‘Only the strongest people have the pluck to change their minds, and say so, if they have been wrong in their ideas’ – Enid Blyton ‘Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story’ – Tiger Woods ‘It is with great pleasure we let you know we’re rather happy with Chris Grayling’s announcement to have a new combined model of track and train provision. ‘This proposal is remarkably similar to one that our Head of Research, Ben Southwood, has examined before’ trumpeted the Adam Smith Institute in a press release on 29 November 2017, following the Transport Secretary’s statement on the railways. It is, however, remarkably dissimilar to ideas put forward by the Institute in the past. Plucked from our dusty bookshelves is a tome edited by one Roger Freeman, the genial cove who was railways minister at the time of privatisation. In this book – which came out just before the Hatfield accident – the Adam Smith Institute advocated a track authority / vertically separated model to allow on-track competition. Not only is the Institute a worthy follower of the Famous Five, it is plainly up with the golfing legend as well.

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