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back to article Top Tory strategist arrested in Brum

David Cameron's top strategy adviser Steve Hilton was arrested last October after a row over a train ticket. Hilton, married to Google's supremo of spin Rachel Whetstone, is the man behind Cameron's shifting image from glacier-visiting green through hug-a-hoodie luvvie to the supposed saviour of the NHS. He was arrested and …

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Big Brother

Wrong!

"..Hilton reportedly earns £276,000 a year..."

Correction.

Hilton reportedly IS PAID £276,000 a year.

There is no damn way he EARNS that sum.

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Thumb Up

Excellent Point

Nobody who has a job description which is basically be a yes man to someone from Eton can earn more than £20 a year surely....

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Anonymous Coward

huh?

'failing to produce a ticket quickly enough'

A bit bizarre. I know there are all sorts of wierd nuLab laws around but I wouldnt have thought even they could dream that up.

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Anonymous Coward

Sounds like he was a wanker

"He was asked to show his ticket, failed to produce it quickly enough and got into a dispute with train staff. The police were then called. He then started to swear - shouting out "w****r". He was promptly arrested and taken to a police station at Birmingham New Street."

Customer facing staff should be able to cope with angry customers who miss their trains. They should not call the police at the drop of a hat, and the police should not be the first line between any disagreeing parties.

I think this rozzer was a fake policeman from the Transport Police, yes? And the Rail man, a self important wanker? Yes?

Can you imagine if Dixons had a police force itself, and called them every time a customer is unhappy with their service? Or Carphone Warehouse called the Carphone warehouse police every time a customer came in to complain about their free minutes?

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Err...

Transport police are not the same thing as CSOs, it's a proper police job with rather different specialisations required, hence the separation from normal rozzers.

It is entirely possible that the policeman was just there when this guy was breaching the peace and while many rail men have driven me to the point of wanting to kill them, I've never shouted anything, let alone a swear at them. Why should they have to put up with that sort of behaviour? All this guy needed to do was complain to the manager, if that was appropriate and proportionateresponse to the situation.

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Dead Vulture

If this had been a normal person...

The El Reg article would have read "Outrageous arrest for not showing a train ticket fast enough"

Thanks for the non-balanced reporting....

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Coat

Can't.......resist.......

"...top strategy adviser......" "....married to Google's supremo of spin Rachel Whetstone...."

I suppose he likes her around to help him keep his edge?

Yes I will. It looks chilly out there.

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Coat

Thick of it

Malcolm Tucker pi**es and sh**s all over Stewart Pearson!

Mines the one with the penalty fare in the pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

Wot No ASBO?

that's it really.

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WTF?

Being a Tory has the obvious genetic abnormalities but...

"failing to produce a ticket quickly enough"

How long was he fumbling through his pockets/wallet/briefcase?

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Anonymous Coward

In the best traditions of Private Eye

I presume he was "tired and emotional" after a long day at the conference (bar)

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He's not Cherie Blair

She travelled without a ticket and was given a £10 fine. But the person who gave her the penalty was later sacked.

I suppose that is the difference between being in power and being in opposition.

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IT Angle

Don't you know who I am?

Failed to produce his ticket quickly enough = Didn't produce it until after the police intervened, in otherwords refused to show it to the guys on the gate.

The police were called = "Oy John". There's a permanant police presence in the station even when there's no nazi conferences going on, they don't exactly have to phone for help - just wave them over.

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Worked for Har-person...

Nuff said...

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Very True

BTP are always present at major stations and have a decent sized station at Birmingham New Street, so it's misleading to state the police were called. It's more likely to have been:

Sir, do you have a ticket

Um, wait i'll find it (real answer being no, I just got on here without one and hoped you would go away)

2 Minute Awkward Silence filled with rummaging

Sir, you'll have to leave the train if you don't have a ticket

YOU WHAT, IM NOT LEAVING THIS TRAIN YOU W****R WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!?!

Sir, my friend John from the British Transport Police will be able to assist you with your enquiries from now onwards.

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Anonymous Coward

Private police forces

He was not charged with failing to show a ticket, if the guy didn't let him past because he didn't show his ticket then that's not a police matter. Plus the story says the police were called *after* he produced the ticket.

If he held him up so he misses the train, then he's a wanker jobsworth and deserves to be called such.

The trouble with that is, the police isn't a policeman and can't be considered to be impartial in the matter. He works for the railways, and represents their interests. So he finds an excuse to arrest him, for complaining which could simply to suppress a legitimate complaint.

I reckon the days of private police forces are passed, they should be downgraded to security guards and fixed penalties reserved for the real police. Britain no longer is ruled by rail barrons and a private police force, or the plastic police, just downgrade trust in the real police.

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@AC 1404

Having just shelled out for my yearly season ticket, I want to be sure that everyone else on the train is paying, I don't want to be supporting people freeloading so I support the ticket inspectors not letting people through because they "can't find it just now, but I've got one, honest. Look my train is about to leave and I'm in a rush, can you just let me through. Do you know who I am?"

BTP are not a private police force they are the UK police in the same way that Thames valley police, the met and all the other divisions of the police as a whole are police. BTP also take abusing railway staff very seriously, if you have a complaint against railway staff, ask to see the station manager, don't call them a "wanker".

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Crazy

OK - few points here...

1) if they arrested him, simply for calling someone a wanker after they'd made him miss his train, will he now have had a DNA sample etc? Arrest seems an over-reaction as it is, and the recent infringements on civil liberties that this autocratic governement has introduced are part and parcel of that it seems. Counter Massage nothing. This is just plain heavy handed over zealous self important state behaviour. It's frustrating that this sort of sanctioned bullying exists, and there is nothing that the citizens of this state seem to be able to do against it.

2) I'm a brummie, who lives in London, and frankly London is the only place in the UK with public transport that works. Automatic ticket barriers, oyster cards etc, all mean that you get the most number of people through the system in the shortest space of time. New Street station (I presume it was) has none of these, and relies on surly and obstructive staff instead. If you're not used to the system, or in a hurry, or perhaps used to a train system that works to rational and sensible methods it's likely that you will get caught out by New Street.

3) Why didn't he just use the one ring and walk through invisibly? My precioussssssssss

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Pint

@ Third point

I think you\ll find His Serene and Diabolic Excellency Lord Mandelson is "Lord of the Rings"...

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Paris Hilton

How the mighty fall?

Shame innit?

The dialogue could have been totally different and constructive.

That's the trouble when the "elite" meet common standards.

Poor thing?

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Stop

clarification.

for those who didn't read the article or the referenced article. He was not arrested for not showing the train ticket, he was arrested because he got into an argument with the station staff after he failed to produce the ticket (although he seem to have found it.... *later*).

note, the way I understand it.... he was trying to catch the train, therefor he *might* have tried to *push* his way through, without showing the ticket, since he did have a valid ticket that he simply misplaced. The staff had to stop him and that is when the argument broke and the police were called. (note by push it might have been in the form of asking the staff to let him through)

think of it as trying to walk out of the store with your replacement part but without the staff acutely issuing that part to you. Yes, you should have that part, but until the staff issue it to you, you can NOT walk out of the store with it and if you did try to walk out with it, they have the right to call the police on you.

any way, if I judge people because they got into arguments in the streets, I'd fire everyone I work with and have to fire myself as well.

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FAIL

Tough

So some overpaid spin doctor gets arrested because he thinks he has the right to call someone a wanker?

What a wanker.

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FAIL

This sounds like such a familiar story

Many years ago I was on my way to start Initial Officer Training in the RAF. I left myself ample time for the journey, even if the trains screwed up. On arrival at Birmingham New Street I ended up being hit with something like a 2 or 3 hour delay which meant I was going to be late. I went to complain about it, in the hope that they might do the decent thing and get me as close to Cranwell as possible then throw me in a cab. Whilst complaining (not that vigourously I add) the station staff decided to get a British Transport Rosser along to tell me to move along. I have no doubt this is a British Transport Rosser over-reaction. You'll probably find he was arrested under anti-terrorist laws as well just to really over-react.

People shouldn't get abusive when annoyed, but there is no need to call the police over an incident like that. And there is definitely no reason for the police to arrest the guy when a "move-along sir" should suffice.

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Stop

I smell NuLab arse

Given how old this story is, you have to think it is a classic smoke screen emanation from NuLabour's media machine to try and divert attention in that day's news cycle from the 4th attempt to get rid of Brown.

Classic fodder for spoon-fed journo's who want to feel they are being policitally balanced in their output.

For f**k's sake this govnt is still borrowing £5000 a second, our debt % is greater than Zimbabwe and yet this makes the news pages. Jeez.

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Anonymous Coward

And where's your story about Harman

who actually did break the law, who is a Government Minister, and it is a story from today, not 3 months ago.

You are indeed a red-top, El Reg.

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Welcome

Surely this is a *good* thing?

The more Government influencers and policy-makers get caught out by stupid overreactions and nonsensical knee jerk laws the more chance there is of introducing some common sense back into the process.

He may well have been being a self important tosser at the time and deserved significant hassle for it but *in general* the worse 'officialdom' in whatever form gets the more we need the people with the power to change it to suffer personally.

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FAIL

should not cope with angry customers

"Customer facing staff should be able to cope with angry customers who miss their trains. They should not call the police at the drop of a hat, and the police should not be the first line between any disagreeing parties."

Nope, when I worked at the cable company, policy was "If the customer swears or yells you can hang up on them". At the place I work at now, we have called the police several times, someone will argue they should get something for nothing (in one case trying to return an item that they were told was "as-is" at least 4 or 5 times before they bought it, and another case arguing that "Oh, no-one else gets a discount but *I* should get these items discounted!", they just kept yellng and bitching, and would not leave when told to leave. That is a police matter. Frankly, I think customer facing staff should be able to tell an angry customer to fuck off and come back when they've calmed down.

I don't think this guy should have been arrested, but you know, if someone is being a dick (which it sounds like this guy was) they WILL arrest or ticket someone that they otherwise would have just told to "head along now".

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Anonymous Coward

Sold as seen?

Sorry mate but in UK law there is no such thing as "sold as seen" for a business.

Maybe some of your customers deserved to yell at you?

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cyclopathology

Wow, he jumps red lights? I suspect that in any major city in the US, bicyclists who do obey traffic signals are regarded with condescending pity by their fellows.

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