Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Fly, my pretties!

They're out, and coming to a delayed train near you soon! The first set of badges is in the post, and whilst addressing the labels, I was struck by how far and wide the net of hate extends. I like that, "net of hate", I must remember to use that again sometime. Anyway, so far you've written to me from the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Berkshire and here are some of your comments:
"An odd feeling, considering, but I think I will be wearing it with pride" Richard, Swindon
"Could I have a dozen, as I know a number of people who want to 'Wear the badge with Pride'!" Charles, Exeter
"They sum up my feelings perfectly" Dave, Frome.
A special mention to the first person who spots a fellow traveller wearing a badge, and please keep your comments and requests coming, either on the blog, or you can e-mail me at
Just as an aside, I realise that I have made a mistake by using the '@' sign in my blog, instead of writing 'at' as most people do, to avoid the e-mail-address-finding-spam-monster. My inbox has already received several requests from spurious foreign businessmen offering to give me large sums of money if I could just help by laundering a bit of cash through my account. I look forward to receiving an e-mail advertising penis enlargements any time now.

Monday, April 23, 2007

A first class service

Good news, the cards have arrived, which means the badges will be sent out this week, very exciting.
While you wait, I thought I'd start a little debate on First Class carriages. I'm inclined to be of the opinion that they should be abolished on rush hour trains, to give more room to the poor cattle-class commuters, but I have a funny feeling I'd think the opposite if I happened to be lucky enough to have a first class season ticket. I suppose the first class passengers aren't that lucky in a way - they don't suffer fewer delays just because they've got bigger seats and free coffee and newspapers - but they do get to suffer them in slightly nicer surroundings. I think I'm just jealous. I can't help feeling a bit aggrieved that I don't get any benefits whatsoever for paying thousands of pounds for a standard class season ticket. Do you think that gold card holders should be allowed to use first class when the rest of the train is full, assuming there are spare seats when the train leaves? Or, here's an idea - why not allocate seats based on the distance travelled. I'd be happier for the train to be fitted with a "long distance" carriage, so that those poor souls heading for Swansea or Penzance can have a bit of a sit-down, instead of Mr Rich from Goring-on-Thames.
Or, even better, just add an extra train or two to the timetable, so that we can all have a seat. Controversial I know, but it might just work.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

An inconvenient truth?

I have discovered a website which has led me to question this campaign of hate. Which, as you can imagine, is a bit inconvenient. It's called "The Truth about First Great Western". Please have a look and tell me what you think, you can find it at
Perhaps I should be ordering some "I Hate the DfT" badges to go with the FGW ones? I still think that First Great Western have a lot to answer for, and I'm sorry but they're still rubbish at what they do, no matter how muzzled they are by the government. What worries me is that, if all this is true, why are all the MPs, including Tories Boris Johnson and Theresa May, calling for FGW to be stripped of its franchise, when they must know full well who's really causing the problems?
I feel I must research further into this, and let you know if we need to start thinking about perhaps hating a whole government department, as well as just FGW. Please let me know your thoughts.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hello all, and I hope you had a happy Easter. Apologies for the brief break in service, which I have spent up to my elbows in paint doing a bit of home improvement and enjoying a life without FGW. I hope not too many of you spent your Easter break stuck on trains, and that you were able to go out and do something less boring instead.

I have another apology to make (I'm beginning to sound like the automated lady at the station. "I'm sorry for the delay to this service"). I can't yet send out any of the badges to you, as I'm still waiting for the cards which will accompany them to arrive - they have been held up at the printers. Thanks to all those who've written to so far, to request a badge or several, and be assured that they will be on their way to you as soon as the cards arrive. If you have not yet requested a badge, please do so, and I will be sending them out very soon.

So, the sun has shown its face, and May approaches, with the promise of improved services for us poor put-upon commuters. So, what can we expect? I suspect that there won't be a return to pre-December 2006 timetables, because that would be FGW admitting that they were wrong to change them in the first place, but with any luck they've realised by now that we're all very fed up and in need of some improvements. If this means my lovely badges don't see the light of day then so be it.

But, being a cynical type, I'm pretty sure we'll all be wearing them long into the summer. Assuming I actually send them out in the first place of course, which I will, I promise! Let's see who delivers first, me with my I hate FGW badges, or the company with a decent service. I'm pretty confident this is a race I can win.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

And now, welcome to the stage.... I hate FGW!

Hello again. It's probably about time I gave a plug to the company which has kindly made the badges. They're called Badges for Bands, see link on the right, and despite what the name may suggest, they don't just make badges for bands but also for angry commuters like me.
But the fact that they do mostly make badges for bands made me think; maybe someone who knows a band looking for a name could persuade them to call themselves "I hate First Great Western" - how great would that be? I think they should probably be some sort of metal band, to fit in with the idea of hating, and they should also probably be loud and unpleasant. So, if anyone knows of any struggling young musicians searching for a name, let me know. For a start there would be badges all over the place advertising their band, and I would happily handle their PR for them, as they would, in effect, be the faces of the I Hate First Great Western campaign. Let's rock!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The badge, revealed!

Ooh, here it is, and isn't it lovely? I've begun to receive your e-mail requests, and as soon as the accompanying cards arrive, will begin to send them. So, if you'd like a badge, or several, please e-mail me at Having spent several cold hours on several cold stations recently, I'm looking forward to handing out a few badges and finding out the level of support.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Now that's just not funny

Isn't it nice to see on the news that this train can go at a whopping 350 miles an hour? Isn't the French train service wonderful? Well, yes it is, but it makes me want to cry. The TGV can speed from Paris to Brussels in a mere 1 hour and 25 minutes. That's a distance of more than 200 miles. So, why do I have to get on a train at 8am to make sure I can arrive at my workplace at 10am, even though the distance is only 47 miles? Answers on a postcard. Imagine the glory of gliding past the inevitable signal failure at Burnham, flying past the wrong sort of snowflakes on the line at West Drayton, and slithering into Paddington station a mere 30 - 45 minutes after departure. I fear this may be an impossible dream.
But, hope is at hand, the badges have arrived, and I now await the cards that accompany them, and the campaign can begin in earnest.
Please let me know if you'd like one. Send your details to, and be sure and let me know how the badges are received. Wear them with pride!