Friday 17 December 2004

That building again

I enjoyed seeing the inside of the new parliament building earlier this week but, like most people, I'm still extremely angry about the project's mismanagement. The official inquiry didn't lead to any meaningful action being taken against those responsible. Now, the inquiry's QC has spoken out:
Mr Campbell lambasted those who ran the project, from the civil servants to the politicians, accusing them all of failing to tackle any of the problems that came to plague the building.
I though that this observation was fascinating:
Mr Campbell was particularly scathing of the MSPs on the Holyrood Progress Group, which was set up four years ago to get the troubled project under control. He said: "Professional teams were all treated as menials by the Holyrood Progress Group. They were kept waiting, they were treated as office boys."
But that's what happens with any political form of management. The politicians lord it over the rest of us, professionals included. Private organisations can get away with treating experts (and customers) as "menials" or "office boys" for a while but pretty quickly lose credibility and market share and then go bust. The political machine just goes marching on.


David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Not being English, nor living in England, no I have not. Are you having fun down there, being spanked by the Belgians? 
Now you know how we Scots feel under the Whitehall slipper. It stimulates the desire for freedom. 
Vive la Belgique!

20 December 2004, 15:37:03 GMT
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Andrew Duffin
"So I take it that you would be perfectly happy if England were managed by Brussels civil servants?" 
What do you mean "if"? 
Have you not noticed?

20 December 2004, 12:44:40 GMT
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-"The two major changes which Mr Campbell said could have made a difference would have been the creation of a minister with specific responsibility for the building - "a political champion", as he described it - and the appointment of a "construction hard man" to take the project through to conclusion, rather than the committees of politicians and civil servants." 
The reason of course that this did not happen is that Labour wanted to taint the SNP, LibDems and Tories too, by association with the scandal via the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body and the Holyrood Progress Group. Death by committee. 
The other parties were mugs to fall for this Labour sucker-punch.

19 December 2004, 10:00:11 GMT
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Neil Craig
I recently attended a lecture by Professor Burland the engineer who organised the saving of the leaning tower of Pisa. He had to work under a commission (eventually 2 commissions) made up mainly of artists & politicians & was scathing about the way in which they all had to be led by the hand, repeatedly, to make any decision or to stand by decisions already made. 
That the tower did not suffer a catastrophic failure was no thanks to Italian bureaucracy. We should not boast of our numpties being bigger than everybody else's numpties. 
The way to do any job is to find somebody competent (an engineer), give him what he needs & stand clear. This works as well for government (I can't find many examples but Teddy Rooseveldt gave power to a general to build the Panama Canal, Von Braun ran NASA to the Moon, Stalin gave people the power to build enormous factories) as for private enterprise. It was only under later more bureaucratic regimes that the USSR & NASA fell apart.

17 December 2004, 19:21:31 GMT
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-”sporran wearing, porridge eating,Scottish managers” 
You have a very stereotyped view of us Scots. Do you wear a bowler hat, drink warm beer and possess a bulldog? 
Equally, I could say: 
-”I mean all civil servants are civil servants and have leopard's spots. Is he honestly saying South of La Manche they are different? Can he tell one frog from another, or is he saying up North, in England, they are all princes?” 
So I take it that you would be perfectly happy if England were managed by Brussels civil servants?

17 December 2004, 19:03:53 GMT
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David Farrer said...

Stuart seems a trifle biased here. I mean all civil servants are civil servants and have leopard's spots. Is he honestly saying North of Hadrian's Wall they are different? Can he tell one frog from another, or is he saying up North they are all princes? The original toad in the hole was Donald the Duer, one of a ruling Scottish left liberal Westminster elite, who started the fiasco. Was he Scottish? Is the pope a catholic? 
Mr.Campbell blames the MSPs of the Holyrood Progress Group who seem to have treated the managers like "menials" or "office boys", which for all I know may be an ancient Scottish custom, but it seems to my English sensibilities a smidgin unfair to assume that sporran wearing, porridge eating,Scottish managers would have somehow made an iota of difference.

17 December 2004, 17:13:57 GMT
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I wholeheardedly agree with Mr Campbell QC: the London civil service have done Scots a gross injustice by supplying the Parliament team with unqualified managers. It is a national scandal created by our traditional opponents in Whitehall. 
We need to establish a new Scottish Civil Service forthwith. 
Whitehall continue to run Sotland in just the same distant, arrogant way that they have since the Treaty of Union was signed by our bunch of rogues.

17 December 2004, 12:10:54 GMT