A Day Replete with Laughter October 19, 2012Posted by Garibaldy in British Politics.
Close the door on your way out Andrew. And the same day that Mitchell finally goes – taking with him more of Cameron’s credibility as a leader – George Osborne is embroiled in a row over an attempt to travel first class on a train with a standard class ticket.
George Osborne got on the train with aides at Wilmslow and went straight to first class. Then his aide approached the ticket collector right next to me. He said he is travelling with George and he has a standard ticket but can he remain in first class? The guard said no. The aide said Osborne couldn’t possibly sit in standard class. The guard replied saying if he wants to stay it’s £160. The aide said he couldn’t pay and he couldn’t really sit in standard. The guard refused to budge. The guard went on gathering tickets and later told me Osborne had agreed to cough up the £160.
I hope the ticket inspector was in the RMT.
UPDATE: From the Daily Telegraph’s Benedict Brogan
There are two wider points to consider tonight in the wake of Mr Mitchell’s resignation, and the farcical incident involving George Osborne and the train inspector. These episodes, coupled with Mr Cameron’s cavalier approach to energy policymaking, speak to an impression of careless arrogance. These guys made a lot out of the incompetence of Gordon Brown. But there are too many times for my liking when they appear to have learned nothing, to be deaf to the world around them, to be a bit to cocky. I wonder sometimes whether they are grown ups. The other point is one of judgment: Mr Cameron was already being criticised for some of his reshuffle choices. That he stuck with Mr Mitchell when it was plain that a quiet word was needed will encourage those who say he is not always a good judge of character. The Government is doing great work, but it too often looks like it’s being run by amateurs.