|You irresponsible bastards, look what you did|
Although the crash was a direct result of the wanton negligence of Railtrack - a private company, which was in administration at the time of the crash after paying bigger bonuses to its directors than it could cover from the savings it had made by slashing maintenance – Judge Andrew Dim decided at the end of the hearing that, since Railtrack was effectively renationalised into Network Rail after the crash, justice would best be served by giving incompetent rail managers with blood on their hands a pat on the back and imposing a hefty fine of about 12p each on the taxpayers who bought the company whether they wanted to or not.
The public admitted that they had completely failed in their statutory, but impossible, duty to prioritise their own safety over somebody else’s sheer, naked greed in the aftermath of the Hatfield crash in 2000.
“I’d like to assure my fellow passengers that lessons will be learned by the management of private companies which are nothing to do with me,” promised a shame-faced taxpayer on the 17:45 Paddington-to-Bristol service. “In particular, the lesson that managers can carry on killing their customers and getting away with it.”
Nick Clegg, meanwhile, has announced that he has grave misgivings.