I have been writing this column for more than 13 years, but this one has been the hardest.

Try writing something that is supposed to provide some light relief when it’s hard to raise a smile, let alone a laugh.

The world seems to have gone into a kind of meltdown, and while many of us are also still trapped in lockdown, if you are anything like me, you are feeling just plain down.

You see, when I started writing, all those years ago, it was mainly going to be about living through a mid-life crisis – and that’s usually how it has turned out.

And it was quite easy. After all, every man who lives long enough goes through a little crisis, and most of the time it’s pretty comical.

Many take up a musical instrument to prove they should have been a rock star, some build train sets, and others think you can reverse the ageing process by buying a Porsche.

But the bottom line is this: most men will get through it OK if you give him a shed and some tools to play with.

I will even go so far as to say it usually turns out to be much less a mid-life crisis than a mid-life joy.

We end up discovering our true selves and enjoying at least some measure of inner peace as we come to the wise, profound but simple conclusion: ‘Who cares?’

Best of all is that almost all of us end up seeing the funny side.

Just lately, however, you don’t need to be a brain surgeon to understand that virtually all the world’s problems are down to middle-aged men, all of them apparently going through the worst kind of mental crisis.

Invariably these so-called leaders have white skin and are hugely privileged, never having been poor in their lives, yet at some stage they became consumed with an illogical, irrational and apparently even pathological anger.

Even though they are the people with the least to complain about, they turn out to be the bitterest and the most destructive. And let’s be clear that they are not fired up by worthy causes.

They don’t rile against true injustice meted out to people who suffer for being a different race or nationality to them, or a different gender, or have a different sexuality, or because they chose a different religion.

Their rage is always selfish. So when it drives them to seek power, they don’t use it to right the world’s wrongs, but rather to focus on wherever they think the world has wronged them and their own kind, however irrational and paranoid their reasoning.

Although I can never truly put myself in the place of people who suffer at the hands of these men, I empathise as much as I can, and I hope they can see that some of us have to carry it as a burden of shame.

When the world is led astray and loses its humanity because of privileged white men who have reached middle-age, imagine how it feels if, like me, you see someone fitting that description, every time you look in the mirror.

I want to finish on a lighter note, but I am only half joking when I say if you are a man and you feel a mid-life crisis coming on, the best thing you can do for the world is not to seek power, but do what any proper man would do: think yourself lucky and get yourself a shed, before you do irreparable harm.