I have to salute the poor parents of the girls who died in Ecuador. In their moment of grievance they were anxious for the tragedy not to put off other young people from having the experience of seeing the world.
Janice Turner ties this in with a trip to India to make some spot-on conclusions about our frustratingly cottonwoolified society:
"We seek to obliterate all risk, believe we can legislate against calamity, manufacture certainty. But here, in India, are 1.3 billion people who, mostly, can't even begin to try. And, look, for all their closer proximity to the precipice, they are less cowed and crippled by fear than ourselves."
It's a shame that the only thing likely to be able to shake us out of our smotheringly risk-averse culture would be World War Three!
I always enjoy reading Turner's social observations in the Times. Other memorable articles in recent months include How boobonomics explain the world, A tall, bland caramel thing please and Brothels are booming. Ban them.