Blaney, as I observed at the time, was given a relatively friendly reception by Iain Dale on his LBC show, which was not a surprise to all those who knew that Dale and Blaney are friends who go back some years - although this was not declared to those listening. But those of us who have been on the receiving end of threats from him, and his legal practice (see HERE and HERE) may find the act less than totally convincing.
His Twitter observations also fail to do him any favours: as he travelled First Class into London yesterday, he observed “Yet again @Se_Railway fail to police first class: 8 passengers get on at Bromley Sth on 0950 to Victoria”. How did he know they didn’t have valid tickets? The ridicule was swift and comprehensive. “Did you check their tickets yourself?” asked one responder. And there was more.
“Disgusting people ..... HOW DARE THEY DECIDE TO SIT IN THE SAME CARRIAGE AS YOU, THE INHUMANITY OF IT ALL … Assumed they look ‘poor’? Wouldn't expect anything less from a Thatcher fan … I travel first class and I wear tracksuit bottoms. What you gonna do?” And, guess what? He has form for this kind of thing.
Only two months ago, he ranted “Lots of 1st class folks on @Se_Railway from Blackfriars to W Malling. Or freeloading thieves. Yep. The latter & no conductor”. Train operator Southeastern asked him for more detail: “1747 front carriage: I'll wager all bar two of the packed carriage aren't 1st class ticket holders”. Did he ask any of them? Or was this some mean-spirited rush to judgment on the basis of no evidence at all?
It was the same in January: “Why does @Se_Railway not have ticket inspectors on trains? I paid £48 for my 1st class ticket. At least 5 passengers here haven't, I bet”. Southeastern were again on the case immediately, telling him there should have been a conductor on board. “There wasn't; I boarded the 0847 at Tonbridge, Dodgers boarded at Orpington”. Again, judgmental and instantly mean-spirited behaviour.
And there was worse in April 2012: “Sponging woman who's in 1st Class with no ticket: no guard. Why do the rest of us fucking bother to obey the rules?”. The female passenger was clearly identified in a photo accompanying the Tweet (of which I have taken a copy). This is the same man who is coming over all contrite over the Elliott Johnson tragedy. One of those personas is the real Donal Blaney. And one, I would suggest, is not.