I AM writing this in Gatwick Airport while waiting for a flight to wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen.

It’s only a short break, so by the time you get to read this, I will probably be back home.

Of course, me getting there and back in one piece all depends on a coupe of people in the cockpit, whom I’ve never met, knowing their stuff.

Fortunately, I have faith in them being qualified, experienced and clever enough to get us up and down safely, and I expect that is also true of everybody else on the flight, even the nervous ones.

They wouldn’t be on it otherwise.

So it begs the question why the same people trusting their lives to flying ‘experts’ are not necessarily as trusting with all the other experts and professionals they encounter in modern life.

I dare say, for instance, that a proportion of my fellow fliers are climate change deniers, in keeping with the modern trend for people thinking they know more than those who are paid to know, and have been studying it for years.

It hasn’t always been like this, and I think many of us would agree that it is a result of – or at least partly because of – the rise of social media.

And with the decline of faith in experts comes a directly proportional rise in the number of people who think they know better.

I’m not talking about opinion, which everybody is entitled to. It’s a question of knowledge.

Whereas, 20 years ago, one needed to have gathered actual knowledge about a subject before venturing to share one’s wisdom with others, now you can do it every five minutes from the convenience and safety of your armchair.

I was reminded of this, just recently, with the latest outbreak of people taking to social media to declare that Ringo Starr isn’t as good a drummer as we might think.

This is a view that, 20 years ago, barely existed.

Now, though, buoyed by the widely shared words of John Lennon, who is quoted as joking that ‘Ringo isn’t even the best drummer in The Beatles’ (ha, ha), there is no shortage of supposed ‘experts’ who will tell you Ringo is rubbish.

Problems with this argument start with the fact that John Lennon didn’t actually say anything of the sort about Ringo. Somebody made it up.

Then there’s the problem of how the most popular and influential band of the 20th century managed to scale such heights with a duff drummer.

I am not an expert myself, but I can and do play the drums, so I understand why most drummers, including many who are far better than me, will tell you (and could explain why) the suggestion that Ringo doesn’t cut it is, frankly, twaddle.

My son, who is studying for a degree in professional musicianship, specialising in drums, agrees, and tells me that his lecturer recently used a single word to describe Ringo’s drumming. Not ‘rubbish’, but ‘genius’.

I could have chosen other examples of how ‘Ringo is rubbish’-type stories abound these days, and why something we might have read on Facebook or heard down the pub has become a substitute for considered, sober, unbiased, properly informed knowledge.

So in a week when we have to decide whom we believe – the ‘experts’ or politicians – perhaps we first need to check how much we actually know, and ask ourselves who has the greater incentive for deceiving us.

So don’t accept politicians’ lies.

What sounds like music to your ears is more likely to be the aimless banging of drums.