Britain is in the grip of an epidemic, apparently. An epidemic of hate. Barely a day passes without some policeman or journalist telling us about the wave of criminal bigotry that is sweeping through the country. It’s been bad for years, they say, but has become worse since the EU referendum. Police forces tell us that hate crime has ‘soared’ in recent weeks; there’s been an ‘explosion of blatant hate’, according to some newspapers. Twenty-first-century Britain, it seems, is a pretty rancid, rage-fuelled place.