Travelling by train in the dark is always a very odd experience but today I am travelling back from London to Scotland, using the newly renationalised rail service – East Coast, that took over from National Express yesterday.
To be fair there is little difference in the service, except that I have to admit I am sitting in First Class, partly because there is £25 upgrade for Weekend First, and the train is packed.
But, whilst I was enjoying my brief moment of 1970s nostalgia as I sat down I once again seemed to have a magnetic attraction to Tories, who seem to sit near me on trains, and today was no exception.
It isn’t my presumption that many Tories travel to York, Newcastle, Berwick or Edinburgh, but this train stopped at Peterborough so perhaps that explains it.
Not seconds after I had sat down came the unmistakeable ramble of a Tory stuck in the wrong century.
‘Why do you have Italian salad leaves on Lamb Hot Pot?!’ To be fair I smiled at the question it seemed relatively reasonable. But here is the subsequent soliloquy.
‘Probably some mad European regulation! No doubt that Milliband person coming up with rules that make them do it! They shouldn’t be allowed to breed you know…’
I am not a great fan of the Labour Party, but this seemed to be extreme not to mention deeply offensive to the carriage, as more people than just myself groaned at the man’s apparent lack of manners.
It seems astonishing to me that people like this still really exist, the speech went on for several more minutes and seem to be concerned with pig breeding.
I settled down to my nationalised cup of tea and shortbread biscuit in the knowledge that when he got off the train was bang on time and the sighs of relief seemed apparent, even in First Class!