IT'S a violent world out there folks. Only this week we’ve seen Liverpool football team captain Steven ‘Stevie G’ Gerrard on trial for alleged affray and pop star Amy Winehouse in the dock over assault claims.

Both were cleared yesterday.

Now we hear a man in London was forced to swallow acid, has been blinded, had his tongue destroyed and was hit with bricks in the latest suspected ‘honour crime’.

Meanwhile, I have just come back from Leeds Crown Court where I was surrounded by tough-looking thugs and was verbally abused by some who should have been more worried about their trial than what I was going to write.

And to make the environment even more tense, a gang of machine gun toting police is currently installed at the court as some kind of conspiracy trial is taking place there.

Where is all this anger coming from? Stevie G’s alleged bar brawl arose over an argument about the kind of music being played.

Winehouse was accused of lashing out after someone tried to stand next to her for a photo.

And remember Diana Ross who attacked an official at Heathrow airport after she was subjected to a security search?

Are these ‘celebrities’ so unable to cope with tiny moments of personal discomfort or embarrassment that they turn to violence? Seems that way.

But what worries me more is this loss of ability to cope with minor setbacks is starting to filter into society at large.

A few months back I had the most minor shunt in my car you could hope to have.ŠI ran into the car in front of me. I admit it, it was my fault and I was prepared to apologise.

I looked at the rear of the car in front and it seemed there was no damage so I gestured to the driver to pull over so we could exchange details.

I was blocking a busy junction and there was a layby no more than 6ft away. But no.

The man, unable to cope with my audacious logic, flew off the handle. He leaped out of his car, came up to my window and screamed: “Get out of the car!”

I pointed apologetically at the queue behind us.ŠThis angered him more and he opened my door.

“Get out of your car,” he shouted. I looked at his undamaged car and my undamaged car and asked him if he thought he was being unreasonable?

More screaming and swearing came my way.

I was now starting to worry for my safety as this guy just could not be placated.ŠHe wanted photos of the scene, my name, address, phone number, registration, DNA (OK, I made that bit up).

Angry drivers came over and pleaded with us to move, but still he would not. So I wrote my address down and got back in my car.ŠI’ve never heard anything since.

When I lived in London I saw ‘pavement rage’ on Oxford Street as determined shoppers clashed. And once, on a narrow boating holiday, we were subjected to ‘canal rage’ after we had the temerity to chug past a moored boat at 3mph instead of 2mph.

Society seems to be filled with people walking round pent up with anger. Why? Is the country too crowded? Are people over worked and over stressed?

Is it going to get worse?ŠWhen my three-year-old nephew is an adult will people have to endure several punches to get on a train? Will motorists ramming each other on the M62 be common practice? Will Kevlar vests be built into clothing?Š Will I have to set my electric fence to ‘kill mode’ before I go to bed? I don’t have an electric fence, but maybe I should?