FEW can have been left unamazed at the events in Washington last week.

The US Capitol – America’s equivalent to Parliament – was invaded by a mob, who ransacked the building, only pausing to take selfies for social media.

The last time this happened in Washington DC was on the 24th August 1814. Then it was the British who burned down the Capitol, and we went on to do the same to the White House. We get along a lot better now.

What is astonishing is that this latest attack was not ordered by a belligerent state, or terrorist group - it was incited by the current president of the United States.

I’ve always had a problem with Donal Trump, finding him tedious at best. But up until last week, I always imagined his post-election temper tantrums merely that of a childish boor who had lost his toys.

I don’t suppose anyone would ever have thought he would have incited insurrection, resulting in five people losing their lives.

Irrespective of my views, he did secure 74,216,722 votes at the election in November. 47 per cent of Americans who voted backed Donald Trump.

An interesting twist on all this is that he has been banned from Twitter and Facebook. This raises huge regulatory and freedom of expression issues. Should it be up to the content team at Twitter to decide if the US people can hear from their president or not?

Core, of course, to democracy is losers consent. A graceful handing over of power reinforces the underlying principles of all our constitutions.

But why does any of this matter to us here in the UK?

The world is a changing place. For as long as any of us can remember, we have had a world order where the west dominates. Many of us can remember the Cold War, and a few were alive during the Second World War.

But the world is changing as fast now as it ever has. The dominance of China will only increase, meanwhile Russia has interfered in elections across the west using social media to subtly change outcomes.

These huge divisions in our society, be they Trump vs Biden, Brexit Remain vs Leave in 2019, or even Scotland’s efforts towards independence, create divisions that can be exploited.

Whilst we argue about liberties seized due to coronavirus, the Chinese are placing thousands in “education” camps and sterilising Uighur women. Donald Trump’s boorish antics are doing a lot to help those who do not respect our way of life.