Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain towards the end of January 2018 for about a month
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday, 30 October 2003

The Holyrood costs fiasco - is the truth beginning to emerge?

Sir Russell Hillhouse, a former civil servant, today told the inquiry:

Making reference to Donald Dewar, former Secretary of State for Scotland and the first First Minister of Scotland

"I said to him 'wouldn't it be better to go for a temporary solution and let the parliament decide'. He said - and I'm paraphrasing here - 'that of course is correct in principle but my fear is that unless we get ahead and do something now the parliament will find it extremely difficult to get round to it, there will always be something else that has higher priority for them'."

Sir Russell said Mr Dewar told him:

Donald Dewar wanted his place in posterity - or infamy!

"I think it is my duty to endow them with a really good building which is fit for purpose and which will enable them to operate effectively."

Donald Dewar's grand gesture, with other people's money, and his failure to ensure that systems were put in place to control costs, may have landed Scotland with a legacy one must hope he did not intend - a level of public debt that will take generations of Scots to pay off.