Just prior to the war in Iraq I bumped into a real life conspiracy theorist who was suffering from a cold and kept referring to the current Prime Minister as ‘old Toady’. By an extraordinary coincidence I found myself sitting next to him on a train recently, where he both entertained and frightened me with his latest theories. Like the Mel Gibson character in the Conspiracy Theory film, he had an opinion on everything. The recent Riyadh bombings were the result of a Jo Moore type distraction exercise to take the sting out of Clare Short’s resignation for example, and the fireman’s strike was actually orchestrated by George Galloway. Although his ramblings showed no particular political agenda, the really frightening thing was the potential for plausibility. Dressed up with a few choice quotes and a good political spin, some of his theories could easily find themselves the subject of in-depth feature articles in your Sunday broadsheets. They could quickly become ‘sensational findings’ that could trip national or even international rage. Before long they would be championed by politicians in need of a cause to help propel their careers or even save them. The resultant chaos and swell of public opinion could reverberate around the world causing untold misery through war, terrorism and racial or religious hatred. Of course that’s all just fiction and couldn’t happen in the real world. Thank goodness for that!