Forgive me if you have read this excellent story (perhaps you could go and make a cup of tea or coffee or something if you have) while I give a quick résumé for those who haven’t.

Once upon a time there lived a vain Emperor whose only worry in life was to dress in elegant and beautiful clothes – and he loved nothing more than to show them off to his people.

As word spread throughout the land about the Emperor’s obsession with his clothes, it came to the attention of two wicked men who specialised in confidence trickery, for want of a better expression.

They went to the palace and said that they were experienced tailors who could weave a beautiful and colourful cloth so light and fine that it looked invisible. "In fact it is only invisible to anyone too stupid and incompetent to see it and appreciate its fine quality," they said.

Of course, the vain Emperor fell for their story and ordered a suit to be made immediately, out of what was of course truly imaginary cloth, paying in advance with a bag of gold coins.

To shorten the story while you are still awake, the Emperor stripped naked, put on his new clothes and paraded them before his courtiers and people, who had heard that only the stupid and incompetent could not see them. So everybody said how wonderful the clothes were.

Everybody, that is, except a small child who knew no better and shouted loudly: "The Emperor is naked!". Gradually, all the crowd, who had been longing to say the same thing, joined in with the child’s cry and the Emperor was disgraced.

Why am I telling you this story?

Which of you dares to say publicly that climate change (or global warming as it used to be called until winter temperatures fell to record lows in many places), is not universally supported by scientific evidence, may not be linked to carbon, and to call for an open debate? Or how about saying out loud that the ‘scientific’ evidence that first led to formaldehyde being classified as a carcinogen was very deeply flawed? Or that burning wood for energy is just plain wrong? Or that wind farms are in fact incredibly inefficient ways of generating electricity? I could go on, but you’ll be pleased to hear that I won’t. You see, the child was the only one brave enough to go against the received wisdom and say what he could see to be true. Are you?……….

But wait, I think I hear the Thought Police knocking at my door.