Catch the East Coast line – a fast track to Tory incompetence and scandal | Aditya Chakrabortty
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.
With one bungled decision, the transport secretary has shifted all the risk from the private sector to taxpayers
Source: Guardian Transport
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