The British government has announced that it is nationalising the East Coast railway franchise after National Express made a half year loss of £20m.
Lord Adonis, the unelected Transport Minister for England, said that they wouldn’t renegotiate the London to Edinburgh franchise contract as National Express had asked because “I’m simply not prepared to bail out companies that are unable to meet their commitments”. Unless they’re banks, of course. Or car manufacturers. Sorry, that wasn’t the unelected Transport Minister for England, that was the unelected Business and Enterprise Minister for England, Peter Mandelson.
Lord Adonis added:
It is simply unacceptable to reap the benefits of contracts when times are good, only to walk away from them when times become more challenging
Quite. Much better for a company struggling to cope with £1.2bn of debt to carry on losing £40m a year on a contract and pay the British government £1.4bn for the privelege. That way National Express could be nationalised as well and we’d be another step closer to the socialist republic that’s being built.