Conversations on Trains

I was travelling home at the end of a day at work and contented to have got a window side seat. Just as the train was about to leave a very tall man got into my carriage and sat in front of me. He was panting from his run but happy he had made it. He took off his hat and I recognised him as a member of the parliament. A man who I had great deal of respect for.

And so, it seems, did the young man sitting next to me. He introduced himself to the MP and they started chatting. They were alumni of the same college in Cambridge and soon they were talking about the cold dark rooms in the halls. He got down at Richmond and I repented for not having said Hello to the great Sir Vince Cable. And yes I do not mind calling him Sir because he deserves it.

To compensate I chatted to the young man. He was training at an architects office after doing a degree in the same subject at Cambridge. We spoke a little about architecture but soon we were talking about another Cambridge student. He was our local MP. This politician had visited this boys school while he was a student to speak about diversity and being a black model for young black people. My co passenger didn’t mince his words when he expressed his frustration over how shallow and unsubstantiated the MP’s speech was. ‘It is not just how he said but what he said.’ lamented the young man. The polite architect had to work very hard to not to use the word stupid to describe his MP. We both hoped that he would fade away into obscurity.

Our prayers have not been answered. This man has been put on world stage and has, in a stellar performance in the art of climbing the greasy pole, destroyed the economy of the country. I remember the boys words – he lacks both style and substance. The supposedly greatest minds in this country refused to acknowledge what a boy of fourteen could see. Ambition and ideology makes us blind. The naked emperor lives on.

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