IT was touching to hear a selection of politicians once again proclaim we’re all in the fight against terrorism together.

What with so many politicians having been killed by the murderous vermin in Belgium, it was selfless of the surviving ones to take a few moments from what must be a very worrying period and offer us words of comfort.

It is not the first time that they have performed such an altruistic act in the face of bloodthirsty oppression.

Who can forget the haunting stories of politicians bleeding to death after being shot in a Paris concert hall, or in a magazine office in the same city at the beginning of last year?

Who can forget hearing the death toll of politicians climb on July 7, 2005 as the full scale of the attacks on public transport in London became apparent?

Who can forget watching the live footage of politicians leaping from the burning World Trade Centre towers on September 11, 2001 because their lives had finally come to a choice between an instant death and an agonising one?

Well, I have a confession to make. I must have forgotten because I have absolutely no memory of any politicians suffering in any way, shape or form in any of those attacks. Indeed, I seem to recall only that they emerged afterwards, flanked by bodyguards, from their secure locations, made speeches and then got into bomb-proof and bullet-proofed cars for a snug journey to the next appointment.

Perhaps my memory is faulty, and we are indeed all in this together.

Mind you, if my memory isn’t faulty, and not a single politician has been harmed, that at least explains why the official response to each new outrage seems to consist of little more than platitudes and a singular lack of dynamic action.

I suppose we’d better lay in some tealights and print out the lyrics of Imagine, ready for next time.

Still, it was nice of leaders from Europe and farther afield to proclaim so vehemently that the terrorists will never win.

Cheers, guys – we’ll all remember that the next time we’re delayed for three hours by security checks at some gathering or other, or threatened with arrest for taking a photo of a loved one outside a station.

Better class of tramp

I’VE always known Swindon was far more refined and upmarket than critics give us credit for, but the other day I had proof.
I was walking along Albert Street at the back of the Swindon Advertiser building when I saw three tramps.
They were proper tramps, mind you – old school. Scar tissue on the eyebrows, a dozen layers of clothing, cans of battery acid cider in hand and completely blackout drunk at an hour of the morning when most people are heading into the workplace.
Suddenly one of the tramps took a hefty swig from his cider and launched himself at a heavy loading bay door, pounding on it with his free hand and shouting incoherently.
It was at that point that one of the other two tramps said: “Nigel! Stop that at once!”
Let no smart-alec comedian, social commentator or national newspaper editorialiser ever again suggest we are lacking in culture.
What do you call it when even the catastrophically drunk tramps in your town have among them a man called Nigel?
Class. That’s what you call it.
Pure class.