Sunday, August 02, 2009

Getting to Glasgow

At the end of the month I am speaking in Glasgow at the annual EPOP conference. No, I don't know what it stands for either, but it is the association of political academics who are experts on elections and polling. Anyway, I thought I had better get round to deciding how to get there. I always prefer to drive when I can, but at 453 miles I thought that was a bit too much, especially as nowadays I find it all too easy to fall asleep at the wheel. So it then boiled down to a train journey or a flight.

A British Airways flight costs £102.60 and takes just over an hour. A train journey costs a £118 on a fixed ticket, £298 on an open return (or £460 first class!) but ... takes 6.5 hours there and 8 hours on the way back.

Decision made.


toontoon said...

So you will be taking the train then?

Although the flight is only an hour, you still have to travel to the airport, sit in the traffic jams on the M25, park your motor, queue to check in, have your private parts fondled at the security gate, queue up at the gate. Fly, land, get your bags and then finally get to your destination.

Whereas if you took the train, you'd go to station, sit in seat, get off when you get there.

I know what I'd prefer. I bet you the total door - door travel time isn't actually that different.

Anonymous said...

The plane is far more environmentally friendly. In fact trains in terms of carbon footprint per passanger mile are worse than cars, coaches, buses, planes. Don't go by boat though, takes ages. You have to wait for 2050 and the ice caps to melt.

Noah Gore

Matt said...

I cannot understand why anyone would get the train at those prices

Man in the Street said...

o/t but is this Harriet?

edf said...

sleeper? i went on one a while back and could get some good bargains (49 quid stirling - london) and was quite comfy too

Man in a Shed said...

Iain - its worth trying Virgin rail's web site - if you tried a different rail sites. ( I found very different prices between South West Trains site and Virgin Rail for the same trip to Motherwell ).

The billions of tax payers money spent on the Westcoast line does mean a far quicker journey that way than used to be the case.

Also they have WiFi and stuff on their trains.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with easyJet? Probably half the price gain.

sadbagger said...

Iain, sorry for my ignorance, but where will you be traveling from? If it's from London then the West Coast Mainline is only a 4.5 hour journey, and a very pleasant one at that, direct from Euston to Glasgow Central. I travel to London several times a month from Glasgow, and would always choose the train. Last time I flew my flight was delayed by 8 hours, so that I landed at 4am. And despite the usual griping about the rail network I have never experienced more than a ten minute delay in traveling to and from London by train.

Timothy Wallace said...

Tried the Megabus?

Will said...

Would you buy an open return plane ticket? No - so pretending to make that comparison here is totally false.

It is a shame the train is £15.40 more expensive, although I am sure you will pay more than that on taxis or buses to and from the airport. And on the differences in time I look forward to the update on how long it actually takes you door to door in a months time!

Anonymous said...

If it is a day return, it is always flying to Glasgow and back, instead of spending 15 hours on a train and even a first class travel becomes very tedious. I worked in Scotland for a few years and from time to time I travel to Edinburgh, and it always requires preparation well ahead and results in a two-night stay at least. Glasgow is the most unattractive city in Scotland holding very little attraction outside the business work which necessitates the trip.
It is so easy to take a London- Paris/ Brussels Eurostar and cheap too. Glasgow is situated much farther than these two, and the travel is so tedius.

brian in the tamar valley said...

Sorry Iain but it looks as if you are being very simplistic in making this travel comparison (many people who instinctively prefer flying are just the same!). So have you factored in the time it takes to get to and from the airport, the extra time hanging about between airport arrival and boarding the plane and any extra costs entailed in going to and from said airports?

Anonymous said...


453 miles x 2 = 906. At 30 mpg - which you should get at a steady 75, even in a V8 Audi - that is 30 gallons, costing you £150. At said 75mph that will take you 6 hours driving time each way, but you have the ability to stop where you want, when you want.

Offer a lift to two people for £100 each and you're in the money!

simon said...

Factor in the time and cost of getting to and from the airports and checking in and the comparison may not be so clear-cut.

Jamie Sport said...

I feel complete now, knowing your transportation plans.

Anonymous said...

BA needs your cash.

Mike said...

Just who was it who privatised the railways? Don't get me wrong privatisation is not wrong per se it's just the terrible way this was done by a Tory goverment and supported through thick and thin by a Socialist one. If we are to carry on with privatised railways we need better value for the taxpayers and if we are to privatise it instead we need er... better value for the taxpayer. In short as the TPA always says the government in the form of the simple shopper needs to get a better deal no matter what colour rosette they wear.

Iain Dale said...

You lot make me laugh. Do you seriously think I haven't factored in getting to the airport? For the record, I live 30 mins from Gatwick.

I think a 30 min drive and an hour at the airport is preferable to getting to Charing X, then to Euston, don't you?

But thanks for caring.

fyoc said...

You should do a Top Gear style race. Someone could drive your Audi, you take the plane and someone else take the train.

You could wave some choccie dog biscuits out of the plane window to see how long it takes Gio to run there.....

Alwyn ap Huw said...

I am speaking in Glasgow at the annual EPOP conference. No, I don't know what it stands for either,

EPOP is "Elections, Public Opinion and Parties"

Oblong² said...

Try flashing a bit of leg and hitchiking.

Anonymous said...

And don't forget the trains are subsidised.......yet still a lot more expensive.

Paul said...

Why are you flying with BA you dumn idiot, there are so many other airlines that will get you there quicker.

Iain Dale said...

At least I can spell dumb :)

Dr Evadne said...

If you had to use Stornoway aiport you wouldn't want to fly. The security staff here make the interogators at Guantanemo Bay look more friendly than the Brady Bunch. I have had my socks scanned and my < 100ml bottle of hand cleaner confistcated lest I should give the pilot a wash. A three hour ferry crossing in a force 10 storm is peferable.
PS I hope I have spelt Guantanemo coorecktly.

AP said...

Get three people, a big V8 engined car you have paid for anyway and hire a driver. That is what our business does now. We can talk in private and in comfort. We get picked up from home and dropped back, we get dropped to the door of our meeting and anywhere else we want to go afterwards. It is still way cheaper than STANDARD class train tickets from Bristol to London. Only the insane or the fully expensed would use a train these days

Anonymous said...

You could set up an interview with Gorbals Mick if he is there and if you have time.

Tom said...

What a joke. No doubt the answer will be to tax flights more. Ugh.

jaydee said...

It may have been Damn idiot

Nick Griffin ate my hamster! said...

What an insightful post. Thanks Iain!

The Young Oligarch said...

Glasgow Airport is well outside Glasgow , Iain . Taxi could set you back a good few quid . For that reason I always get the train to London . Central Station shouldn't be too far from where you're going . Also , if you get the right train it will end up just as quick - 4 1/2 hours from city centre to city centre .

Norman said "Glasgow is the most unattractive city in Scotland " .

He's not been to Dundee , then ?

Graeme Archer said...

Iain I know I'm even less likely to convince you of this than I am to persuade you to switch to Mac OS, but I travel London-Glasgow a fair bit, have done so for decades, and IMO there is no doubt that the quality and reliability and convenience of the train outdoes the plane easily. When I go home now I only ever go by Sleeper, which is the most civilised way I've ever found to go anywhere. It's like teleportation. You have a normal day in London, you go to a normal place like a train station where you're not stripped of your belongings, footwear, patience, dignity etc. You can have a wee dram in the bar on board, go to bed, and wake up to the Victorian gothic beauty of central Glasgow. You get a cup of tea and a bun in bed too!

Glasgow airport is in fact in Paisley with only a bus link to town, and Prestwick airport is in beautiful Ayrshire, land o' ma faithers, but 45 mins by train from town.

I hope you have a great time in my favourite city! Are you going to the University?

Anonymous said...

Yes, but how are you going to explain to your grand-children that you were responsible for twiddling your thumbs while the planet fried ??

Ah, conveniently an ignoramus like you is not reproducing...

Iain Dale said...

Oh what a surprise that the last comment was anonymous.

So the plane wouldn't be flying if didn't go on it? I think not. People like you are deranged.

Mr. S Puppet said...


What makes the comments of anonymous posters more valuable or worthy or respect as opposed to those contributors who post while using pseudonyms?

Lord Snooty said...

For pity's sake, Iain, just get the bloody train.

Anonymous said...

What makes anyone think that train runs to time.Lot of irregular shaped leaves this time of year.

Lord Snooty said...

So the plane wouldn't be flying if didn't go on it? I think not.


One of the most cretinous comments I've ever read here. You don't really understand the concept of the carbon footprint, do you? Moron.

Hitchy said...

Hi Iain,

When you live in the countryside like you its a bit unfair to compare plane to train for this journey.

The Virgin train is fantastic for going from central London to Glasgow - there's a daily express that does it in 4hrs 10 mins and is very pleasant in First Class (free hot food with cutlery, free drinks, and excellent wifi). Intercity trains are great for going city to city but useless if you live in Little Chuffing on the Wold - which is what they were designed for.

Dr. Sexy said...


as a rough guide, exactly how much sympathy do you suggest we give you in response to the "ignoramus" comment?

Anonymous said...

To The Young Oligarch:
No offence meant really. I meant there is not much to do in Glasgow. I may be biased because I like Edinburgh. As far Dundee, I like it for the U of Dundee, particularly its life sciences dept with 3 world famous scientists- Hardie ( discoverer of AMPK's role in Type 2 diabetes, and the development of the almost indipensable pill for type 2 diabetes: Metformin), Cohen ( Cell regulation, understanding everything we know about human cells) and Lane ( discoverer of the cancer gene p53), a set of potential Nobel Prize winners. Not even Cambridge U has this distinction.

The Young Oligarch said...

Norman . No offence was taken , I was being light-hearted . I don't live in Glasgow , so I've no axe to grind .
Dundee is a good enough place , but not very pretty . It had improved a great deal last time I was there , though .
Glasgow has some really grotty , scummy bits , but there are others that are truly beautiful .
Dundee would be better compared to my native Motherwell - it would win then .

The Big Dollop said...

Easy jet from Gatwick is the way i'd do it .. Glasogw airport is only 4 miles from the city centre ..

DespairingLiberal said...

Is this supposed to prove something?

Intelligent people of course book ahead and right now, for example, I can see London > Glasgow returns on 3 weeks away for as little as £45 return.

Shame you can't plan, although I agree the walk-on fares for train services are scandalous. Why are they so high? Because the main structures of the astonishingly bent Tory rail privatisation are still in place, including a wildly over-priced private banker's monopoly in leasing coaches to the train operators and TOC contracts that would stretch the corrupt instincts of a Caligula.

DespairingLiberal said...

Iain Dale said: "the plane wouldn't be flying if didn't go on it?"

Have you never heard of the effects of consumer demand Iain?

How can you call yourself political if you lack even the most basic understanding of how economics works?

Iain Dale said...

Dont try to be clever. It doesn't become you. That plane would be flying regardless of whether I fly on it or not.

I want to get from A to B. As a rational human being I will weigh up my options taking cost and time into account. Simple as that. Logic has deduced that a plane is the best way to travel. End of story.

DespairingLiberal said...

If it's that simple, why raise it as a special point on your political blog?

Just where exactly are you trying to point the finger? Or is this some kind of baby-Thatcherite "I prefer the [insert selfish means of transportation here] to the car any day" type of throwaway remark?

I am looking on the bright side though - less Tories on the trains means having to listen to fewer braying yayaing phone calls carried out at the tops of voices to brokers, hit men, etc.

Anonymous said...

Despairing Liberal
Blair and Brown have had 12 years to
renationalise the railways. Labour wants to blame Thatcher period and when I point out the Callaghan's time, particularly the last year of that infamous regime they become silent.

Anonymous said...

Parking at Euston is quite cheap. (£15 for the day I think) Best to drive to Euston, then train it.

Also, as many have pointed out, travelling off-peak may be significantly cheaper - cheap enough to cover the cost of an overnight stay to allow you to use the cheaper trains.

peter_dtm said...

try this government website for journey time comparisons.

Trains normally loose to everything other than walking.

All though you CAN find cheaper train fares sometimes; I have found that the train cost is normally HIGHER than quoted (they leave out station car park charges or taxi to station because the buses don't go near where you want to leave/go to)

And to the people complaining about carbon foot print - go do the maths - a diesel electric train is WAY less efficient as well; and an electric train about breaks even with air travel.

bladerunner86 said...

Perhaps you have illustrated one of the reasons why privatization of the railways was a failure.
Railways needs to be brought back into public ownership and made publicly accountable once again backed up by long term investment and strategic planning.

simon said...

Iain. if the 'plane was flying anyway' argument had any validity, no plane passenger would have any responsibiility for its environmental effect and the concept of a carbon footprint would have no validity to ay form of public transport.

Osama the Nazarene said...

Don't despair Iain, I believe Dave has promised to introduce super fast trains which will get you there in an hour!

I know its no use now, but in 5 years time, at the end of the next Conservative parliament, you'll have a more equitable choice. Though there are no guarantees as to cost.

Mr Smith said...

"Yes, but how are you going to explain to your grand-children that you were responsible for twiddling your thumbs while the planet fried ??"
Why do you dismiss this statement Iain? Do you actually understand ecological concerns?

Iain Dale said...

I dismiss it because of its self evident patheticness.

So you'd ban all flights and cars would you?

RfS said...

some local gen.

Glasgow Airport is 9 miles from the city centre. There is currently a serious bit of road works going on at Renfrew where they are lifting a 40 year old bridge and closed off a lane in each direction. You will join the tailback as soon as you get on the m-way and will be delayed by 20 mins returning so factor that in your plans.

Alternative is bus to Paisley and train to Central Station but only if you want to study the locals and their weird habits.

I take exception to the description above. Glasgow is improving all the time. We have good entertainments, a concert hall, shopping and cinemas. No worse than other places.

easyJet is the way to go. For an hour on the plane it is not going to be a huge problem. Any questions drop me an email.

Osama the Nazarene said...


The Megabus will get you there for £1 but there will probably be two overnight stops!

Mr Smith said...

"So you'd ban all flights and cars would you?"
I did not say that I would ban all flights and cars did I? -
If you think I said that you must be hearing things in your old age Iain.

I do not think you understand ecological concerns because you have not spoke at all about the environmental impact air travel does.

Coming out with a statement like yours does reinforce my opinion that you don't understand the impact of the environmental and the need to have greater access to alternative forms of transport. It is interesting to see that you have not criticized the previous Conservative government's policies of rail privatization. It is rail privatization that has led to ever increasing fares and poor service.
I agree with the comments of bladerunner86. But we need to have a fundamental shift towards more alternative forms of transport and not as you quoted to "ban all flights and cars would you?". Therefore we need to make a fundamental shift in people's transport needs.

Captain Kirk said...

Iain you will not be having any grandchildren. That's why you don't seem to care.

Iain Dale said...

What a load of old self serving bollocks.

1. Rail privatisation was a good idea but implemented wrongly. Track and rail should not have been split. But that does not disguise the huge levels of investment and massive increase in passenger numbers which have occurred since privatisation.

2. You witter on about alternative forms of transport without actually specifying what they are. Still, I suppose it makes you feel better.

3. You have no idea what I understand or what I don't. You have no idea, for example, that I was making speeches in the 1980s on acid rain before anyone in this country had ever heard of it.

Iain Dale said...

Captain Kirk, welcome to those making facile and idiotic comments on this thread.

I may not be having grandchildren, but my nieces will.

No, I don't buy into the pseudo religious climate change hysteria which is the new weapon of the left (and, I am sad to say some of the right) in this country.

Anonymous said...

Shame the conference is at Strathclyde Uni.

If you have any time, go to the west-end. Kelvingrove art gallery, Byers Road/Ashton lane, and University of Glasgow are worth a look.

Anonymous said...

I would drive for 4 reasons :

1. Its cheapest.

2. You can stop for a pee when you like, choose your own route, choose your own music, temperature and even fart when you like without feeling guilty.

3. Modern air travel is a never ending series of potential inconveniences, pauses, delays and frustration - not like it was portrayed in the past.

and the key one

4. It would annoy Mr Monbiot no end to know I made that deliberate choice he wants to take away from me.

As Douglas Adams said "It is no coincidence that in no known language does the phrase 'As pretty as an Airport' appear."

And has been pointed out, Glasgie Airport is only vaguely near Glasgow but at least it has a train going to it. Embra doesn't even have that.

Mr Smith said...

"What a load of old self serving bollocks.

1. Rail privatisation was a good idea but implemented wrongly. Track and rail should not have been split. But that does not disguise the huge levels of investment and massive increase in passenger numbers which have occurred since privatisation.

2. You witter on about alternative forms of transport without actually specifying what they are. Still, I suppose it makes you feel better.

3. You have no idea what I understand or what I don't. You have no idea, for example, that I was making speeches in the 1980s on acid rain before anyone in this country had ever heard of it."

Firstly before I look at your argument do you think its appropriate to use the word 'bollocks'. I think not.
I will take each part of your argument and smelt it...
1. On the issue with rail privatization - I think your very post seems to explain how great you feel privatization has worked out based on purely a consumerist exercise. It is now irrational to use the railways for long journeys because it costs to much.
Privatization has also led to massive subsidies given by the government to the railway companies and the state ended up renationalizing the east coast line . But I know you suffer from ideological bias so I don't even expect you to understand.
2. On the second point - the alternative forms of transport would be greater use of high speed railways, electric cars and light rail. To be more pedantic I feel that the rail infrastructure and railways should be run as a long term strategic interest based on the public ownership model. Privatization did damage our rail network and infrastructure.
3. The last point is an interesting one "I was making speeches in the 1980s on acid rain before anyone in this country had ever heard of it." So how did you know about this before anyone else in the UK heard of it? - I am slightly confused by this statement. So are you saying you are now an expert on environmental science based on a speech about climate systems?
I still don't feel you have fully grasped the complexities of the issues that we are faced with climate change. One of them is shifting our consumption patterns and demands which your free-market mantra fails to take into account for.

Mr Smith said...

"No, I don't buy into the pseudo religious climate change hysteria which is the new weapon of the left (and, I am sad to say some of the right) in this country."
So you admit you don't believe in climate change. It is not an ideological weapon because its concerns transcends ideological differences. Bloody hell Iain you really don't seem to grasp things do you.
I bet this is also an attack on David Cameron's Green Agenda.

Neil Ward said...

Iain how did a perfectly innocuous blog post turn into such a heated debate about means of transport and you apparetly killing the planet because of one trip to glasgow and then somehow you not having any children was thrown into the mix.

Let me be the first to say I couldnt possible care less how you travel either throught plane, train, car or even horseback.

Have a safe and pleasant trip however you wish to travel

Lola said...

Sleeper train or make a trip of it. Go up by car on day 1. Stay overnight. Go see Glasgow. Do the talk. Go back to classy hotel. Get up. Have a nice leisurely breakfast and then waft yourself back home in that Passat in a party frock of a car of yours.

Iain Dale said...

Mr Smith, Yes, light rail and electric cars are really going to help me get to Glasgow, aren't they? I rest my case.

On the acid rain point, I lived in the Black Forest for a year. Enough said?

You say rail privatisation led to massive subsidies. You think? Remind me what the subsidies were like before privatisation. Trouble is, you belong to that group of people who seem to think British Rail was wonderful. I suspect you don't even remember what a disaster it was.

On high speed rail, of course the Tories are the only party promising a high speed rail link from north to south, which presumably you welcome.

davefromluton said...

Depending on the date, Easyjet is about £25 each way booked 4 weeks in advance to/from Luton.
Then bus from airport to city centre

Mr Smith said...

So Iain - high speed railways wouldn't help you get to Glasgow too would they. Even your own party is advocating for high speed rail. If you have bothered to read my post properly you would have seen I did also include high speed railway...

On the issue of subsidies - if we are going to spend subsidies then we are not allowing the market to fully operate when it concerns railways. Why not - because in the case of railways its a market failure. Why not renationalise it instead? Why it was a disaster because it was not backed up by long term strategic joined up thinking and instead was stripped of long term investment. Thats an issue to do with strategic thinking and not to do with the principle of ownership. You are confusing both.

On the issue of 'acid rain' - you seem to take us for fools when you talk about living near Black Forest for a year. What a pathetic answer!!! I was expecting better bulls**t than that Iain. What was causing the acid rain? - What do you think you were the first one to talk about it? How come no one else was? You can't even answer that can you.

Absolutely disgusted said...

Iain, your knowledge of eoconomics, especially that related to consumer supply and demand, is risible.

You should be truly ashamed.

Furtermore, the fact that you will have no direct descendants facing the climate change "myth", as you describe it, is absolutely disgusting.

You should be absolutely ashamed of yourself. However, given your penchant for cloying sanctimony I very much doubt that you will.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I had a quick look and Easy Jet do Gatwick to Glasgow, for the dates you need, plus hold baggage charge, for £109. That is not the cheapest, but the most convenient, taking you after lunch the day before and bringing you back at tea time on the last day.

In 7 years of using Easy Jet between Scotland and England several times a year, I have never known them to be more than an hour late, and then very very rarely. If they are late, they usually make the time good by arrival.

Every single train journey I have had to collect people from ( I never use long distance trains except the sleeper) has been either late or bloody late, or cancelled. They take hours and you have to sit in the stale farts, sick and bogies of a thousand people who are too poor to have a car. I have not experienced a cancelled Easy Jet flight in sixty or more flights. When you watch the departures screen in Edinburgh, a regular feature is the cancellation of BA domestic flights.

All the shite about the environment is a ploy to make revenue for the Government. The APT goes to the Treasury coffers, not to environmental schemes. Trains are just as polluting as airplanes and very wasteful of infrastructure and public subsidy.

It's a no-brainer, except that flying BA Europe puts you on a carrier with a very poor punctuality record.

Hamish said...

A worthwhile thread in my view.
Some interesting, informative and robust comments, and then civilised responses acknowledging the merits of the other point of view.
Pity about the abusive ad hominem stuff. You show great tolerance in letting it through, Iain, but sometimes I wish you wouldn't. To me it does rather spoil the enjoyment of the thread.

The Young Oligarch said...

"Byers Road" ? What next "Gordon Square"?

What you should really do , Iain , is take a private jet . That seems to be the approved method of transport for eco-warriors like Gore and Bono .

I have to admit to a certain nostalgia for the days of BR , though . You could get cans of McEwan's Export in the buffet car then .

Captain Kirk said...

Iain you are talking bollocks about the railways. It was John Major that f*****d the railways up when he privatized it. British Rail could have been better because if it was invested in more

Iain Dale said...

If you had bothered reading the previous comments I agreed that it was a botched privatisation. But your point about investment is ill thought out. The state would never have been able to invest the money the private sector has.

Captain Kirk said...

But Iain you agree in principle with privatization. Do you not? Even if it was botched you still agree with the principle of introducing market forces.

The NHS is a prime example of how the public sector can make long term investments. Why can't the railways run under the same principle? Do you understand public choice and the public good? I don't think so!

Iain Dale said...

Privatisation is a good concept if it is executed properly. It wasn't on the railways, mainly because of Treasury interference.

Market forces are usually forces for good - even in the health service.

Captain Kirk said...

Iain I welcome debate and thank you for the response.
On the wider issue of market forces you said "Market forces are usually forces for good - even in the health service."
So do you support the principle of a universal free health care system? If you believe in market forces for the health service are you also talking about privatization and the merits of privatizing the NHS?
If this is the case then how can people afford health care if they have got no money and not in employment.
Look at the health care system in the US and you will see that there system is based on who can pay and not based on medical need.

Anonymous said...

Hmm ... as far as I can see on DL favoured website an anytime return (off peak too late?) is £271. Thats on 28 Aug Euston to Glasgow Central.

Annon @7.55 is indeed deranged trains are not CO2 friendly - but of course CO2 is not a poison it is a nutrient and there is no such thing as man made global warming - except of course all the hot air coming from DL and Snooty. (Mr Snooty carbon footprints are meaningless - take a look at Al Gores)

Stornoway Airport is OK, once you get used to the plane doing a 3 point turn on the runway after landing.

Iain Dale said...

You are putting words into my mouth. I am not advocating the wholesale privatisation of the NHS, but I do not take the blinkered view that no private sector involvement in the NHS can ever be allowed. No other country takes this view. The internal market was a good thing, and so was GP fundholding. They weren't privatisation but were good examples of how market forces made things more efficient. Very sad that Labour abandoned such things out of pure political dogma.

Sandy Jamieson said...

As you're a speaking guest at the Conference,won't they be paying your travelling expenses anyway? so sit back and take the most confortable way of getting there. Its one of Milton Friedman's types of money "I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch" where quality is the issue not price. I'd go for 1st class rail not because I believe in the green agenda-I don't but because its far more relaxing and you don't have to spend two hours at the airport nor do you have to worry where your luggage is.
Not only that you're near the city centre (200 yards from Strathclyde uni) Actually there's quite a good city tour from George Square. Better still ask Tom Harris to show you round the city.

You could ask him if he will be the guest speaker at the Glasgow South Conservative Burns Supper next January 25th.(actually they once had a Labour Provost as the guest)

Rush-is-Right said...

"I was making speeches in the 1980s on acid rain before anyone in this country had ever heard of it."

Funny that, I remember being taught about acid rain in school science class. And I left school in 1969.

Never mind. Iain... did you consider hitch-hiking? Me I'd go by train. Nothing to do with the environmental bollocks subscribed to by some, more to do with the fact that I like to look out of the window and watch the countryside go by.

Anonymous said...

As a regular vistor to Glasgow (family up there) I would choose the train any time over the plane.

Factor in the trip to the airport as opposed to Kings X/Euston, the ghastly nightmare of check in and security then you are not saving much time. Central London to Central Glasgow and limitless hand luggage.

I know that you are close to Gatwick, but I have always found the queus at GW worse than any other London airport (Luton is the best). So you have to arrive very early to ensure you don't miss the plane.

The train is much more relaxed, you can buy food at M&S at the station to take on board with you etc. At weekends 1st class upgrades are availble for a little extra. If you buy 2 weeks in advance you get get a much cheaper fare. You can plug in your laptop and work, or if you want peace and quite opt for a quiet coach.

And the sleeper is bliss and not that expensive!

Anonymous said...

pseudo religeous climate change hysteria?

don't wear your ignorance as if it's a virtue Mr Dale.

listen to the experts:

Anonymous said...

Well I always travel by train when in the UK, for long journeys.

It isn't cost that motivates me, though cheap rail fares are available, it is just a more relaxing and interesting mode of travel.

You get to see the countryside and lots of interesting towns (especially if you get on the wrong train, the one that stops everywhere).

The sleeper is a great invention as well, though I do prefer getting to my destination earlier and having a nap in the hotel bed.

Planes are boring and the "security" is crazy. Those people need training in manners.

Have an exciting meeting and have a look around Glasgow, it's far more interesting than Edinburgh or Dundee.


james.bottomley said...

Trevorsden blathered: "CO2 is not a poison it is a nutrient."

Gosh, how stunningly true and also stunningly irrelevant. Can you point to any reputable scientist who says that CO2 is a poison?

The problem is not that CO2 is poisonous per se but that if the concentration of it in the air increases as a percentage, it causes excess heat to be retained on the earth, since it tends to block heat radiation away from the atmosphere. Hence the term "greenhouse gas".

I suspect that severe limits like this on people's basic scientific knowledge are one of the main reasons why people "don't get" global warming.

Similar limitations can be seen in Iain Dale's arguments on a regular basis.

Unsworth said...

@ Despairing Liberal

"Because the main structures of the astonishingly bent Tory rail privatisation are still in place, including a wildly over-priced private banker's monopoly in leasing coaches to the train operators and TOC contracts that would stretch the corrupt instincts of a Caligula."

Fantastic progress since then eh? Over ten years to do something about it - and what has happened? SFA.

Wasn't Darling the Transport Secretary at one stage? And what about the others - Strang, Reid, Lidell, MacDonald, Byers, Alexander, Kelly, Hoon and now Adonis. What have they actually achieved?

peter_dtm said...

james.bottomly SAID (not blathered)

The problem is not that CO2 is poisonous per se but that if the concentration of it in the air increases as a percentage, it causes excess heat to be retained on the earth

yes - but the GHG effect is a logarithmic function - which is already effectivelty saturated.

Also NO ONE has yet MEASURED the PERCENTAGE contribution of CO2 from man's activities; as they have yet to MEASURE the total amount of CO2 emitted/absorbed by NATURAL mechanisms.

CO2 has continued to rise; temperature has not.

Models are meaningless when they do not accurately reproduce initial and ongoing conditions; and since not even the sainted Gore claims to understand the chaotic system that is the atmosphere; it is unlikely that any current model will be able to make an accurate prediction any time soon.

If you wish to blather on about a subject I suggest you learn how to measure it first.

The current theory of cycle climate changes (ice-age/interglacial) adequately explains the current temperature variations which are entirely normal with in the historic perspective; we do not need people blathering on about histrionic perspectives for what ever mis-guided reasons they may have

neil craig said...

Fly. Well you could take the bus for about £20.

fyoc said...

never has so much been written about a 1 hour flight - and it hasn't even happened yet!

Us regular readers will be expecting a full Twittertastic ball-by-ball breakdown of the entire flight!

Unsworth said...

Well Iain I dunno about you getting to Glasgow, but it usually gets to me.

Joe Public said...

Why not fly Ryanair & get there in September?

Mr Angry said...

Try as the rail fans may to spin this otherwise there is a clear advantage in terms of both price and journey time in going by plane.

Anonymous said...

Don't believe all this nonsense about carbon footprints: the minuscule amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has no effect on the climate. But the train should be a lot less hassle, and a rich person like you can certainly afford it, even a first class open return. Of course, if you lived in a sensible place, like Leeds or Manchester, you'd be close to both London and Glasgow.

Green IT said...

Are you aware that computers are responsible for 2 to 4 % of the CO2 (GHG) emissions ? So there's not only transportation emissions to cut, but also our power consumption too. On the other side, as a telecommuter, i'm doing much of my work at home. I'm far away from Paris. Skype and other webconferencing tools of that kind save huge amount of CO2 emissions. If you read french and want to know more about Green IT, feel free to visit