The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his tame gofer, the flannelled fool Henry Cole, who together form the Laurel and Hardy of the blogosphere, have been using the Guido Fawkes blog to go after MPs and their expenses for some time now. And their latest target represents a constituency in the North-West England area served by Virgin Trains (VT). So who is in the frame?
Not reading where they should be
Is it any of these fine upstanding Tory members: Stephen Mosley (Chester), George Osborne (Tatton), Edward Timpson (Crewe and Nantwich), Graham Evans (Weaver Vale), David Rutley (Macclesfield), Fiona Bruce (Congleton), or Graham Brady (Altrincham and Sale West)? Of course not, although the less than dynamic duo aren’t right-wing tribalists – perish the thought!
North West bound: Virgin Trains Pendolino passes Tamworth
So it’s entirely coincidental that Master Cole has gone after Lisa Nandy, who represents Wigan for Labour. This follows his masterminding the #Kerryout campaign against Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy, which was spectacularly unsuccessful. Ms Nandy has travelled First Class on occasion. So Cole thinks he’s on a winner by calling her out over it. And some have believed him.
The less than dynamic duo waste their time
Sadly, the flannelled fool failed to indulge in the mystical practice known as “five minutes’ Googling”, which, coupled to his well-known lack of knowledge about rail travel – he famously went to the wrong station in Edinburgh for his train back to London, even though he only had a choice of one – means this supposed scoop highlights only his crashing stupidity.
Some sad souls actually believe the story
Cole concedes “if a pre-booked First Class ticket is cheaper then that is fine”, but then goes off the rails with “but Nandy seems to have been buying the tickets at different rates. A pre-booked First Class can be got for £36, yet many of her claims are for £77”. Nowt gets past Master Cole. That’s because VT don’t have just one kind of First Class advance fare, but three.
Two Tweets to Ms Nandy? Not that it's stalking, of course
How so? Well, it’s all driven by demand management. Many trains have three quotes of First and Standard Class advance tickets available – some have less – and the cheapest sell out first. So Ms Nandy, or anyone else, booking close to departure time will not be able to get the cheapest deals. And all those First Class advance prices are cheaper than Standard Open (a single is £141).
But I was right, 'cos I'm on telly!
So not only is Lisa Nandy in the clear, but Henry Cole has wasted his time, and into the bargain paraded his ignorance of the subject, and inability to do the most basic of research, before leaping into print. Moreover, one has to ask why he went after a young woman who represents Labour, and not for the first time either. I do hope this area isn’t a problem for the poor soul.
Not that anything should be inferred from that conclusion, you understand. Another fine mess.