boris Johnson are all helping to make the case that the whole politics business is venal and self-serving.

The actual memberships of all the main political parties have been in decline for years.

Partly, this is due to people simply having more ways to spend their leisure time.

At one time, political organisations - think the Conservative Association in a market town or the Labour Club in a mining valley - were part of the very fabric of social life.

But there are now so many ways of spending time that simply were not available to our grandparents’ generations - multi-channel TV, the internet and wildly sophisticated computer games, to name but three.

One of the consequences is that politics has become less an area in which normal people feel comfortable, and more an arena dominated by aggressive personalities, often single-issue fanatics.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that many people of this type seem to think that people who don’t agree with them in every detail have forfeited the right to exist.

These are the last people who should be granted any amount of power over their fellow human beings.

But in an age where reputations can be trashed by howling online mobs, it’s hardly surprising that people are opting to keep their heads down.