WARNING: This post contains scenes of unctous and distressing sycophancy.
I was fortunate enough to be invited by the excellent Iain Dale to last night's Total Politics "Evening with Paddy Ashdown". It was held in a very swanky hotel off Millbank in London, and included a decent smattering of the LibDem peerage and that Living Legend and icon for political anoraks everywhere, Bob Worcester (for it was he).
Think about it. This man was a real spy. A spy. Dead letter boxes, safe houses and "cut-outs" (whatever they are) were his stock in trade.
He was a Royal Marine and was told he was on the IRA death list while serving in Northern Ireland (when incidentally he was faced with a gang of Catholic womanhood, all breasts heaving, effing and blinding at him because he parked his armoured car across the entrance to their church on a "****ing SUNDAY" (but I digress)).
He was in the Special Boat Squadron and swam ashore for clandestine operations connected to a breathing tube leading to a submarine, so that if the submarine had hit a patch of fresh water it would have dived and killed him instantly.
And at the age of sixteen - SIXTEEN! - Paddy "shacked up with an actress", who presumably taught him which buttons to press in the eternal Ugandan discussion game.
Oh, and then he led Britain's third party and ran a country.
Compare all that to our humdrum "got up, went to work, rained, had tea" existence and you've really got to say that this is a real man.
Oooooooooh, I've gone all weak at the knees.