The more I see of violence from the police and those otherwise demonstrating peacefully, the more I’m reminded that stress makes us stupid. Once our stress hormones are high, it’s hard to make reasonable, rational decisions.

This is why we need our decision-makers to do the difficult things in quiet, calm and controlled conditions, not by spouting off in press-conferences or surrounded by their braying friends and shouting at someone who disagrees with them.

We need them to take time to stop, breathe and come up with a reasoned response, recognising that their words have an impact and that their minds are under the control of powerful, brain-altering chemicals.

This relies on our decision-makers having the self-awareness that this is happening to them and the presence of mind to do something about it. It also relies on our peace-protectors to do the same.

I understand how police officers, caught up in the moment, make stupid, impulsive decisions. But it’s not good enough. Even if one officer (who’s effectively losing their mind) can’t see what’s happening to them, their colleagues must and they HAVE to intervene.

If they don’t, they’re as guilty as the one who pulled the trigger, or beat repeatedly, or knelt on the neck.

Recognising what’s happening and being able to act rationally in spite of it is a skill which can be learnt.

Have you managed it?