excerpted from The Brown Envelope
by George Farebrother, Dialogue and Negotiation Affinity Group
My mother used to insist that I must wash my ears out every day, otherwise cauliflowers would grow out of them. After a rigorous university education I began to question this. Aged about 45, and really grown-up now, I began to doubt her warnings about little bits of cork swelling up inside you. These folk beliefs are oddly comforting and curiously difficult to dislodge.
It’s been like that with nuclear deterrence. I never exactly believed in it; but I didn’t question it either. Nuclear weapons were just there and the government must be right because, well, it’s the government. Realisation dawned soon after I understood about the corks.