A better story will usually be believed over the truth

Unfortunately when there are two versions of a story circulating, people will always be tempted to believe and repeat the one which is a better story.

Various lurid accounts have been circulating this evening, about what happened when the Chancellor of the exchequer travelled to London on a Virgin train today.

According to a press statement issues by Virgin Trains this is what actually happened

"The Rt Hon George Osborne, Chancellor, was travelling on Virgin Trains’ 15:11 Wilmslow to London Euston service this afternoon (19 October).

The Chancellor, who was travelling in First Class accommodation, held a Standard Class ticket. As soon as the train left Wilmslow an aide went to find the Train Manager to explain the situation and arrange to pay for an upgrade. It was agreed that the Chancellor would remain in First Class and an amount of £189.50 was paid by the aide to cover the upgrade for Mr Osborne and his PA.

The situation was dealt with amicably between the Train Manager and George Osborne’s aide. At no time was there a disagreement or a refusal to pay for the upgrade. Nor was there any discussion between the Train Manager and Mr Osborne."

The ITV reporter, Rachel Townsend, who started a furore by tweeting a much more lurid version of the same story admitted  here that she was not actually sitting in the same carriage as the chancellor.

Mark Twain once remarked that a lie can go half way round the world before the truth has finished getting its' boots on. In the age of the internet, make that many times round the world.


Anonymous said…
Whatever the details are, surely this incident is just another example of the vacuity of the Conservative claim that "we're all in this together".
When will the country wake up and decide that it's had enough unctuous, super-privileged public school boys deciding our future?
Jim said…
Its always the case, a good story is so much juicier than the real facts.

However, I would like to ask was the chancellor travelling at his own expense or at the expense of the Taxpayer? If it was at the expense of the taxpayer (most of whom cant afford a train ticket, let alone a first class one) Then why on Earth was he in First class.

To me he should have been saving public money and have been sat on sacks in the mail carriage. After all we need to make tough decisions and we are all in it together George.
Chris Whiteside said…
I don't know whether he was travelling at his own expense or the taxpayer's.

Personally I find the price of first class rail tickets so outrageous that I not only don't buy them when spending my own money, I have in the past when my employers used to be prepared to pay for first class tickets (they don't do that any more) insisted on going second class.

However, it is not normal for people of the Chancellor's seniority to travel second class.

There was a story the other day that Ed Miliband was being interviewed while taking a train journey, and his staff took the "first class" covers off the seats so that he would appear to be travelling standard class - which he wasn't.

And the economic mess which this government inherited from their Labour predecessors HAS hit people at all income levels - the people who started out with least are often suffering most but that does not mean that people up and down the spectrum have not felt pain.

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