Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday, 7 November 2003

Holyrood Inquiry - the saga continues - another politician "in the frame"

Evidence presented to the Holyrood Inquiry yesterday seems to put Wendy Alexander in the frame as being 'in a rush' to get the decision, about where to site the Parliament building, made quickly in order to "to maintain momentum and not let the grass grow under our feet". This article in the Scotsman highlights some interesting new evidence. The inquiry was shown an internal Scottish Office minute from 4 September, 1997, giving details of a meeting between ministers, advisers and civil servants to discuss progress on the three sites then under discussion - Calton Hill, Leith and Haymarket. The minute stated:

Keep up the momentum!

"Ms Alexander suggested that, to maintain momentum, it was important that the announcement be made before the Secretary of State left for America on 20 September, particularly as he would be going on his return directly to the party conference."

The report also indicates that Dewar was concerned that the announcement of a choice of site so soon after the untimely death of Diana, Princess of Wales would be 'tasteless' It seems such scruples did not last for very long.

After all, it's only money. Our money, of course, not theirs! Don't worry, though, the 'socialists' are looking out for us ... (Ed: quit the jokeyness at once!). OK, boss.

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