Sitting on the train returning from Cornwall this Friday I overheard a very annoying and salutary conversation on British politics and the present economic situation.
A woman, on her second miniature bottle of red wine, 20 miles into her journey from Exeter to Reading, at 3pm on Friday, after a ‘terrible day at work,’ was discussing the political situation of the nation. From what I could tell she was from East Devon constituency and was a Conservative voter, who was ‘looking forward to having my MP in line with the rest of the country after the next election.’ For those that don’t know East Devon is probably the most Conservative seat in Devon, electing the wonderfully Tory-boy sounding, Hugo Swire!
Ignoring the patronising nature of this comment, suggesting that Britain had been wrong to make its democratic choices over the past 12 years, was her statement, ‘let’s face it the country’s bankrupt! It’s all Labour’s fault and the sooner the country gets rid of them the better.’
At this point the train manager arrived with his portable ticket machine, everyone was dutifully showing their tickets, assorted railcards or even paying until the Tory lady was interrupted in mid anti-Labour diatribe. She announced that she didn’t have a ticket and produced her credit card to pay for the journey.
The first card failing to work would have been embarrassing enough after this economic guru’s tirade, but by the time the third card had failed she was becoming angry at the official saying, ‘there’s nothing wrong with my card it must be your machine.’
A very helpful man, who had also clearly overheard her political commentary leant across the aisle and said, ‘perhaps if your bankrupt bank had realised Labour was so incompetent at running the economy they never would have let you make your own personal contribution to bankrupting the country, so Labour could get the blame for what you and the banks did!’
I almost applauded and her friend lent her the money for the ticket.
Governments would seem never to get the credit for preventing economic catastrophe, they seem in this case to act as a lightning rod for the blame we should be levelling at ourselves and the banks.