Ludo Thierry

Some rather interesting and enlightening evidence was presented at the Holyrood Committee looking into the Calmac Ferries’ order story. Wow – The CMAL Directors are taking no nonsense and no prisoners – A little reality check for the britnat MSPs trying their darnedest to suggest that the Scottish Govt would apply the sort of business tactics that their beloved Westminster/Whitehall crew routinely would do.

Facts and figures from CMAL, arguably, do point to a scandal – just not the fictional ‘scandal’ which the britnats have been trying so very hard to create. Link and snippets below:

The directors of a ferry company at the centre of a dispute into two delayed and over budget ships have told an inquiry the firm building them was “hopelessly inefficient”.

Bosses at Caledonian Marine Assets Limited (CMAL) Kevin Hobbs and James Anderson said builders Ferguson Marine were the “masters of their own demise”.

They were giving evidence at an inquiry into the deal at Holyrood.

CMAL bosses’ evidence to the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee follows a session in December in which MSPs heard from former finance secretary Derek Mackay that the ferries would be delayed and could more than double their initial price.

He also claimed mismanagement at Ferguson Marine was to blame for the problem.

The shipyard was bought over by Scottish ministers in August last year, after it collapsed into administration.

However, in February former Ferguson director Jim McColl blamed CMAL for the delay and the projected overspend during his appearance at the inquiry.

He said there were repeated changes made to the specification of the ships.

He also claimed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the details of the ferry contract, including the cost of the vessels, before it had been agreed.

Turning to Mr McColl’s assertion that CMAL kept changing the designs, Kevin Hobbs told the committee that Ferguson’s were “not being truthful”.

He added that 111 changes were looked at. Of these, 30 were never progressed after discussion, while 46 changes were prompted by Ferguson and 35 prompted by CMAL.

Mr Hobbs added that CMAL had to pay £1.55m for the changes it asked for.

What Ferguson is describing when it talks about changes are “their own mistakes”, he added.