I spent the day with 800 of our Suez veterans on Tuesday. They were a great, great bunch of people. Some of them had not met for 50 years. Some of them had travelled from Australia to be at the event.

I had to deliver a speech in what seemed like a Force 8 gale. I clung on to the five flimsy pieces of A4 for dear life. The night before, I’d lost a filling that left an agonising pain down half of my face. The effect of the wind and my lop-sided face must have looked very strange. I couldn’t help thinking that had it been the House of Commons or the Labour Party conference, someone would have heckled from the back. Not our Suez veterans though. They displayed the highest courtesy and kindness – as you would expect.