Friday 13 June 2003

"What else did you expect?

Here is an excellent article by Bill Jamieson on the Parliament building fiasco:
Today, 30 months late and with the latest overall cost forecast at more than nine times the original estimate, the Scottish Parliament project has become a great Bubble. As with financial bubbles, its bursting will bring a necessary corrective catharsis.
Bill goes on to compare the "two Scotlands" - first, the ruling class, ensconced in prosperous Edinburgh from where they emasculate the private sector with red tape while at the same time drawing salaries far beyond those of ordinary folk and have sky-high, inflation-proofed pensions to look forward to.

Then there is the "other Scotland":

I went to the valley of my birth, through the lowering towns of Lanarkshire into East Ayrshire, to the little Irvine valley towns of Darvel, Newmilns and Galston. These were the vibrant places of my childhood. They battle now to keep their vibrancy and their pride. For they are blighted, beaten, broken towns, with high unemployment and an ageing population.

From the lilac growing out of the windowless buildings to the bleak rows of boarded up little shops and businesses, the dereliction speaks to a long, continuing recession on which the Bubble People continue to be in denial.

I well remember those same East Ayrshire towns from my own childhood and I too drove through them a few weeks ago. There is still prosperity in the middle-class coastal towns of the county but inland Ayrshire is now utterly depressing. We could lay all the politicians in Edinburgh end to end and they still wouldn't create a real job. Bill thinks that the "Bubble" will burst and that the limits of government will become apparent to all. I'm not so sure but let's pray thet he is right.