What on Earth was an Islamic message doing on the King's Cross departure board?! Stick to the trains, rages Kelvin MacKenzie

Signage boards and King's Cross Station

King's Cross Departure Board displayed an Islamic message

GB News
Kelvin Mackenzie

By Kelvin Mackenzie

Published: 21/03/2024

- 13:34

Updated: 21/03/2024

- 13:48

Kelvin MacKenzie delivers his verdict on the day's top stories

Something rather odd happened at King’s Cross station yesterday. No, a train didn’t arrive on time. Even stranger. An Islamic message was displayed on the departure board.

Passengers could have been forgiven there had been a hacking. They would have been wrong. The message had the go-ahead from the Network Rail bosses as part of a diversity celebration for the Muslim month of Ramadan.

A screen on the departure board was taken up with a display of a quotation from the Prophet Mohammed together with Islamic prayer times.

Next to the conventional information about delayed trains, the information screen showed times for ‘’fajr’’ and ‘’maghrib’’ – sunrise and sunset prayer times- with a ‘’ hadith of the day’’. I looked up hadith and basically it means a source for religious and moral guidance from Mohammed.

This one read; ‘’All the sons of Adam are sinners but the best of the sinners are those who repent often.’’

As you might expect using the departure board of a state-run railway to plug a religious narrative generated a lot of criticism.

Perhaps the most intelligent came from Stephen Evans, chief executive of the National Secular Society, who said the display could trigger a race for other religions to have their articles of faith shown with similar prominence.

He said; ‘’ Religious messages like this undermine the principle of neutrality. Maintaining such neutrality in public spaces and services is the best way of nurturing a fair, harmonious and inclusive society.’’

Decent points. And this is where things get a little murky for Network Rail. They claim that throughout the year there had been messaging from other religions, marking Passover, Diwali and even Christmas.

But when asked for examples of departure board messages displayed to mark other religious festivals, the Network Rail spokesman said none were available because staff had taken no pictures of them.

Must say I was surprised at that response. After all it wasn’t the PR department of King’s Cross who had put out the photos, it was irritated passengers on the station.

And had there been other multiple board messages over the year you would have thought Network Rail would have them on a computer somewhere.

I suspect the Islamic message was a lot more detailed than any other religion. Do Network Rail mean Happy Christmas or Have a good Diwali? That’s entirely different from a Muslim tract.

My advice to the station bosses at King’s Cross is to focus on arranging for trains to arrive and leave on time and leave the diversity stuff well alone.

Who are the BBC hiring these days?

You have to wonder what barrier, if any, there are to getting a job at the BBC.

Despite the chap who took the video of Kate and William at the Windsor farm shop saying it was definitely the royal couple as he saw them with his own eyes, BBC sports reporter Sonya McLaughlan, a rugby specialist, had a different view.

She tweeted; It’s so obviously not Kate. Some newspapers are reporting it as fact. But it’s not her. No conspiracy theorist but very odd.

She also suggested that Prince William could have been an actor. Had she just been Sonya from doen the launderette the tweet could have been considered just another nutcase wanting to share her views to the world.

But with the added soubriquet of BBC the tweet had added power and became a story in itself. Now she has deleted the tweet. Why on earth did she join in? Or she did was create uncertainty about those things she was paid to report on. Was that try really scored? Was that ball really hit for six? Was that penalty really scored?

She was mad to send that tweet.

I hope that all this conspiracy rubbish can now end and Kate can be left to continuing the last few weeks of her convalescence as the Times is reporting she will be seen on Easter Sunday ( it’s March 30) when she, and other members of the Royal Family, will attend St George’s in Windsor.

Then she will stay home until the children return to school on April 17. After that she will consider public engagements. My sense is that she will need a little longer than that.

I hope everybody will now leave her in peace.

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