I feel very sorry for all those businesses who will be spending the next few days worrying about whether they will have any American tourists as customers after the US State Department issued a travel advisory today, warning Americans to steer clear of places which attract crowds if they are on a visit to Europe. There is no specific terror warning, but the effect will be clear. Americans will cancel trips to Europe for fear of what might happen. We've seen it before. You might think they would be made of sterner stuff, and indeed, many are. Those who live in big cities may not be put off, but Mr & Mrs Average from Main Street, Iowa. probably will be.
The fact is that Mr & Mrs Average stand more chance of being killed in a road accident on Main Street, Iowa than they do in any future terrorist outrage in Britain, France, or Germany. All this travel advisory should mean is that we should all maintain extra vigilance.
I don't see Brits being deterred from travelling to France or Germany. And nor should they be. A few weeks ago, Patrick Mercer reckoned that there was a clear terror threat to this year's Tory Party Conference. I doubt whether a single Conservative Party representative decided to stay away. We're made of sterner stuff.
So come on Mr & Mrs Average American. Show some bottle. Don't give in to the terrorists, because every one of you who cancels your trip is doing a little bit of Osama bin Laden's work for him.