You’d never amputate your foot unless you really had to. It’s not easy getting around on one foot, but it’s better than being dead. Gangrene, from either flesh-eating bacteria or critically inadequate blood supply, causes the body tissue to die off — usually due to some infection, illness or injury. If not treated properly and in time, your only chance may be to cut off the affected body part, to avoid it spreading into the bloodstream, which will surely kill you.

Electricity, water, transport ... these are the blood supply of the economy. We may have to be pragmatic about prescribed assets. We may be beyond the obvious, axiomatic remedies for loss-making entities: increase revenue or reduce cost — these solutions are crude, impractical, and politically naive.

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