Today's proceedings, discussed in this article in the Scotsman, revealed further clues about what really happened. Mr Gordon, a senior civil servant, said:
Politics came before the public interest
“I’m not sure whether a commitment had been given but there was a target to have the site of the Parliament decided before the second reading of the Scotland Bill in the second week of January 1998.”
“It would be a key political milestone, that second reading, and it would be unfortunate if a lot of the attention at that time was still taken up by there not having been a decision yet on the site for the Scottish Parliament.”
It is easy to seem grandiloquent, as Dewar increasingly came to be seen prior to his demise (but never by me), when the assets being handled for reasons of political expediency belong to other people and not to the individual making the decision. It is beginning to sound as if our dear Prime Minister allowed his Secretary of State for Scotland at the then Scottish Office to conduct himself like a feudal chieftain given charge of a province in a mediaeval kingdom!