Einstein defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". In which case, going by his speech yesterday on overhauling Britain's roads and airports, David Cameron is mad.
I don't usually do personal, or rude. But if the prime minister really, truly thinks he can do what his predecessors have done over the past couple of decades and not cop precisely the same woeful mess that they did, then he's bonkers. Gaga. A few Pret sandwiches short of the full picnic.
Strip away the novelty of a prime ministerial speech devoted to, um, tarmac and what the Tory leader proposes is pretty much what we have heard over and over, from Thatcher onwards.
So true. But.....
Ah, but look at the water industry, said the prime minister yesterday. Yes, look. According to David Hall, an expert in this field at the University of Greenwich, turning the provision of water into private hands costs almost £1bn a year extra. Were it still to be in the public sector, he estimates, that would amount to about 12% off the average household bill.
So what does that say the PM's intent is? Aditya has his doubts:
The odd thing about all this is that it has never been cheaper for the government to carry out infrastructure projects. Amid a global slump and a dearth of places to put their cash, investors are desperate to lend to safe bets yielding reliable returns. If Cameron wanted to take out a 30-year loan, he'd find markets would be willing to give it to him at just over 3% – an absolute bargain. And George Osborne knows this, which is why he is now talking about taking out 100-year loans to lock in these low rates.
So MPs know that PPPs are a bad deal, and the government knows it could do the same work more cheaply itself. Which might lead one to believe that Cameron isn't mad at all – that in flogging off the public's assets to financiers in the City and beyond, he is doing something much more wicked. But like I say, I don't do personal or rude.
I know Aditya, and I suspect he does not do personal or rude.
Nor do I. I stick to facts.
Like the fact that Cameron's a charlatan. Because that's the only reasonable conclusion anyone could reach on this.