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

Monday 13 September 2004

The Holyrood Inquiry report - just two days now!

The report by Lord Fraser, following his Inquiry into the building of the new Scottish Parliament is scheduled for release on Wednesday. In advance of this, BBC Newsnight Scotland has just broadcast this evening a special report compiled by Simon Willis, who has been following and reporting on the Fraser Inquiry proceedings from start to finish.

His report was fascinating, and pretty devastating in several places, although for those (like me) who have been following proceedings pretty closely there was nothing entirely revelatory. On the other hand it recapitulated some of the more astonishing testimonies given to the Inquiry; I single out three only becasue they are (to me) particularly striking - for their incompetence, arrogance and complacency (possibly, but not necessarily, in that order):
- Barbara Doig, the Scottish civil servant who was techincally the project manager;
- Kirsty Wark, a broadcaster (ironically often a major component of the London Newsnight team), seemingly a self-appointed 'cultural guardian' and member of the panel which chose from amongst the building designs submitted for consideration;
- Lord David Steel, Presiding Officer (i.e. Speaker) of the Scottish Parliament and former Liberal [Democrat] politician.

You can read a summary of Simon Willis's findings here, and from there you can link to an internet feed of the whole television broadcast - it is a full hour in length, but if you are resident in Scotland, or indeed elsewhere in the UK (after all, all our taxes have paid for this fiasco), then it is well worth your time to watch it if you missed the broadcast this evening.

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