Thursday, 14 August 2008

”Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep…”

A soldier returning from Iraq in full combat uniform was thrown off a train after a ticket inspector demanded proof he was eligible for an Armed Forces discount.

Rifleman Zachary Hoyland, 19, had been unable to pick up his Services railcard from barracks and was told the cheaper ticket he had been bought was not valid without it.

But the official refused to show any leniency, instead telling him: 'I don't know what you are complaining about.

'It's not as if you've taken a bullet or anything.'
Hmm, I guess there must be a spate of yobs dressing up as soldiers to get discounted travel on Cross Country Trains that prompted this reaction. Strange I can’t find any mention of it….

Oh, well, I guess I’ll go with my first impression then – that Cross Country Trains employ dumb, ignorant, petty little jobsworths as ticket inspectors on their trains.
The soldier, who was wearing body armour and carrying his helmet and Army backpack at the time, yesterday admitted he had lost his temper.

But he insisted he did not physically harm the ticket inspector, who he accused of 'not liking squaddies'.

'People on the train were looking at him and couldn't believe what he was doing, and after I got off a bloke came over who had been on the train and said it was disgraceful,' he said.
Well, a lot of good that does him after the incident!
A spokesman for Cross Country Trains said the company takes allegations of verbal assault on its staff very seriously.

He added: 'There will be no discounts available without an Armed Forces railcard. We will investigate this if the gentleman concerned wishes to contact us directly.'
Well, I guess Cross Country Trains don’t just employ dumb, ignorant, petty little jobsworths as ticket inspectors. They also employ brain-dead corporate drones who don’t recognise the PR bonus they’ve been handed on a plate, if they issue an apology forthwith.

But then, I guess they feel they’ve got their ‘customers’ over a barrel. Because if they had an alternative, they’d have taken it, rather than put up with a company that treats soldiers like this. Wouldn’t they…?


Anonymous said...

In a rare display of charity to the Conservatives, I would say that this speech of Oliver Letwin was completely on the button. I quote:

"I have seen much the same attitude [overbearing authority persecuting the powerless, generally law-abiding] displayed by the ticket inspectors of more than one train operator, who while happy to fine the commuter who misplaced his or her ticket, are unlikely to challenge the carriage full of louts who didn't have tickets to lose in the first place."

Anonymous said...


And in one memorable instance, as highlighted by Pub Philosopher, they actually sacked a guard who DID stand up to the thugs...

DJ said...

I could stand the mock making - it's their belief that no one's allowed to answer back that really grates.

Anonymous said...


I see from the comments to your quoted post at Pub Philosopher that even Southeast Rail has its defender. Makes you proud to be part of this wonderful New Labour Britain doesn't it!

Anonymous said...

Yes, he's quite a..err...character I think is the word.. ;)