Writer and commentator Harry Leslie Smith is scared

I was born in 1923, so I know all too well that if you live long enough history will repeat itself.

What I never expected to see were the economic and social conditions that gave rise to Hitler and Nazism return not only to continental Europe but also to America and Great Britain.

The world has suddenly become a very dangerous place because the US elected a new president who spent the last 18 months telling his fellow citizens a wall must be built across their southern border to stop droves of Mexican rapists and drug dealers from swarming into their nation.

Now words like that don’t remind me of Lincoln, Kennedy or even Nixon – but of Adolf Hitler.

When politicians of division like Nigel Farage in the EU referendum produce a poster campaign portraying refugees in Europe because of war in their own country as an uncivilised mob out to steal our benefits I think of Hitler, not Churchill.

President-elect Donald Trump

But as globalisation and austerity has stolen the middle class dream, some politicians would rather incite hate than impose fair taxation on the wealthiest 1%.

It is why I am more than concerned by the political rhetoric that spawned Brexit and made Donald Trump a superpower’s president – I am scared.

Hitler, like Lenin and all authoritarian leaders, came to power because there was not only great economic inequality but also because there was a moral vacuum that allowed evil to supplant reason.

Now I am not saying Trump is Hitler or Farage is a fascist. What I am saying is our politics, like healthy cells in our body, have a greater potential to turn into a lethal cancer if exposed to a toxin. And that should make us all more vigilant on the politicians we choose to represent us.