POWER has peacefully transferred into Joe Biden’s hands in a fabulous American ceremony, with a dollop of overblown showbiz in the form of Lady Gaga and a glimpse of the real dream in the slender shape of poet Amanda Gorman who said she was “descended from slaves and raised by a single mother”.

In the background was a line of former presidents and a tradition dating back to the first president, George Washington. Donald Trump demeaned himself by failing to attend and he looks now just like a blip in history.

Yet Trumpism remains. A record 70m voted for him. The distance that so many people see between their day-to-day lives and the gilded establishment is still there – as it is in this country.

Joe Biden, a real establishment figure, spoke beautifully of ending the uncivil war and of restoring the soul of America. He spoke of “opening our souls instead of hardening our hearts”.

With America’s first female vice-president at his side, he represents such a new broom that he could become weighed down by people’s hopes.

So we wish him luck in healing America’s bitter internal divisions, and we welcome his America back onto the international stage, as he promised his country would again be a “leading force for good in the world”, joining the fight against climate change and pressing the cause of freedom.