The Wisdom of Sir Nicholas??

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  SimonRowberry 23 Feb 2010
at 01:08

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  • Anonymous


    The comments of an English MP were splashed all over the news yesterday for his remarks about First and Standard Class rail passengers.

    “Nicholas Winterton calls standard-class rail travellers a ‘different type of person'” is one headline which quoted him as claiming that standard class passengers have “a different outlook on life” compared with first-class passengers.

    Some of our debate within the BT community seems to suggest a fair amount of agreement with this sentiment in so far as air travel is concerned. At the risk of being provocative, what are your thoughts on this?


    Tom, the MP is an ass and so far detached from reality that he needs a class all of his own. The only difference between people is the ability and willingness to pay for an upgraded product.

    We are all human beings and there are few of us who, if they had the means, would not procure for themselves the extra comfort and faciities that can be enjoyed. Different classes of travel are no different from different types of car, house or any other product.

    If our MPs has spent as much time trying to improve opportunities for our citizens, rather than line their own pockets, then all our lives might be improved and we might all be able to avoid the types of behaviour that come about through ignorance and lack of opportunity.

    This particualr MP and his wife have, according to the Daily telegraph, claimed more than £80,000 in rent for a house in London owned by a trust that is controlled by their children.


    Without getting political, there are a large number of MP’s who have worked very hard for their consituents and delivered a good benefit to those communities. However the expenses system has allowed MP’s to claim for things which are wrong.

    I agree Binman Sir Nicholas is an ass, if he had said that by travelling first class he has more room to spead his papers out to work whilst travelling then I think that would have been perhaps grudgingly accepted.

    However his mistake was saying what he did, but certainly as Tom makes the point are all of us that travel by air in Business Class or First class guilty of the same standards, although not saying as such?

    This is a good question Tom well done


    Disappointing my post was removed – I thought it summed this guy up perfectly succinctly. BT, what’s the point in having a forum if you are continually going to remove posts where people express an opinion which is anything other than complimentary?

    This guy is a weasel. And rest assured he wouldn’t be sitting in first class if he was paying for it himself rather than spending (read wasting) tax payers money.


    Agreed guys.

    I would have more respect if an MP booked ahead for a cheap Fare in First, some (Like Airlines) can be better priced than a standard /Economy fare. Their diaries so busy i am sure they can plan which day & train they need to travel like the rest of us.
    They would be more in touch if they took standard carriages & spoke to the ordinary people in the UK, perhaps they could then donate some of the saved costs to some local charity.

    It amazes me they have such hues amounts to “Pay back” with lump sums of money in tens of thousands. Certainly the rest of us would not have such a store of expenses, what you pay you get back £ for £ with any employer.

    Virgin Trains i always thought had the best First, but they also have cut back on food & service on board, especially breakfast options. Chefs have been removed & pre-packed food put in.
    This is not dis-similar to Airlines actions now, for eg SQ?

    Therefore like the Airlines, little difference remains in premium travel now or certainly less value & comforts. Maybe they will introduce Premium Economy?!!!

    It is a world travel trend in all aspects, & the glory has left travelling for a while now…


    I think there are two points here: should MPs / businessmen / anyone else travel executive class on someone else’s money, and should Sir Nicholas have said what he did.

    Let’s deal with the easy one first. The remarks are tactless, but they are at least authentic. Winterton does not go in for spin and that’s the way he thinks. The tragedy is not that one MP thinks like that, but that he is pretty representative of much of the House in having such thoughts.

    Now my first question. I fly business class on aeroplanes at someone else’s expense. So do many other people who post on BT. Are we wrong to do so? Are we wasting other people’s money? How do we differ from our MPs and their first class travel?

    PS when it is *my* money not my employer’s, I usually prefer to fly First …


    I am not convinced that who pays, matters much here. I would not have an issue with any MP having First class travel or business class flights when travelling on business. There are afterall a wide variety of people who for a various reasons must or choose to travel in a upgraded class.

    What matters in this instance is that someone holds such odious views of their fellow human beings and thinks it acceptable to voice them. Where is the apology?


    Binman62: “Sir Nicholas” and “Apology” do not tend to feature in the same sentence much.

    But at least with the Wintertons, what you see is what you get. Which would you rather – an MP who you disagreed with but you knew what they thought, or someone who lies and spins so much you never know what their true views are. No names but the House has rather too many of the latter for my liking …


    PS before we all get thoroughly worked up, Sir Nicholas actually said that other people were a *different* class (my emphasis). Which is probably true. It only becomes offensive if he calls them a *lower* or *lesser* class of person.

    The sense of this thread is that most people are quite glad to be considered a different class of person from Sir N!


    “The only difference between people is the ability and willingness to pay for an upgraded product.”

    This may be true in wonderful United Kingdom, where people are morally and intellectually superior, but here in Middle East, this Sir Nicholas, he would be true.


    Well, I think those in senior positions should travel “up front” be that First, Business or Premium Economy.

    MPs often have sensitive papers and constituency letters to read and attend to; not to mention the potential for troublemakers to cause a scene when a public figure is vulnerable.

    If we don’t permit travel in comfortable, private and secure surroundings, then the alternative is not necessarily less expensive; chauffered cars would be the alternative.

    While many MPs have taken advantage of their allowances, this is only because no-one has had the guts to recognise the value of the work they do, and its necessarily short term nature, akin to a contractor.

    Accordingly, it was unrealistic to expect MPs to work for a salary of £66k, and the “allowances” were always there to be taken advantage of in lieu of salary.

    Expenses are paid tax free; a salary is not.

    I will guarantee you that after all this expenses fuss, in ten years we will be paying MPs proper salaries far in excess of what we pay today; that is the right thing to do.

    Parliament will end up costing us the taxpayer considerably more than it does now as a consequence.

    Be careful what you wish for.


    It is absolutely correct that MPs should travel by rail in First Class, for all the reasons that others have pointed out. I also wholly agree with Krug’s points.

    The problem in this case is Winterton’s assinine comments. Yes, we all know that we get “different sorts of people”in Standard Class. Yes, because they often have a different reason to travel. It’s just that people in his position, if they had half a cerebus, don’t actually come out and say it in public!

    The charitable side of me would like to think he was “misquoted” or “misunderstood.” The realist in me knows he was not. The twerp.


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