Do you suspect you soon may be going to lose your marbles? And are you over 65? Or do you suspect your elderly parents may be going to lose theirs? Is this loss of faculties likely to be a serious one? Then do not inquire in New Labour's New Britain for whom the bell of despair tolls. It tolls for thee.The care of the elderly mentally ill is in meltdown in much of the country and can only get far worse. It is a national disaster, made worse by the old and infirm who lack the energy and means to defend themselves. It is callous and shameful.I was a community psychiatric nurse until I retired earlier this year with exhausted relief. Every day I came across tragedies which make the admirable Dr Theodore Dalrymple sound like an optimist.