Right, sorry, I know I’m blogging too much at the moment, but I couldn’t resist this. Our Chancellor, George Osborne, is on a train, as we speak. But not for George the easy trappings of power. He may be the son of a baronet and the second-most powerful man in the Government, but, as befits the man behind the slogan “we’re all in this together”, he is travelling on a standard-class ticket.
He has, however, rather spoiled the effect of it by sitting in the first class section.
ITV’s Rachel Townsend has been live-tweeting the whole wonderful thing. Here’s the choicest line: “Very interesting train journey to Euston Chancellor George Osborne just got on at Wilmslow with a STANDARD ticket and he has sat in FIRST CLASS. His aide tells ticket collector he cannot possibly move and sit with the likes of us in standard class and requests he is allowed to remain in First Class. Ticket collector refuses. Standoff.” Poor George: can these commoners not see that he is a purer and more noble being than they, and would be sullied by the merest contact with the herd?
What’s particularly entertaining is that the collector was going to let him stay if he paid the upgrade, but his aide refused. Apparently he eventually coughed up the £160, so that he need not soil his brogues on the filthy carpets of the scum-shuttles at the back of the train. No doubt he’d have been able to manage if his gentleman’s gentleman had only remembered to pack a nosegay for the stench.
I tell you who the most relieved man in the Government must be right now: Andrew Mitchell. He finally has a bit of company in his lonely war against the servant classes.
• UPDATE: Mr Osborne has apparently been smuggled out of Euston by the goods entrance. Wonderful.
• UPDATE 2: Ah, I can see why. Here’s the scene at Euston: