Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Number Crunching, Private Eye style

On the train route from Euston to the north west of England, if you sit on the west side of the train, there's lots of canal watching - firstly the Grand Union (from Stonebridge Park aqueduct, then in fits & starts up to Wolverton, then bits of the Trent & Mersey (and possible N Oxford/Coventry too), sometimes parallel to the railway. No surprise, of course, the two modes of transport were built for similar reasons not too far apart in time. The slow London Midland trains stop list sounds more like a canal itinery - Rugby, Atherstone, Poleworth, Rugeley, Stone...

If, however, you walk into Euston station and follow the sign saying 'tickets', the machines there will charge you £49 for a return to Rugeley - for they are Virgin ticket machines. If you ask a member of staff, they may grudgingly point you at a little booth by the platforms, where a cheerful soul will sell you the same ticket for £17. Yep, it's a slower train and you can't change onto a fast Virgin service for most of the journey, but that's more reading - or canal watching time.

Then of course there's the audacity - if not temerity - of Cross Country who wanted to - and indeed did - charge me £4.80 for an 11 minute journey a few days later, Burton to Tamworth, only to be surrounded by hooray henry students in medieval battledress loudly celebrating the 'spoils of war'. I suspect the reality of 'spoils of war' would come as a bit of a shock to them.

While I'm digressing - that thing on next week - please don't vote for a racist. There's plenty about - three such candidates in my local constituency, all of whom would refuse to acknowledge the title, but who deserve it. Mind you, the other choices will invariably include a war criminal or destroyer of society (those of us who survived the eighties know exactly who to blame for 'broken britain', matey), but just please don't vote racist.

See you at Little Venice...