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Appearing in the dock, Mr Raphael, who had been described at an earlier hearing as a "spiritual man", explained that what he had actually said was: "If there was a bomb on the tram to Bury and I knew, I would let you know. 

"And if anyone didn't heed that warning, they would face the consequences."

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When I was a kiddie still and being taken out to places, such as museums and othe rmajor places of interest, when we reached the front of the queue/entrance my mother would often quip light heartedly to the security man "he's the one with the bomb", pointing to me whilst doing a quick search of her handbag.

This was the era of IRA bombs and the like and so, I assume, such secutiy measures wre a new feature in the British way of life.

Today, alas, I think we all know that such flippant humour is verboten and poor mater would be immediately dragged off by a bunch of military attired goons - along with myself since sadly, and ironically, children have on many occasions been bombers (even if unkowingly).

That said it seems now that we are getting scared of anyone merely uttering undesirable words in a public setting. 'Bomb' being an obvious one.

Spiritual or not the bloke sounds like nothing more than your usual harmless nutter that has been around since year dot and which we all, from time to time, have the misfortune to end up sitting next to on the bus/train. But most of us manage to take such people in our stride and even quietly smirk/laugh them off.

How did we ever get here? where everyone is almost scared of their own shadow. Sad.

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