A ring of steel An eight car motorcade, up to 12 secret service agents supported by an army of local enforcement officers and a police helicopter. All this for an ex-President. It is a sad reflection on modern times that even a former U.S. President needs a ring of steel costing many millions of pounds. The security operation put into place for Clinton's visit to Majorca over the weekend was probably even bigger than the one staged for his visit in 1997 when he was President. Congratulations to his security personnel who tried to make the security arrangement as discreet as possible but anyone who was in the vicinity of Palma airport, the Via Cintura and the Establiments road on Saturday couldn't have failed to see a helicopter flying low overhead and a motorcade which was like a scene from a Hollywood blockbuster. But these days security is a byword for anyone in public life. Even the Mayor of Palma, Joan Fageda, has at least two bodyguards with him because of the threat of the Basque terrorist group, ETA. Politicians elected by the people, to work for the people as part of the democratic process have to be guarded at all times. What a state of affairs.

A charismatic person like Bill Clinton is able to overcome all the security and still get his message across, but seeing all the security just makes you think that we are living in a world gripped by fear. The President may be one of the most powerful men on earth and people who held that office still have plenty of clout but even so they need a shield of people to protect them such is the threat these days.

Jason Moore