It is that, in the days when the old governing class ran this country, things did seem to work better. They used to run an empire on the same number of people that now run a few NHS trusts. But they weren’t just more efficient: they were also more personally reliable. You will, I know, forgive me for being old-fashioned, but those who ran Britain until a couple of generations ago went into public life for a reason now incomprehensible to most of their successors: they simply felt that it was their duty to do so, so that they could serve the country.
(Seems to me a fair number of them were those dreaded hereditary peers. But never mind.)