This is the summer before the storm. Make no mistake, with energy prices set to rise to unprecedented highs, we are approaching one of the biggest geopolitical earthquake in decades. The ensuing convulsions are likely to be of a far greater order of magnitude than those that followed the 2008 financial crash, which sparked protests culminating in the Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring.
The gathering crisis could prove even more catastrophic than the oil shock of the 1970s, which wrecked the administrations of three British prime ministers, presaged 40 years of American entanglement in the Middle East, and (due to the oil glut that followed) ultimately triggered the Soviet Union’s collapse.
Carnage has already arrived in the developing world, with power outages from Cuba to South Africa. Sri Lanka is just one of a cascade of low-income countries where leaders face being driven out of power in an ignominious blaze of petrol droughts and loan defaults.
But the West is not going to escape this Armageddon. In fact, in many ways, it looks set to be its epicentre – and Britain, its Ground Zero.