Sunday, March 07, 2010

First Class!

Remember the fuss about Sir Nicholas Winterton demanding the right to continue to travel first class? Today, Labour MP Tom Levitt tells the Sunday Times he should be allowed to travel in first because he is "six feet tall". LibDem MP Sandra Gidley says she feels "safer" in first class. I wonder if they will be subjected to the same kind of ridicule Sir Nicholas experienced.

Thought not.


DespairingLiberal said...

I'm always a bit taken aback by the sense of "Tory Party as a sad little victim of the nasty nasty media" you seem to emanate Iain. Just to remind you, Nicholas and Ann Winterton were two of the largest abusers of the expenses system. Does that ring a bell at all? Oh and 85% of the media is in right-wing hands and yet you and your bang on constantly about the alleged bias of the BBC.

Go figure.

Michael Heaver said...

I'm 6'3" and standard class is fine for me. But then I s'pose I ain't got to fit an MP sized ego in my chair have I?

Anonymous said...

Well it's the only safe seat Sandra Gidley will have.

Tom said...

Ann Widdecombe also reckons it is more likely to have something to plug her computer into and therefore she can work throughout the journey - but surely Maidstone is within a couple hours' journey and therefore her laptop could easily rely on battery power?

Richard Manns said...

Predictably not, surely, since it takes a certain type of fool to lead the charge, but those who feel irresistably drawn to the Bandwagon of Stupidity are hidden in the crowd.

Why else would you, say, send out an e-mail on 11/9/2001 saying, "This is a time to bury bad news"?

Unsworth said...

See, in the plane crash it really doesn't matter whether you travel Club or Tourist.

Why is Levitt such a heightist? Does he expect all dwarfs to travel Second Class? Wonder what Alan Sugar and Bernie Ecclestone think about that.

Unsworth said...

@ Despairing Liberal

Is the BBC owned by some right-wing group then?

Paul Halsall said...

Ditto @Despairing Liberal.

Apart from the Daily Mirror and The Guardian the entire national press is pro-Tory, and yet Iain and other Tories continue "poor little us" stories.

God knows what they will be like if in power.

Twig said...

"...alleged bias at the BBC."

Do you believe that the BBC is not politically biased?

FCAblog said...

They can travel in whatever class they like.

The taxpayer should only reimburse standard class, however.

Prodicus said...

The problem is not one's height but the size of one's head.

WriterPaulB said...


The point about BBC bias is simple. It's public money, therefore it has a duty to be fair. Other media is all privately owned


Martin said...

Iain you still don't get it do you? The BBC only run anti Tory stories. The BBC actually think that Socialists SHOULD go first class (as do BBC types, when they don't get a taxi at our expense of course) but they just want to embarrass Tory scum.

I'm really surprised you haven't caught on with the BBC yet.

Martin said...

Despairing Liberal: So how many Tory MPs are facing prosecution by the Police?

Hoe many Liberal non-doms are there? Have the limp dems paid back the dodgy money they got from a crook yet?

Funny I don't hear these questions asked by the BBC.

William said...

Expenses have been abused, but on this issue I feel somewhat different.

Surely it too can be said that first class carriages aren't supposed to be empty. It's for somebody, so why not MPs? If it's being reimbursed by the tax payer then it's for journeys where they are (at least supposedly) travelling to / from (or even doing some), work.

First class is generally more peaceful and doesn't generally have kids clambering about the seats or morons slugging down bear cans. There are fewer people, a generally more respective environment, and yes, i would agree that it's safer actually.

It's not really 'first' anyway; it's more of a business class, designed for getting on with work. I'm all for the in First class.

A lot of trains have wifi for free in first, there are the power sockets, there is free coffee and a bite to eat included in the service too, don't forget.. (do you MP's racking up more bills on expensive coffee?)

Anyway, just another opinion..

Twig said...

It's usually your emplyer's decision as to which way you turn a the end of the air bridge on business trips.

As one of their employers, I say they should turn right, it'll give them the chance to meet their employers more often.

Any air miles earned should be credited to whoever paid for the ticket, i.e. the taxpayer, this will take away the incentive to travel unecessarily which will please the greenies.

When they are travelling at their own expense, they can travel up front if they are prepared to pay for it.

Sean Haffey said...

I am staggered that any MPs have the infernal rind to continue wailing about things like this. There are plenty of people who earn the same as MPs and manage to travel Economy, day in day out.

Some of them are even more than 6' tall.

iCowboy said...

Anne Widdecombe is quoted in the Telegraph as saying she used the power points in first class to write two books. So we pay for her to travel and she pockets the profits from her terrible writing.

Nicki UK (Trans Authoress) said...

I can understand where Ann Widdecombe is coming from with concerns about a power plug.

I travel by train once in a while and I do find it really annoying that Cross Country trains have plugs for every seat and yet the rest of the train service does not. I would like to use my laptop as I am a writer and I know my laptop's battery life will not last the journey from bournemouth to London.

I think the MPs should start a campaign to get plugs installed for every seat on every train that way Ms. Widdecombe would not have an excuse not to sit with the masses.

Sceptical Steve said...

The real reason the media pack was able to declare open season against Winterton was because he lost his temper in a live interview on BBC Radio, resulting in a number of Colonel Blimp style sound-bites.

That afternoon, the whole of 5 Live seemed to be in a state of almost sexual excitement at the thought that they'd got a recording which seemed to confirm everyone's prejudices about the Tories.

Anonymous said...

@Despairing Liberal
Daily Mirror, Grauniad, The Independent, Daily Record, Morning Star, Socialist Worker, BBC, Channel 4 are all heavily left-wing bias. My local newspaper is not so much left-wing as anti-Tory
FT and Times are neutral - ITV seems to be (I very rarely watch it).
Telegraph, Mail, Express, Sun are right-wing
Don't watch Sky News so I can't comment
So you reckon that 4 out of 12 national newspapers and, possibly 1 out of 4 TV stations amount to 85% of the media?
I should like to sign this "Despairing Maths Master" but that would be false - I do Maths because
I can't teach

Joe Public said...

As posted for Winterton, let the Taxpayer pay the basc cost, let the troughers pay out of their own pocket for any upgrade.

Newmania said...

media is in right-wing hands and yet you and your bang on constantly about the alleged bias of the BBC.

Go figure.

The major offenders in the whole expenses scam were in fact the serial home flippers . The worst I noticed was James Purnell which, I assume, explains much of his behavior since. The Wintertons were not involved in the big money.
I would be fascinated to know how Despairing Liberal calculates the % of media in ‘right wing hands’. The BBC gets into 90% of our homes every week and dwarfs all competition , it is the largest Broadcasting network in the world and , Radio 2 is the most listened to Radio Station in the world , its website is the third most visited not here ,but in the United States of America , it squats like a hideous and self regarding troll over every national debate
The left leaning nature of the BBC is well documented I could easily rehearse surveyed evidence the opinion of its own employees of simply the careers of its presenters and their close links with New Labour
If 85% of the free Press is right leaning by UK standards then that shows what people want to read . If not why do they not read the Guardian , the Mirror or the New Statesman rich people did not get rich by worrying about other rich people if there was a gap it would be filled .
The BBC are terrified of losing control of media which is based on a historic flat tax on the actually device ,a device internet is slowly making redundant. Iain Dale has had a pivotal role in the freeing of media from its statist masters and for that he has my eternal gratitude .

edf said...

I had my driving licence revoked for about 18 months due to a medical problem, so ended up using the trains a lot more. If you book far enough ahead you can get some real bargains in 1st class. MPs should be able to plan their travel to Westminster with enough lead time to take advantage of these. I for one wouldn't mind my MP going 1st class if they can show they got a reasonable deal.

Anonymous said...

I'd feel safer if all MPs travelled in a separate mode of transport than the rest of us... the tumbrel spring to mind!

Martin said...

Actually the Daily Mail is very anti Cameron and pro the one eyed idiot. sky News is also very left wing, has anyone ever heard Adam Bolton (who is he married to again?) or Anna Botting (a rabid Labour supporter) or Peter Spencer or Jon Craig (his laughable claim that Harman whooped Hague's arse at PMQ's last week was probably one of the craziest things I've heard in ages) and many others at Sky who openly shill for Labour.

The only one who seems to speak with balance is ITV's Tom Bradby, I always get the impression though he's not in the inner loop of Downing Street hacks (unlike say Toenails, Marr, Snow and Bolton)

Martin said...

Why don't people just buy a spare laptop battery? My new laptop will run for nearly 9 hours on a full charge. You don't need a power supply.

The Grim Reaper said...

Iain said to everyone: "I wonder if they will be subjected to the same kind of ridicule Sir Nicholas experienced."

Well, I'll certainly be happy to subject them to the same level of ridicule. I said that Winterton was a "first-class ████". The final word is not permitted on this blog, but it's easy enough to work out what it is.

Having read this, I think Tom Levitt is a ████ and Sandra Gidley a dangerously stupid ████.

Twig said...

The Grim Reaper
The final word is not permitted on this blog,

Actually "chump" is permitted here.

You were think of the word "Huhne" I believe, which can only be used in quote marks.