The New York Times has a piece up taking a shot at Britain’s ever beleaguered Tories, one of whom recently committed the grievous sin of saying that coach-class train passengers “are a totally different type of people” from Conservative MPs, who want a bit of rest and calm when they travel. Among hoi polloi, Sir Nicholas Winterton remarked,“There’s lots of children, there’s noise, there’s activity. I like to have peace and quiet when I’m traveling.”

David Cameron is predictably embarrassed, and Labour is making the most of this gaffe. But there’s another side to this story, which is that the Tories are by default the party of people who appreciate peace and quiet, and maybe the party for people who would like to keep alive the possibility of commodious silence in an age of aggressive bad manners. Labour by contrast envisages a world in which every train compartment is full of screaming children and hoodies on cellphones. Well, which ticket would you prefer?