In an authoritative manner today, on BBC Scotland, we heard:
‘Bosses at Ferguson shipyard were to blame for the delay and spiralling cost of two new CalMac ferries, according to the chief executive of the government agency which placed the orders. Kevin Hobbs, of CMAL, also rejected calls for the unfinished ferries to be scrapped and the work started again.’
The interview with Hobbs came many months after the damage had been attempted on the SNP Government with serial coverage blaming it for the delays. We saw a similar pattern in stories such as the NHS Tayside breast cancer story where BBC Scotland even described the authority as ‘dysfunctional’ before quietly slipping in later and via the website only that the treatment may have been beneficial.
Back in December 2019, we had BBC Scotland giving abundant space to an ill-informed rant by Jamie Greene MSP:
It is entirely the SNP’s fault that we are in this mess. Having buried bad news, we are being told that the total cost to the taxpayer will have doubled to £200m and be over three years late in delivery. It’s clear that no-one in the SNP has been keeping a watching eye over this project for many years and questions will rightly be raised about the contract award in the first place.
Readers will remember of course the Westminster Tories’ proud track record of keeping a watching eye on the costs of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station (£2.9 billion over and 7 years late), London’s Crossrail (£650 million over and 2 years late) and, best of all, HS2 (£20 billion over and 5 years late).
Yesterday, Hobbs went on to say: ‘senior management were “fairly and squarely” to blame and he addressed a series of claims he described as “urban myths” but was too polite to name Greene as the propagator of the myths.