Railway Encounters – Economics, Turkeys and Winchester

Picture of a CrossCountry Class 220 Voyager diesel-electric high-speed multiple-unit

This morning’s journey to Reading was shortened by sitting next to a Glaswegian.

We struck up a point of contact and conversation when we heard someone on the platform asking the Train Manager, we don’t have Guards anymore – just Train Managers, if the train was going to Manchester Piccadilly?   In the background the station announcer was saying the train we were on was going to Manchester Piccadilly.  Even on the side of the train by every door is an LCD showing the destination; Manchester Piccadilly.

Anyway, we both decided the questioning passenger was either a quality control manager in healthcare or a compliance manager in the financial services sector. Definitely not a News International journalist as he checked more than one source.

My travelling companion was telling me how he had friends that had moved from London down to Winchester for quality of life in nice surroundings. A sort of London W1 plonked in the middle of Hampshire. Most of these friends that moved down were still commuting into London by train and the price they paid for quality of life was that they had to stand on both trips each day. One even got so hacked off at not getting a seat he would catch an early train back to Southampton Airport Parkway, change platforms and catch the next train back up to London with a guaranteed seat.

He then carried on talking about the current housing price bubble threatening to damage our fragile economy again with the return of relatively easy lending and low interest rates. The banks are at it again and we all know what happens when they know best.   We had both listened to the same article on the radio earlier about how the housing boom was highly localised. In London where there have been double figure percentage increases in prices this year whereas the far flung parts of the country were only seeing a few percentage point increases if any at all.


Last week I heard an interview with an economic and political philosopher. He was asked to explain how economic crisis happen.

Imagine you are a turkey chick just hatched. A man comes and feeds you but as it is your first day of life you are not sure what they are going to do. By the second or third day as a turkey chick you have got used to the person feeding you and actually rush up to them to be first in the queue for food. This happens from about day three onwards to day ninety nine. Then on day one hundred you rush forward to feed ahead of your buddies and it’s the day before Thanksgiving so the feed bowl and the person that you relied on for so long will slaughter you. That is what economic crisis are.

Glaswegian also taught me a new word. ‘Gallus’ which describes someone who is a bit cocky, a bit cheeky, has more front than Selfridges and would be a Glasgow equivalent to Peckham’s Del Boy. That is what the banks are becoming, just a bit gallus.




About alangrenville

I live in southern Britain near the fabulous New Forest. While studying for a BSc in International Studies I have developed a strong belief in 'NIBAW' or 'nothing is black and white'. Hence my favourite saying "Too often we...enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought" (John F Kennedy).
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