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The Great Train Snobbery - Osborne sits in first class on a standard ticket!

(69 Posts)
edam Fri 19-Oct-12 23:08:09

oh dear, seems second class isn't good enough for Gideon...

ArthurShappey Fri 19-Oct-12 23:09:32

In fairness to him (well not really in fairness because if he'd wanted first class he should have bought a first class ticket)... But as I was saying... He'd be lynched if he sat in a busy carriage. First class is always empty.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 19-Oct-12 23:12:47

Well being a millionaire you'd have thought he would have bought a first class ticket if he didn't want to sit with the plebs. Not argue with the conducter, trying to get out of paying the extra.

edam Fri 19-Oct-12 23:12:58

Oh, I'd pay to see that. grin Might even stump up the cost of a first class train fare!

chipstick10 Fri 19-Oct-12 23:14:07

Goodness knows im no fan of the chancellor , but its a ridiculous non story.

edam Fri 19-Oct-12 23:18:09

on the contrary, chipstick, it's a great story, especially on the night Mitchell finally drags his sorry arse out of government. Another nail in the coffin of 'we are all in this together'. They can't stop themselves proving that they do indeed think the rest of us are all plebs (although the standard of education at posh schools must be shocking if Mitchell doesn't understand what the word actually means).

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Fri 19-Oct-12 23:39:11

According to the story the police were in charge of the ticketing

"Mr Osborne is understood not to have had any direct communication with Virgin Trains staff - and an officer from the Metropolitan Police, who was escorting the chancellor, is reported to have told the train manager in advance that Mr Osborne did not have the correct ticket."

"A spokesman for Virgin Trains said: "The chancellor was in first class with a standard-class ticket. It wasn't a dispute or even a discussion with him. An aide of his spoke to the train manager and asked to pay the upgrade. We're not aware of any dispute.""

He should obviously have gone by government limo.

edam Fri 19-Oct-12 23:42:27

Wonder why he was heading back from his constituency to London on a Friday?

chipstick10 Fri 19-Oct-12 23:46:44

edam in this instance i believe mr mitchell not the police.

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Fri 19-Oct-12 23:52:49

It's not 100% clear what happened, but it seems the ticketing was being handled by his SpAd, Ramesh Chhabra, and Chhabra either booked the wrong train or the wrong ticket, and faced with a full (?) standard class, requested to upgrade, possibly free of charge. In any event a full excess fare was paid.

edam Fri 19-Oct-12 23:58:17

And you are entirely free to hold a minority opinion. People who know him rather better disagree, though - a snobby remark would be entirely in character according to those who work with him.

Fundamentally his problem was he didn't explain what he thinks he actually did say. Merely denied using the word pleb and admitted he swore. He should have been honest straight away. That might have saved his bacon - although given he didn't fess up, presumably he knew full well that he did say something incredibly arrogant.

edam Fri 19-Oct-12 23:58:37

Sorry, that was to chipstick re Mitchell.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 20-Oct-12 00:00:56

BBC reports

"Virgin Trains have since confirmed the actual figure was £189.50 and covered the cost of an upgrade for the chancellor and an assistant"

And they have denied that there was any disagreement about paying or not.

I'm sure the West Coast franchise has absolutely nothing to do with that decision. Nothing at all. No sirreee.

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Sat 20-Oct-12 00:03:51

With what decision? The decision to sell a ticket at full price?

I think Virgin would be pretty fucked-up as a profit-making business if they didn't sell £190 upgrades to people wanting to buy them.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 20-Oct-12 00:08:51

No, Virgin trains have covered the cost of the upgrade.

So in the end Gideon didn't pay.

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Sat 20-Oct-12 00:10:46

You what? The figure of £189.50 was paid by Osborne's spAD. That £189.50 covered two upgrades to First Class.

<Grammar fail>

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 20-Oct-12 00:16:16

Ah to be fair, I may have misread that. "covered" didn't mean that Virgin covered it, ie paid for it.

Shame, my version was more interesting grin

Rumours on the internet eh. Who'd believe them?!

sparklingwine Sat 20-Oct-12 08:18:40

Maybe he /someone bought stsndard ticket from a machine and then upgraded on train- all entirely fair. Maybe no ticket office at his station?
Journalist in question was in a different carriage from him so her tweets were based on overhearing the aide talking to the guard, not gideon himself.

0liverb0liverbuttface Sat 20-Oct-12 09:24:08

What is a Public Servant doing travelling first class anyway - I thought Cameron banned that, even for those with a contractual right to do so.

It surely isn't a case of one rule for the plebs and another for Gideon is it?

Durab Sat 20-Oct-12 09:33:38

Hmm. I can see why it wouldn't be "right" for the Chancellor to travel in standard class - presumably he had work to do and if not I expect he'd like to travel in peace. But, after the Mitchell debacle I can't believe and aide could be so stupid as to ask for the upgrade free.

OTOH how many journalists routinely take flight upgrades because of their jobs?

Won't he just claim the ticket on expenses anyway? So, you could argue he was trying to save the taxpayer money grin

edam Sat 20-Oct-12 10:29:32

Most people who travel in first class on a second class ticket get a. told off and b. made to pay a penalty fare. Not just 'upgrade'. Unless it's a carriage where you can upgrade, with signs saying so and an announcement from the guard.

I wonder if the £190 included a penalty fare and whether he'll claim it on expenses?

I used to get free first class travel courtesy of my Dad (when I was classed as a dependent i.e. a child/student). Every journey there would be businessmen in suits in first class who would glare at me, in my jeans and converse. It was always amusing when the guard came round and was polite to me but insisted on throwing one or two of the businessmen out because they had the wrong ticket. grin

QuickLookBusy Sat 20-Oct-12 11:05:20

It's a complete non story which the press are trying to whip into a story.

It must be a slow news day.

QuickLookBusy Sat 20-Oct-12 11:18:34

It also said on Radio 4 this morning that standard class was full, so there wasn't room for him to sit there.

The press seemed to have forgotten to mention that.
I wonder why.

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Sat 20-Oct-12 11:21:26

"Most people who travel in first class on a second class ticket get a. told off and b. made to pay a penalty fare."

Virgin don't issue penalty fares.

And if they did, which they don't, then provided you approached the guard upon boarding, there would be no intent to avoid paying the fare and no penalty fare payable.


0liverb0liverbuttface Sat 20-Oct-12 11:33:34

But he didn't approach he was approached.

Wanting to work isn't justification in the broader public sector - so why for Gideon?

This government is making lots of rules which seem only to apply to everyone else not to them - that's why it's a news story.

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