After news emerged that George Osborne was forced yesterday to sit courageously in first-class on the 3.11 from Wilmslow to London Euston despite only having paid for a standard-class ticket, the Chancellor has bravely spoken out about the terrifying circumstances that forced him to take such an action.
‘One had elected to sit in standard class to show that I really am just an ordinary chap,’ said the Rt Hon Mr Osborne MP (bart). ‘This was a chance to really muck in with hoi polloi. But as soon as I boarded the carriage I realised I’d made a frightful mistake.’
Mr Osborne described his ‘bewilderment’ at the sight that greeted him. ‘People kept pointing at me and whispering,’ he said. ‘They were no doubt commenting on how marvellous it was to have such a senior fellow from their beloved Coalition government just sitting amongst them as though we’re all in it together. Which they are, of course. I mean, we.’
However, things soon took a sinister turn. ‘One of these persons was working on some sort of portable computer, much like the ones my Treasury underlings use to make my calculations look as though they all add up. Well, I thought to myself, here’s a jolly thing, I can have a chin-wag with this geezer. So I asked whether he was working on perhaps a proposal for a small business idea or something else to assist the economic recovery, but he declared that he was just “e-mailing”. I didn’t know what that was so I decided I should look askance and move seats.’
Despite the Chancellor’s bravely self-serving action, the ordeal, much like the economy, continued to worsen. ‘A woman’s mobile telephone began to make the most cacophonous noise, apparently to indicate that it was ringing. I supposed that one of her domestic staff had encountered a shortage of asparagus or something and needed to seek advice. Anyway, my aides told me that her “ring-tone” was in fact a piece of popular music called “Gang Nam Style”, which I imagine is what the lower-classes listen to when they’re unable to pick up Classic FM on the wireless.’
With his earlier decisive seat change proving as ineffectual as his economic policy, Mr Osborne found that things went into a second nosedive. ‘I hailed the trolley-madam to inquire what sort of refreshment she was able to procure for me. Alas, when I asked for her advice on whether to opt for Earl Grey or perhaps a Darjeeling the girl, who I imagine is undoubtedly a single mother, insisted that she only had “Tetley”, whatever that is. I knew then that I simply had to scarper for my own safety, what what.’
Osborne recalled how he made a mad dash up the aisle, his aides shoving the hostess trolley and several passengers aside before he made it through the doors into the only safe area on the train: the first class carriage. ‘The instant I arrived I felt the most immense relief,’ a tearful Chancellor revealed. ‘The gals through there wrapped me in a warm blanket, sat me down in a leather chair, and brought me a glass of Armagnac to soothe my jangled nerves. I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it.’
Despite this, Osborne has announced that he doesn’t intend to dodge the £130 upgrade fee. ‘I’ve already made arrangements for the work experience boy to pay the difference. I’m not the kind of person to avoid my debts – at least not if they come to less than £120 trillion.’