ON THE

The Mail on Sunday - - Comment -

train down from Manch­ester we ground to a halt. The man­ager tan­noyed that ‘a per­son had been struck by a train’ near Hemel Hemp­stead, as if it was the train’s fault. When I asked, the in­spec­tor ex­plained. ‘We’re no longer al­lowed to say fa­tal­ity as it up­sets peo­ple. Hap­pens ev­ery day, some­where on the line.’ I sus­pect that what re­ally up­sets peo­ple is not the fact that a stranger has died – which hap­pens, let’s face it, all the time. It’s that they’ll be late.

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