The question is, did a bag of vomit change history? My friend Steve Masty was staying over at my London flat. His attitude to personal hygiene was somewhat slipshod and when, in the middle of the night, he felt the need to be sick, having drunk a fair amount of alcohol, he couldn't remember where the bathroom was. Rather than make a mess over the floor of my spare bedroom, he resourcefully vomited into a stout paper bag he found in the room, and dropped it from the window one floor down onto the pavement of the street below. He told me about it the next morning.
My colleague came in the next day expressing outrage at something he'd seen.
"That's it," he exclaimed with disgust, "I'm leaving this country! Do you know what I just saw? A bag of vomit lying on the street outside."
I never told him its source and, true to his word, he left the UK as soon as he could to live and work in the US. His younger brother took his place in the UK, and the two of us built up the Adam Smith Institute over the years. But for that bag of vomit, things might have turned out differently.