Thursday, 22 November 2012


Back in the days of the cold war when there was always the fear that Communist Russia would break out and invade the West, someone said to me, if the Russians wanted to invade Britain all they need to do is create a way of spreading an inch of snow across the country, everything would grind to a standstill, and then they could move in a takeover as they know how to deal with several feet of snow in their winters. There was a certain ring of truth with that statement.

You go to parts of the world where the weather conditions are far worse than here in the UK and life goes on as normal, but here the moment we have a bit of wind, rain or snow we make a real pigs ear of everything. Yesterday, Wednesday 21st November, was one of those days.

The wind blew and the rain lashed down and the trains stopped. This always happens on days when I am on deadlines and want to get home early to get ready for an event. The event yesterday was to be a debate on the now failed Parliamentary Bill by Nadine Dorries that Girls at school should have lessons on abstinence. The motion for the debate was should Nadine Dorries Bill be accepted. Speaking against the motion was Chris Bryant the Labour MP for Rhondda and Andrew Copson of the Humanist Society. Speaking alongside me in favour of the motion was Matt Brinkley who is a Christian member of the Challenge Team UK.

Now this is not a topic I would normally speak on, in fact when I was contacted by the Chairman of the Warwick University debating society by a very bright student named Akash, I passed on the message to others but the moment they saw the topic none wanted to know. It’s not the sort of issue UKIP members normally debate. However, one young UKIP member was going to do it but there was confusion over the dates which meant the event dropped into my lap as I did not want to let Akash down, which takes us back to me standing on a deserted station waiting for a London Midland train desperate to get home on time with no information as to what was happening, unless you call a sign flashing that trains that were due in two hours previously were “Delayed”.

London Midland Trains have taken a lot of flack of late as they seem to have more trains scheduled than they have drivers, but when things such as problems somewhere on the line happen delays and cancellations are situations out of their control, but it does little for your blood pressure when you are a stranded passenger on a tight deadline with no real up to date information. Not even the London Midland Trains employee working in the ticket office had a clue as to when a train would actually arrive. If passengers are expected to cope with delays and cancellations then it is only a matter of courtesy to give some real and up to date information which will be of help and of use – even if it is so you can call and let others know you cannot make it instead of being abandoned as if the train operators don’t care. Passenger need the full facts to enable them to re-plan and organise how they are to get where they are supposed to be going and at what time.

As it happened I managed to cadge a lift to the next station on the line which was Birmingham International, where all trains stop, then got the first train out of there which meant instead of getting back to my Walsall home early with time to have something to eat and get ready, I just did it by having a rushed meal, a swift change and back out again – all for a debate which I was not really up to scratch on which we lost anyway by a substantial margin.

The students obviously have no plans to abstain from hanky panky, but I am seriously wondering about abstaining from London Midland Trains.

1 comment:

Michael of MK said...

Sometimes, Derek, you just have to say 'No' for the sake of your sanity!