In 1940, the British and French forces waited for the Germans to attack.

They were behind the impregnable Maginot Line, so they weren’t worried.

The Maginot extended as far as the Ardennes forest, but that was impassable to tanks so it was unthinkable the Germans would come that way.

But the Germans did come that way, it wasn’t impregnable at all.

And the Blitzkrieg cut the British and French armies apart, ending in the French surrender and the total retreat of the British at Dunkirk.

So, not quite so unthinkable then.

In 1942, the Japanese were attacking towards Singapore.

They were coming down Malaysia through the jungle, but the British knew the jungle was impassable so getting an army through it was unthinkable.

But the Japanese bypassed the jungle using small boats to leapfrog down the coast.

Never mind, Singapore had huge guns to protect it, so capture was unthinkable.

Except the guns were pointing the wrong way, Singapore fell and 30,000 Japanese captured 100,000 prisoners in the worst defeat in British military history.

So, not quite so unthinkable then.

Also in 1942, two huge German battleships, the Scharnorst and the Gneisenau, were sitting in a dock in northern France.

The shortest route back to Germany was via the English Channel, but that was unthinkable.

They’d have to pass within ten miles of the British coast, no one would be that crazy.

But just after midnight, the two huge battleships left France and did make their way through the English Channel.

The Royal Navy and the RAF had no plans to defend it because it was unthinkable.

24 hours later the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau arrived safely home via the English Channel.

So, not quite so unthinkable then.

In 2016, the UK held a referendum on the European Union: should the UK remain a member or should it leave?

No one in government really considered the result to be in doubt, leaving was unthinkable.

The UK had been a member since 1973 and the benefits were obvious to everyone.

But when the referendum was held, the unthinkable happened.

48% voted to stay, but 52% voted to leave.

David Cameron resigned as Prime Minister and in 2020 the UK left the European Union.

So, not quite so unthinkable then.

Also in 2016, there was an election in America.

The result was a foregone conclusion: the powerful, experienced Senator Hilary Clinton against the crass, boorish, non-politician, Donald Trump.

No one would vote for Trump, it was unthinkable.

Time Magazine already had its post-election covers printed, it said ‘Madam President’.

But Trump won the election and, in 2017, he was sworn in as President, not Clinton.

Time Magazine had to scrap all their covers.

So, not quite so unthinkable then.

It’s worth remembering that next time someone ridicules your opinion of anything.

The next time someone tells you your idea is ridiculous, unthinkable.

History is full of examples where ‘experts’ are convinced that their opinion is the only one and anything else is nonsense, unthinkable.

And then the unthinkable happens, and suddenly the experts can’t be found.

Until the next time, when they pop up to tell us that they are the source of all knowledge and the only people we should be listening to.

Because anything else is unthinkable.