Among David Cameron's election-time porkies was the classic declaration that he wanted the conservative coalition to be the "greenest government ever."
His administration's ongoing twin assault on rail staff and passengers explains why just 2 per cent of people polled last March believed this bogus claim.
For a government committed to taking the environment, safety and reliability seriously, our railways ought to be part of a co-ordinated transport system.
Yet the coalition policy of allowing private train operating companies to increase regulated fares by an average of 1 per cent above the official rate of inflation knocks such considerations into a cocked hat.
All workers have to tighten their belts as a result of pay restraint and ever-rising prices, yet rail company profits and shareholder dividends are subsidised by government decree.
The Association of Train Operating Companies ignores the billions of pounds that its members extract from the industry every year, insisting that funding can only come from taxpayers or from passengers.
The idea that corporate profits could be reduced just as workers' disposable incomes are or, better still, dispensed with altogether, is viewed as so outlandish as to be beneath consideration.
Many working people have little choice about using the railways to commute into cities, so they are held to ransom by government and privateers.
And how many frustrated and tired drivers would prefer to let the train take the strain if they hadn't been turned off by ever-rising prices and overcrowding that forces people to stand for long distances squashed against other human sardines?
It is a positive development that shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle joined one of the high-fares protests staged by rail union TSSA, but serious questions remain.
Eagle is correct to say that rail passengers are paying more for a worse service and to accuse the coalition of caving in to the profiteering demands of the train companies.
However, she must accept that the problems faced by passengers and staff did not just crop up after the 2010 general election.
Above-inflation fare rises have occurred on a yearly basis for the past decade. This is a long-running scandal linked to privatisation.
There is little point in Labour shadow ministers joining protests and echoing passengers' deeply felt anger unless they are ready to nail their colours to the mast of radical change to the current obsession with private profits.
Transport Secretary Norman Baker cries crocodile tears for the plight of exploited passengers, claiming that questions over the balance of regulation and the massive variation in ticket prices is "a hugely complicated issue."
Why? Most other national rail systems in Europe seem to manage better than Britain, offering fares that reflect distance travelled rather than impenetrable pricing structures and so-called special offers.
Baker can see no further than a privatised and fragmented network because, like his Tory and Liberal Democrat colleagues, his outlook is framed by the sanctity of private profit.
One of Labour's greatest betrayals in government was to renege on its earlier commitment to take rail back into public ownership.
It has even less excuse next time round. Not only does the economic case stand for itself but, politically, it is fully in line with public opinion.
It's time for Ed Miliband to cut the new Labour apron strings and put working people's interests to the fore.
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