We are soon going to become mightily bored with the general election, so I thought I'd get in and out early by interviewing one of the party leaders.
Admittedly it was a ‘fringe’ party, but at least they have an MP. I was interested that the Green Party was calling for a 10 per cent cut in train and bus fares with increased public investment as part of their manifesto.
Apparently, the £9 billion investment over the course of the next parliament would be met by scrapping most of the Government’s £15bn new road building programme.
The Green Party probably won't get within a heartbeat of implementing such ruinously expensive and misguided proposals. Then again, coalitions have been all the rage of late, so perhaps they will.
Green MP Caroline Lucas’s Railways Bill would, the Green Party said, bring services back into public hands and allow them to be run for the benefit of passengers, not shareholders.
I am old enough to remember the 'golden era' of British Rail, and it was awful. Never mind the sandwiches, the train service itself was truly rubbish. That’s why I learnt to drive back in the 1970s. If the trains had been brilliant I’d have used them to go everywhere.
I put this point to Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, who sounds like a very nice person. I would love her as my neighbour. I think she'd probably take my recycling bin in when I went away and lend me her lawnmower when mine is broken.
The point is, however, that she genuinely believes that not repairing the roads and spending it on rail is okay. It would mean that people like me would see the light and switch over. She has, though, been questioned by beleaguered rural motorists like me before, so quickly added that it would be fine to use a car where there was no alternative or it would be vital for business.
The thing is, politicians say political things all of the time and – most worrying of all – believe what they say. Natalie stuck to her script and was very, very nice. I just felt that what she believed did not stand up to any sort of scrutiny at all.
"The £9bn investment would be paid for by scrapping most of this government's indefensible £15bn road-building programme, leaving £6bn for further transport programmes," she said.