Friday, April 27, 2007

Labour MP: Don't You Know Who I Am?

Yesterday, Labour MP Geraldine Smith had a 'don't you know who I am' incident on a train back to her Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency. One of her fellow passengers was less than impressed by her behaviour.

Shee was travelling on the 8-46am to Glasgow from Euston when he witnessed an incident that clearly showed the rules are different for travelling MP’s to the rank and file of the British public.

When the train manager (Tommy Cheah) came into coach K to check the tickets he noticed that a lady and her companion were returning to Preston on out of date tickets (dated 23 April).
The train manager asked for the outward bound part of the ticket which could not be produced thus invalidating the tickets that were shown. Mr Cheah offered them a single fare to Preston and asked them to take up the matter with the train company in terms of a possible refund on the return ticket value.

At this point quite voluble remonstrations and protests ensued, which could easily be followed by everyone in the half-full carriage, including my informant. The lady in question then identified herself to the train manger as Geraldine Smith MP and refused to accept the manger's offer.

Politely, he then asked for her address so that he could offer an invalid travel notice, which she could then settle with the train company in the next ten days. The address she gave was the House of Commons, not one the train manager was familiar with, so he asked her for her home address, which she refused to give. Instead she asked him for Richard Branson’s phone number, the CEO’s phone number and Virgin’s Head Office etc. She herself phoned her assistant in Westminster and asked him/her to trace these people’s numbers too. My informant tells me what happened next:
"She was clearly leaning on the poor man, who behaved courteously
throughout, if a little amazed by what was happening. The MP was blatantly
pulling rank, name dropping and behaving in a highly unprofessional manner
in order to get her way. While the manger went away to look for help and
clarification in his hand book of travel conditions, which he brought around to
show this MP, a great deal of loud complaining and general harrumphing went on,
with numerous phone calls to her contacts and even a Virgin representative she
managed to contact. She dismissed the train manager’s offer to check the travelling
regulations handbook with a dismissive “you can’t expect me to know all those
regulations". More complaints about “ridiculous behaviour, petty regulations“
followed more phone calls to influential friends and contacts. Quite frankly,
she made a spectacle of herself and to her fellow passengers the sympathies of
those other passengers on the train clearly lay with the besieged train manager,
rather than with this excuse of a public servant.

The House of Commons, according to her, had furnished her with the ticket costing approx £347, which she bandied about ro all and sundry. The rest of the passengers, all of whom had valid tickets, would have only paid around £60 for the same ticket, booked through the Virgin internet/phone booking service. As all this is tax payers' money you might have thought the House of Commons travel office might avail themselves of best value travel costs.

Finally, when the argument had gone back and forth for more than ninety minutes the guard handed her a “invalid travel notice“, which she refused to sign. It was clear that she had spoken to his Head Office and a message had been relayed to the manager to back off and that they would deal with the matter. She announced this fact to him with some glee. So much for management backing up their staff.

We can only surmise what would have happened to an ordinary member of the travelling public in the same situation. They would most probably have been asked to leave the train at the next station and the Transport Police would have been informed. My contacts says...
Having witnessed this episode, it was a spectacle which further underlines what
some people think of their elected politicians - not a lot.

It is interesting to note that Geraldine Smith has asked quite a few questions about the West Coast Main Line recently.

30 January 2007 I congratulate the Government on the improvements on the west coast main line between Lancaster and London. They have made journeys much better. We must now consider capacity, especially, in my area, on trains between Lancaster and Morecambe, and improve the frequency of the trains by improving the track. What funding is available for such improvements?
31 January 2007
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to improve rail services between Lancaster and Morecambe.
7 February 2007
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to encourage people to use public transport. 8 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funding is available to improve rail services on the Lancaster/Morecambe line.
8 February 2007
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will encourage the relevant train operators to provide more direct train services from Manchester and Preston to Morecambe.



I guess the simple answer to most of her questions would be that the train companies may make a start of improving services if MPs paid the correct fare for their travel and stopped taking up the train manager’s time so he can concentrate on the level of service to other travellers.

Perhaps I might give her a little help in drafting a follow up question for her...

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will ask Virgin Trains to ban MPs who abuse their position from their trains...

UPDATE: UK Events has received a response from Geraldine Smith with her version of the events described above. I have read her response now three times and can't see that it differs greatly from what I originally wrote. I'm copying it here for you to judge for yourselves. I did in fact try to contact Ms Smith at the time but I got no response...

In response to a blog making defamatory allegations about me that has appeared on an Internet site. I wish to state that the versions of events described in this article are factually incorrect in virtually every aspect.The central allegation is that on Thursday 26 April I attempted to travel from London to Morecambe on an out of date ticket and then tried to use my position as a Member of Parliament to browbeat the train manager into accepting it. This is totally untrue, on the day in question I presented the train manager with a valid in date ticket for the journey. The train manager inspected it, stamped it and returned it to me without question. There was however an incident involving a member of my staff who was sitting across the aisle in an adjacent seat. Whilst waiting for the train manager to approach him, he noticed that the return portion of his ticket had been stamped. On closer inspection he found that it was for travel from Morecambe-London, which had been his outward journey. The outward portion of his ticket was unstamped and was for travel between London & Morecambe i.e. the journey he was making. The ticket was well in date in fact it had over 3 weeks before it was due to expire. It was obvious to him that an error had been made when the tickets were issued and the outward and return journeys were the wrong way round. My member of staff duly presented both portions of his ticket to the train manager and informed him of what had happened. He demonstrated that the date stamp on the Morecambe-London portion clearly showed that he had travelled to London on Monday 23 April (the first day that the ticket was valid from) and that he was now using the other portion to return home. To his surprise and annoyance the train manager informed that because the return part of the ticket had been used the unused ticket was invalid. He then sought to get my member of staff to purchase another ticket. My member of staff told him quite bluntly that he was being unreasonable and that he had no intention of purchasing another ticket and that he would take the matter with Virgin when he got home. The train manager then left the carriage and I asked my member of staff what the problem was. For although I had overheard the latter part of their conversation I was not clear on how it had started. He filled me in on what had transpired and I agreed with him that the train manager’s refusal to accept his unused ticket was unreasonable.The train manager returned shortly after armed with sizeable rulebook and a pad of invalid travel notices. He then approached my staff member and proceeded to point to a rule to justify his actions. My member of staff replied to him that whether or not a rule existed it should be applied with commonsense. He also said that no references to the restricted use of open tickets were made either on the tickets or at the point of purchase.It was at this point that I felt that it was appropriate to intervene and I asked the train manager if I could have a word with him. I introduced myself as Geraldine Smith and told him that I was the Member of Parliament for Morecambe & Lunesdale. I imparted this information not to intimidate him in any way but simply because it was relevant to the issue. I explained that the person whose ticket he was refusing to accept was a member of my staff and that I had purchased the tickets for him using my Parliamentary charge card on Euston station on my way home from Parliament the previous week. I told him that I had asked for a 1st class open return ticket from Morecambe to London with a start date of Monday 23 April and that the ticket clerk had clearly issued them wrongly. I also informed that the whole point of purchasing open tickets at the exorbitant price that the train operators charged for them was the flexibility they afforded to people with uncertain travel arrangements. I put it to him that the all fuss was about a simple error and that it was wrong to penalise a passenger because of it. I suggested that the matter could be amicably resolved by him accepting the in date unused fully paid ticket that had been presented to him. I told him that to do otherwise would simply waste the time of Virgin and myself sorting it out at a later date.I put these points to the train manager in a plain straightforward fashion. He for his part listened courteously and attentively to what I had to say. In fact he was courteous and polite throughout the whole thing but unfortunately he was determinedly unhelpful in equal measure.Having listened to what I had to say the train manager asked me for my name and address. I replied Geraldine Smith House of Commons London on the basis that any payments due to be made or any refund on unused tickets would have to go through the House of Commons procedures. He responded by stating that he could not accept the House of Commons as my address and that he required my home address. I realised at point that it was intention to issue me with an invalid travel notice (even though I had already presented him with a valid ticket that he had accepted) and not to my member of staff whose ticket he had rejected. I came to the conclusion that any further dialogue with the train manager was futile and informed him accordingly. I also informed him that I would be contacting a senior manager at Virgin trains headquarters as soon as I was able to do so. He told me that he was not satisfied with my refusal to give him my home address and that he would be taking some unspecified further action.I then made calls to my offices in Morecambe & London to obtain the telephone number of Virgin trains chief executive’s office. I subsequently spoke to his secretary who informed me he was unavailable and she put me through to the franchise director. I attempted to explain to him what had transpired with the train manager but due to frequent loss of signal and generally poor reception this became virtually impossible. As the train was approaching Warrington we agreed to defer our discussion until I had left the train at Preston. A short time later the train manager reappeared and presented me with an invalid travel notice. I assisted him by supplying him with the postcode for the House of Commons, which had now apparently become an acceptable address but declined his invitation for me to sign it because I felt that it would be inappropriate for me to so.After a short and amicable discussion with the franchise director about the issue when I arrived at Preston he agreed that the invalid travel notice be withdrawn and intimated that an apology would be forthcoming. However I yet to receive the written confirmation that he promised to send me.The foregoing accurately reflects what actually happened during my journey home on Thursday 26 April 2007. At no stage did I threaten, bully badger or belittle the train manager. Neither at any stage claim or expect any privilege to be afforded to me because I am a Member of Parliament.Finally I fervently believe in the right of free speech within the limits that the law allows. However I draw the line at the publication of slanderous lies from undisclosed but obviously politically motivated sources, without any real attempt to establish the veracity of the statements being made.

69 comments:

christrinder said...

Absolutely pathetic behaviour from Geraldine Smith. Grow up and act your age.

This will live to haunt her... what price 'choo choo' noises during her next Commons chamber appearance. Hint.

Arthurian Legend said...

This story, if true, ought to be printed and circulated to all 80,000 of her constituents.

We'll see how many votes she then gets at the next election.

mutleythedog said...

Interesting. Its an offence of some sort to attempt to use public office for personal benefit - as in this behaviour. Also -she is obviously and obnoxious scumbag who thinks little of people who actually work for a living like the train attendant. She should write a written apology and be investigated.

Anonymous said...

Silly bitch ! About time people like this were 'named and shamed'. She should be made to apologise in person. I good friend of mine at school gave up a good job to go back and live in Wales, and despite having been to university did a stint as a train manager, and is now pursuing a second career. So it is entirely within the bounds of possibility that this woman was talking to someone better qualified than she was.

Not that it would have excused her aggressive behaviour if he was less qualified. And Virgin Trains class such aggressive behaviour, quite rightly, as 'verbal assault'.

If she wants things to improve, why are the Government hell-bent on the stupid system of making 'walk-on' fares exorbitantly expensive, thus forcing people to wade through an internet site to book complicated tickets, far in advance, with no end of 'terms and conditions'. So that if one has to change one's plans one can easily end up out of pocket.

But it is like 'Animal Farm' - one rule for us lesser animals, and another for pigs like Geraldine Smith. Well done Iain for exposing this disgraceful behaviour, I hope she is thoroughly ashamed of herself.

Bel said...

"More complaints about “ridiculous behaviour, petty regulations“
followed more phone calls to influential friends and contacts."


Pretty rich for a Labour MP, of all people, to be complaining about 'petty regulations".

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Iain, but I have just re-read this and gone through her PQs in a bit more detail..

I was going to look up words like 'hypocrisy' and 'condescension' in the dictionary, but I am speechless.
[



!




]
Not only is she unbelievably ill mannered and discourteous she is obviously a complete imbecile.

Doesn't she realise in the age of the camera phone someone could film her and post it on YouTube ?

A salutary warning follows..

http://www.guynews.tv/

By the way, arthurian, I don't think we will need to circulate this news to her constituents - good news travels fast...

Anonymous said...

She should take inspiration from Simon Hoggart - he often suffers at the hands of Virgin Trains, but he complains with wit and wisdom. He certainly doesn't resort to infantile behaviour like this.

Laurence Boyce said...

Is that a crucifix? Christians, eh?

Noël said...

Disgraceful. I hope her constituency press make a fine example of her at the earliest opportunity.

Anonymous said...

What else do you expect from a New Labour scrubber?

Anonymous said...

The miserable, grim reality of this country after 10 years of Tony doesn't usually impinge on the insiders.

verity said...

Hello, Bel. Lovely to see you!

It's always jumped up, vicious, envious, uppity Labourites (It's OUR turn now!!!!!!!!!!!) who behave in this manner. A Tory may have tried it on for a few minutes - and that would have been bad enough - but this jumped up lady sounds like a bunny boiler. She thought when she got voted in (obviously by mistake) as an MP, she could grab everything on the buffet table and stuff her face. Free upgrades on Virgin Airlines - I'll bet, especially after she lets Richard Branson's people know that she was treated as an ordinary passenger on one of his trains. How sickening! Free privileges? - I'll bet on it. This greedy bint wants it all, especially revenge. Including public acknowledgement of her "importance".

Is she in politics to be in public service or to be in the service of her own greedy, overweening, "it's my turn now" angry ego?

She wasn't recognised. WELL, SHE IS NOW.

Anonymous said...

verity - 'bunny boiler' Ouch ! Ooh, I felt that hit the target !

Anonymous said...

Hmm.. the disappointing thing is that the other exponent [a past master] of the 'don't you know who I am' school of rudeness and haughty behaviour, Charlotte 'No Angel' Church has, rather depressingly, become a mega star despite [because?] of such vain, selfish and patronising behaviour.

Is this the level to which society has descended after 10 years of Tony 'Servant of the People' Blair ?

Anonymous said...

What Disgraceful conduct. Geraldine Smith should be hauled before the Standards Committee for such abuse of power.

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

More classic questions from her:-

Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will launch a public awareness campaign to encourage people to walk more for health reasons.

Geraldine Smith: Does the Leader of the House agree that the British public are not stupid? It would be extremely foolish for Members to send communications that were obviously shameless self-promotion, because that would backfire on them. We must use the allowance carefully because the public will be watching. Communication should be about issues that affect them and that are important to them.

****
Is this woman for real ?? Perhaps she should be asking herself if she is 'extremely stupid'? Unbelievable.

verity said...

anonymous 12:10 - Re Church, I've never heard her sing, but apparently her voice is appealing enough to motivate people to pay for her concerts, TV performances and CDs of their own free will?

Remind me again who Geraldine Smith is and what she is famous for?

I am guessing Church pays for her own fares on trains and planes? Not subsidised by working people?

Geraldine Smith's constituency should be embarrassed by her loutish, uppity behaviour.

verity said...

Anonymous 12:24 - "Geraldine Smith: Does the Leader of the House agree that the British public are not stupid? It would be extremely foolish for Members to send communications that were obviously shameless self-promotion, because that would backfire on them. We must use the allowance carefully because the public will be watching."

Carry on up The Thames, Geraldine!

Anonymous said...

Laurence Boyce said...
Is that a crucifix? Christians, eh?

Just as I was beginning to think that you are not such a bad bloke after all, Laurence, you post this drivel.

Smith's nulab, for goodness sake, that invalidates her crucifix. And your blanket condemnation of all Christians is irrational prejudice.


Auntie Flo'

Laurence Boyce said...

When did you ever think that I was not such a bad bloke “Auntie Flo”? It’s a job to keep up with the anonymous community sometimes. Anyway, it’s simple enough. Christians are supposed to nice, right? You know . . . “what would Jesus do?”

Then again, I suppose that Jesus would have turned the train manager into a frog or something.

Flat Eric said...

Labour MP: Don't you Know Who I Am?

Gotcha!

Your are "Morticia Addams" from the "Addams Family" and I claim my $5.

Anonymous said...

I'm an MP so gimme a free ride
Or I'll behave like dracula's bride
Dontchya know who I am?
Donchya know who I am?
I'm Geraldine, G-G-G-G-G-G-G-G-Geraldine
Geraldine, G-G-G-G-G-G-G-G Geraldine
The vilest temper that you've ever seen
Geraldine, I love to make a scene, cos I'm
Geraldine, G-G-G-G-G-G-G-G-Geraldine
Geraldine, G-G-G-G-G-G-G-G Geraldine!

With apologies to Ian Drury and the Blockheads

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

Laurence Boyce said...
When did you ever think that I was not such a bad bloke “Auntie Flo”? It’s a job to keep up with the anonymous community sometimes.

Laurence, stop behaving like a Geraldine. You can be nice when you want to be.

Auntie Flo'

Laurence Boyce said...

I am never ever nice about religion.

verity said...

Laurence 'I never shut up' Boyd: "When did you ever think that I was not such a bad bloke “Auntie Flo”? It’s a job to keep up with the anonymous community sometimes. Anyway, it’s simple enough. Christians are supposed to nice, right? You know . . . “what would Jesus do?”

Where, anywhere on Planet Earth does it say that "Christians are supposed to be nice"? Where?

"Then again," says Boyce, in full flow, "I suppose that Jesus would have turned the train manager into a frog or something."

Why would Jesus have done that? Why?

What would have motivated Jesus to interfere in the outcome of a disagreement between a silly, over-mighty woman and the management of the train she was travelling on? Why "a frog or something"???

Could you explain your reasoning? Are you speaking for Jesus or the uppity MP who was abusing her power and British taxpayer money? Could you explain why Jesus, who is surely engaged in more important matters, would get involved in a commercial dispute between a silly woman with an ego the size of the Ritz and a train on which she was riding?

I just don't get it. What is it about this confrontation that would have involved Jesus in your mind, Laurence Boyd? That is such a bizarre scenario that you propose.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Oh do just go away Laurence

Laurence Boyce said...

Hi Jeremy, how’s it going? Did you read my fantastic article? They were even discussing it on 18 Doughty Street the other night!

But back to the theological discussion – I was wondering what Jesus might have done had he himself been the member for Morecambe and Lunesdale. That’s what the question “what would Jesus do?” normally signifies. So why would I imagine that Jesus might turn the train manager into a frog? I guess I was influenced by a couple of texts. If you study the scriptures closely (not something I would necessarily recommend) then you soon discover that Jesus could actually be fairly petty and vindictive, something his fans tend to keep quiet about. For instance, there’s an episode where Jesus fancies eating a fig, and then gets seriously pissed off when he sees that the nearest fig tree is bearing no fruit. So he basically says to the fig tree, “fuck you, fig tree, if you’re not going to give me a fucking fig, then you can just wither and die!” And that’s pretty much what the fig tree does. Amazing!

Then there’s another story I had in mind from the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. The Infancy Gospel is essential reading, as it fills in some of the details of Jesus’ childhood which are missing from the “canonical” Gospels. This is from chapter four:

Later Jesus was going through the village again when a boy ran by and bumped him on the shoulder. Jesus got angry and said to him, “You won’t continue your journey.” And all of a sudden he fell down and died!

I’d have given him an ASBO myself. Anyway, I think it’s pretty clear by now that Jesus would in all likelihood have turned the train manager into a frog.

verity said...

Poor Jimmy Cheah, the train manager. Can you imagine how he felt when he went home that night, after having done the job he was paid to do? An argument of an hour, with the passenger calling people who could get you dismissed? And treating you as the lowliest of the low, when actually, you are an employed person in your place of work?

What a horrible, horrible woman.

Any way we can get this thread to Mr Cheah's employers? If he gets the blame for this incident, I will scream.

Mostly Ordinary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mostly Ordinary said...

To be honest if she asked me who I thought she was I'd be hard pressed not to suggest she was a Edward Scissorhands looky-likely

uk-events said...

Does anyone have an official email address or phone number for this idiot?

I want to ask her just who the hell she thinks she is.

How dare she.

Anonymous said...

nt for travelling MP’s

MPs

in conventional English

hatfield girl said...

It would make a wonderful short film though. Jacques Tati to play Mr Cheah, all the other passengers played by those instantly recognisable faces from the Ealing comedies - Rutherford, Sim et al, and the fare-cheat played by one of those wooden, brainless, Ekberg-like film stars. In black and white perhaps with everyone in hats.

Anonymous said...

The important thing is to make sure that the Train Manager is not disciplined or otherwise badly treated by further vindictive behaviour by the MP or sloppy cringing management. Keep your eye on it, Ian.

Anonymous said...

what appalls me is that this must be a regular trip. The rest of us knowing that we have a regular trip would buy in advance to take advantage of cheaper fares FOR THE SAME SEAT. This is a typical socialist attitiude of spending other people's money.

Ok, if she thought she had the right ticket, she was right to bring this to the Train Manager's attention. But in her position, the easiest thing was was bring this to the guy attention, then pay up and THEN if she wanted to, write to Richard Branson.

If she was really that worried about spending other people's money. she was have planned in advance and managed to buy a cheaper ticket.

Anonymous said...

Something not quite right about the £347 fare and restriction on date of travel. Surely a top rate ticket does not have these restrictions? Who was the MP travelling with and does this have an implication? After all, it seems both were travelling at the taxpayers' expense so we do have a right to ask.

javelin said...

What a w*nker.

Could you trust her in any position of responsiblity?

Jess The Dog said...

I am disappointed - I thought better of her, given her questioning of the Home Office during the migrant cockle pickers tragedy, and her attacks on Bliar.

The first rule of "Don't You Know Who I Am": once invoked, the whole world will soon know what an arse you are.

She should have politely paid the fare or accepted the invalid travel notice and claimed it back later.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

I nominate Mr Cheah for an MBE for services to democracy.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

A friend of mine, who used to live in Hampstead, told me that socialists were always beastly to shopkeepers and public servants. It's all in the best tradition of Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury set.

fido said...

George Orwell said it perfectly that some animals are more equal than others.

Woman is a disgrace to the office she holds.

jafo said...

Think the answer to "Don't you know who I am?", is "Yes, you're the passenger travelling without a valid ticket!"

I'd never heard of this jumped-up nobody - however, she deserves to be much better known now. This article ought to be in every national newspaper - then we could all know "who she is".

I don't see what she was so worked-up about anyway. She wouldn't have been paying for the ticket herself - after all, that's what the taxpayer is for - and if she had to pay again she would have claimed it back - good old taxpayer yet again. Just shows how rude, arrogant and utterly unpleasant these "socialists" are.

hatfield girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Besides Smith's disfraceful behaviour. I am just as incensed by Virgin Management not backing up the Train Manager and the Price paid by the Tax Payer for Smith's Ticket.

I suppose she is so used to the Westminster Gravy train, that she doesn't know how to behave on a real train. I sincerely hope she loses her seat at the next election.

hatfield girl said...

t's all in the best tradition of Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury set.'

Trumpeter, they were neither socialist nor vulgar; as the great Liberal (in the true meaning of the word) Keynes remarked,

'when the revolution comes, you will find me on the side of the educated bourgeoisie’.
- which is where any decent person is to be found (though not with today's Liberals.

Observer said...

told me that socialists were always beastly to shopkeepers and public servants.

As I recall Geraldine used to be a postwoman

Anonymous said...

uk-events.. The webpage below has an email address, but I can't find her 'Parliamentary' email. This is often on 'TheyWorkForYou' somewhere, but I haven't been able to put my paws on it just yet..

http://www.labour.org.uk/maps/locinfo.phtml?ctid=2348

Anonymous said...

Dod's Parliamentary Companion lists her parliamentary e-mail address: smithg@parliament.uk

Delicolor said...

I thought that MPs got free train travel with a warrant card or similar...

Anonymous said...

This absurd creature should be kicked out of Parliament, given a public whipping, and made to spend the rest of her worthless life cleaning train toilets.

ordinary housewife said...

I see the lady wears a cross so I suggest that she reads her bible.
Especially the passage referring to 'he who comes first coming last' and 'blest are the meek'

Of course she is not wearing for any other purpose than to show her faith.

verity said...

Anonymous 9:41 - Well-spotted! She was travelling with someone and it looks as though they were on the public purse as well. Perhaps that was why she worked so hard to save face. Who was she trying to impress?

Obviously Mr Cheah is Chinese. It's in most Chinese cultures to try to be conciliatory, especially in a public confrontation, and not cause the other person to lose face. She may have mistaken this courtesy for weakness, which is why she went for the throat (for 90 minutes). Would she have been such a bully, I wonder, if he had been a burly young Caucasian?

(Ordinary Housewife - why shouldn't she show her faith. if she chooses? Jewish men show their faith when they wear those little hats - apologies, can't remember their name. Islamic women show their faith when they go out looking like ambulatory bin bags. Why are you introducing an irrelevancy and weakening the argument?)

jamie said...

This is really startling, even for nulab. You should bring it up if you're doing that paper review tonight. Good example of the need for a bit of public decency and respect.

Anonymous said...

The MP is obviously a bufoon. What a big head. As if anyone is impressed any more by the words Member of Parliament. I think she should send a letter of apology to the train manager who is only doing his job and, it seems to me in a very polite professional manner. Please make sure her constituents know how she behaves. Arse.

Laurence Boyce said...

ordinary housewife, I already tried the religious angle up above. It didn’t go down too well.

Paul said...

"verity said...

Any way we can get this thread to Mr Cheah's employers? If he gets the blame for this incident, I will scream. "

I am sure Bob Crow and his RMT (no friends of new labour they) will see to it that the chap comes to no harm.

It has always surprised me that the Conservative party has so often been hostile to the trade unions. After all they are groups of people joining together to protect themsevles rather than depend on the state to do so for them. Isn't that what conservatism is all about?

This hostilty has resulted in most of the unions being dominated by people exploiting their members for Labours political benefit rather than looking after their members. Would the teachers be in such a predicament with teachers assaulted daily and put on to do all sorts of paperwork at home after work if their union looked after their interests like Bob Crows RMT do? You dont get classes of more than 30 pupils in France, why? because the teacher will walk out and be backed up by their union for doing so if there are more than 30 to a class.

Anonymous said...

As Paul will no doubt be aware we actually live in a Conservative controlled country at present. With a couple of facist dictators at the helm.

ordinary housewife said...

lawrence boyce ....I wasn't trying the religious angle (tho I am a christian) I was actually trying the cynical angle -you know - possibly wearing a crucifix cos it goes down well with the religious lot -

but no, our politicians couldn't possibly be that hypocritical could they.......

if she is wearing it honestly then she really should read the said passages.

I have absolutely no truck with these MPs who get elected on 'we come from the people and work for them' ticket, then think they are elevated above everyone else. Poor pathetic woman should try real life.

verity said...

Three fascist dictators. Cherie and her vile Human Rights Act.

Anonymous said...

Too true Verity. The Act that puts human rights above justice.

paul said...

ah but to paraphrase orwell pigs have more human rights than other animals do

Shurely shome mishtake?

ordinary housewife said...

but they were socialist pigs and therefore knew best..

Tom Tyler said...

What unbelievable arroga- ...oh wait, she's a NuLabour MP. Just a typical morning warm-up exercise, I suppose.

verity said...

References to 'Animal Farm' - let's not have them unless you have a different sentence to quote. Is that a deal? Sixty years of the same couple of sentences is too much. Shut up.

Stop letting George Orwell do the talking for you and try to think of an original take on the ghastliness of today. We know that George Orwell foresaw it. We are in awe.

The quotes are emblazoned on our brains and quite rightly so.

You gain nothing by quoting them again.

Yak40 said...

"train manager "

Is that a new name for ticket collector ?

This woman is a disgrace, tho' oh so typical of Labour types.

thomas the tank engine said...

Some interesting values for Geraldine's travel expenses found at They Work For You

Anonymous said...

Thomas the Tank - Hmm. interesting that in 2002/3 she was the MP with the highest figure for both Additional Costs and Incidental Expenses [covers a multitude of sins]

In 2004/5 she again had the highest Additional Costs of ALL MPs...

It must mean that she is working very hard on behalf of her constituency..

uk-events said...

All,

I've received a response from Geraldine Smith about this, full details:

http://tinyurl.com/32a89c

Darren Clifford said...

I've just stumbled on this article. Didn't appear in the local press, which isn't a major surprise, but the only other conclusion than that Ms Smith's version of events are entirely accurate and there's been a simple clerical error on stamping the tickets is that she has had one of her staff travel from London (ticket stamped) to Morecambe and back (ticket not stamped) and then tried to blag a further journey back to the North West. Which last time I checked is fraud. So it's either tittle tattle or a serious accusation. Which is, or rather was it?