Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Me, Nigel and Dan on the 18.03 from Charing X

It turns out I take the same train as both Nigel Farage and the Telegraph's lefty columnist Dan Hodges. Dan and I both get off at Lewisham, less than ten minutes out from London Bridge, so I can't vouch for the truth of Nigel's experiences at Grove Park or Elmstead Woods out in the 'burbs. Dan takes exception to Nigel's anecdote about English speakers on the route, but I don't think he's right. Neither is Nigel strictly correct about the passenger composition of a rush-hour formation. 

The non-English native speakers tend to use the very early trains up to town and the pre-rush hour (15.30 - 17.00) trains down. The rush hour down trains in the evening, from say five to seven, are made up of English, and increasingly French, speaking office workers, with only the odd pair of Polish roofers who have lingered in town for a voddy or two. Anyway, the point is that everyone on the train, at whatever time and talking whatever language, is working; office cleaners, burger flippers, nurses, dry liners, HVAC fitters and tube staff. Even at British benefits levels, trains are too expensive to be used by the unemployed. Dan, being a Socialist, should enjoy the way we are all jammed in together classlessly; Nigel and I, being Old Skool, will both be able to do that constricted reading thing, turning the pages of a Standard folded vertically in half, that baffles the young and the foreign. Still, Dan is probably doing things on his iPad that are quite alien to us, too. 


cuffleyburgers said...

Dan might be a socialist but I have to say he frequently writes considerable sense.

Anyway what language people speak is totally irrelevant. WHat is important is what they do, in their work, in their free time, what they "contribute" (that horrible word, misappropriated by the stalinists). Are they interesting, kind, hardworking individuals or benefit scrounging, ghettoised, statist scum?

Most of those on your train are probably the former but there's plenty of the latter about.

Ill-judged comment about the former makes it impossible to have an intelligent debate about the latter.

As ever, Farage doesn't help.

Having joined UKIP I left after a year - they are just too crap for words.

If it is down to them we will never get out of the EU.

Farage is increasingly part of the problem not the solution.

charles lock said...

Interesting. I quite like Mr Hodges, his mother is a raving lefty but he puts his point of view across quite well.

It is not the language so much as the body language. Is someone a part of society? To be honest talking in a language that other cannot understand is plainly rude and marks one apart. It does not matter if you are Welsh or Somali, you can fit in or not. Those that choose not to make it hard for everyone else and should be asked to leave.