Sometimes Britain actually matters on the world’s stage. We mattered in 2003 when we hitched our wagon to America, launching a criminal war against Iraq which undermined the global order so much we still live with the consequences today.

Would Putin have felt empowered to butcher Ukraine, without our shameful, mendacious invasion? That’s for historians to decide, if the world lasts long enough for those future historians to be born, evidently.

We mattered in 2016 when we hurled ourselves, suicidally, out of Europe, once more upsetting the global order, busting the bridge between Washington and Brussels.

Britain matters to the world when we self-harm, because in a global world damage ripples.

But we really don’t matter today. Our little election is rightly important to us - especially the millions thrust into poverty through decisions taken by politicians - but it is insignificant to the planet.

Donald TrumpDonald Trump (Image: free)

Starmer, Sunak - they’re both the same in the eyes of the rest of the world: just another leader of another British government, presiding over the runaway decline of a small archipelago that was once great, and could still be something worthwhile if politicians cared about the people.

As we trudge sadly to the polls today, casting our votes for parties we don’t believe much in, two other elections are simmering which really do matter: one, on-going in France; the other much more distant, but even more deadly, in America.

In France, there’s every chance Marine Le Pen’s National Rally emerges victorious. A Popular Front has been established by leftwing parties in an attempt to hold the far-right at bay. But it’s undermined by Emmanuel Macron’s centrists.

The Popular Front - a recreation of the political block during the interwar years which fought fascism at the ballot box - has instructed its candidates to stand aside if they’re in third place and there’s a second placed centrist who can beat National Rally.

However, some Macron candidates - including Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and former prime minister Edouard Philippe - refuse to reciprocate in kind. Their hatred of the left out-stripping their fear of the far-right. They lead France to the gallows.

Even as National Rally tries to pose as somehow softer and gentler than its parent party - the National Front, founded by Marine Le Pen’s antisemitic Holocaust-denying father - we get some glimpses of what they really are, with promises to bar all dual nationals from a series of state jobs. It’s a policy of ‘filtering’ the French by race.

France stands at this precipice because of Macron’s almost extremist centrism. If that sounds paradoxical, we must understand what Macron’s centrism has done: it’s broken the social contract between state and citizen; ruined the lives, dashed the hopes and aspirations, of millions, thrusting them into the arms of extremists as they believe there’s nowhere else to go.

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In the 21st century - in an era of brutal Victorian inequality - centrism has become lethal. Centrism accepts the status quo, and the status quo has failed in nations all across the west.

And so Macron now talks of a ‘civil war’. If one should come, he’ll be listed as ‘a primary cause’.

America also talks of civil war. It too stands at a precipice, and again it is centrism that’s brought the country to this place. The status quo gave little hope to Americans, so many have flown to the extremes, into Donald Trump’s arms.

If the future of France offers despair, the future of America offers terror. Trump has been given immunity from prosecution, by his hand-picked Supreme Court justices, for the crimes he committed whilst in office - specifically his role in the Capitol coup - and any crimes he may commit should he become president again.

The Supreme Court’s MAGA judges didn’t just move their pieces to check-mate, they took the board and threw it out the window. The game called Democracy, should Donald Trump win, is over. They’ve effectively passed a Nazi-era style Enabling Act.

Dissenting Supreme Court judge, Sonia Sotomayor, says if the president “orders the Navy’s Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival” then he’s “immune. Organises a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune”.

And the opponent to this is Joe Biden? What hope for America?

On Sunday, the far-right could be running France. Come November, a man who told us he’ll be a dictator on “day one” - and now has the powers of a dictator - could be running American, again, and this time he’s ready to purge federal government, installing only loyalists.

Le Pen has tried to wash herself clean of Moscow’s influence. Trump idolises Putin. So make no mistake, with the far-right in power, Ukraine will be on the chopping block, forced to capitulate. Once that happens, democracy is poleaxed; Europe imperilled.

Soon we may see Marine Le Pen in the Élysée Palace, Trump in the White House, Putin emboldened in the Kremlin, and Xi Jinping China’s master of the globe.

The free world has teetered for years now, these last few weeks democracy feels like an old man staggering towards death. What happens in Britain today deeply matters to us, but what happens in France and America has consequences for the world.

Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi SunakSir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak (Image: free)

And we’re part of that world. Brexiteers might have thought we could live on our septic isle in splendid isolation, but we can’t. The world crashes around our ears whether we like it or not.

What role would Britain have in a world where democracy is a facade in America, or dictatorship perhaps a reality, and the far-right ruling in Europe?

Perhaps, we could pray that our little smattering of islands can hunker down and stay safe, but it can’t. What’s happening in the world is coming for us too. Britain might never vote against democracy or for the far-right - though who knows, we might - but if our closest allies turn extremist we’ll not escape unscathed.

So vote, let’s change our country as we wish. But remember, we’ve no power over what happens in France and America in the coming days and months, and events there will decide the history of this planet, not the X you or I mark on a ballot paper today.