But then. Then I heard it. A voice from down the bar - a voice of disagreement. A stunned silence fell onto the audience - pints, small glasses of scotch, red wine schooners and tumblers of rum and coke were placed quietly on bars, tables and windowsills. We listened to the voice:
"I don't know what the fuss is all about. We're all on the take, fiddling and claiming things we shouldn't have. When I worked at Smalltrees, every rep and every buyer had a slush fund - we got our house carpeted and our kitchens furnished off the back of it all. Can't see what the problem is myself. There's much more important things we should bother about."
A hushed moment followed as we looked around for the brave soul who would respond - put this sinner back on the path to righteousness. A voice was heard:
"Er, Steve? Can I have a pint, a vodka and orange, and a packet of pork scratchings."
The spell was broken. The burning issue was extinguished.
...and we went back to talking about football, road directions and the weather.