It seems that it is. A story has broken this morning that cynics are three times more likely to suffer from dementia. That’s worrying, because today another story broke about the fact that 700 houses are to be built near Purton (and that Swindon is looking for a further 60,000 new houses to be built in the future) and that an Iron Age settlement had been found during the excavations.

Neither of those is the point though. Massive building is going on everywhere and significant archaeology is being discovered and destroyed very frequently. Everyone knows that and has to accept it as mostly inevitable so no danger of dementia there. No, what prompts some of us to be dangerously cynical are some of the things developers say to make the destruction sound OK and something they deserve praise for.

A Taylor Wimpey spokesman said: “We scheduled the archaeological investigation into our programme of work, as it is a vital step of the process….. The work will continue until our contractors are completely satisfied that they have thoroughly investigated and recovered everything which they need for further analysis”

A cynic might say: actually, you didn’t volunteer to do that, you did what the law insisted you do, nothing else. You could equally have admitted that and expressed regret for the destruction and said we’re sorry to do it but it’s about the money, see? That at least would be believable. Big builders rarely do more than the minimum even when there’s scope to do so such as leaving a few plots undeveloped.  But apparently, even to think such a thing would be bad for your health so let’s all say hurrah to Taylor Wimpey for being so caring!