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Politics of Spite: It’s not about saving money

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2011 by grahamharrowell

I see that Alan Yentob has fallen foul of the BBC rules about rail travel. Apparently he had to make a business trip and whilst seeking the cheapest fare for his journey chanced upon the fact that the cheapest option was in fact in First Class. Big mistake. Yentob was told in no uncertain terms that the rule was that there was to be no First Class travel even if it was the cheapest way.

By an odd coincidence I overheard a couple of blokes talking in the pub the other week on a similar occurrence. Apparently at the back end of March two Home Office civil servants had to make an official rail journey. It seems that despite being entitled by their terms and conditions of service to use First class for such travel, many civil servants have, since before the Clegg-Cameron Coalition came to power, been travelling Second to save the taxpayers’ money. These two travelled First but such is the scrutiny now in force that it came immediately to the attention of the head of department who ordered an enquiry. The pair justified their action by showing that the First Class tickets they bought were considerably cheaper than any Second Class option. Nonetheless they were admonished and everyone else was immediately reminded, like Yentob later, that the objective is not to save money but merely a presentational issue. Travel Second Class however much it costs in order to give the impression that the Coalition is clamping down on spending.

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