The people of the town, out on the streets to welcome home the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, clearly did. Their visceral reaction was to turn on the anti-war protesters. There was, for a few minutes, the remarkable sight of the spirit of peaceful, respectable middle-Britain, in its M&S anorak and its sensible shoes, provoked into physical violence.
The scene was brief, but its resonance huge. You can bet that any clever politician who watched will know they witnessed this unassuming, easygoing society of ours reaching the limits of its tolerance. This was the tipping point; the no-go area; the discourtesy too far. You may hate our policies, and disagree with our wars, the people cried, but do not insult our young men and women in uniform.