Though we’ve seen the awful cost of government ideology, this bailout may be its biggest outrage yet
In 1787, a splendid metaphor was born. Catherine the Great of Russia set out on a cruise along the River Dnieper to survey a new colony. To wow the empress, her lover, Prince Gregory Potemkin, organised fake villages along the bank and tricked out his men as honest serfs. As Catherine’s boat floated by, the serfs stood and cheered – then stripped off, dismantled their settlements and ran downstream to do it all over again. And so the world was gifted the Potemkin village – a byword for ruling-class deceit and disinformation. While the Kremlin has cornered the market in Potemkinism, dictators everywhere like to indulge.
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Government bailout of Stagecoach-Virgin run East Coast line causes Labour peer to criticise ‘radical Brexiter subordinate to hard-right ideology’
Lord Adonis is calling for the resignation of transport secretary Chris Grayling for using hundreds of millions in taxpayers’ money to bail out private rail companies – a decision which the former government infrastructure tsar says is symptomatic of a government that has “broken down” under the strain of Brexit.
Adonis, who resigned as head of the government-backed National Infrastructure Commission on Friday, says in an interview with the Observer that the decision has landed taxpayers with a potential bill running into billions and will lead to higher fares and less investment in the network.