Wednesday 15 December 2004
Where the money went
I paid my first visit to the new Parliament building last night and I must say that I was impressed with the interior. And so I should be: the front desk cost more than my flat! I liked the extensive use of wood and both the debating chamber and the committee rooms were spectacular. It's such a pity that what actually goes on in the building is so disappointing and both of the two taxi drivers I used had sound views on politicians, taxation and political correctness. The entrance area that contains the £88,000 desk seemed somewhat gloomy and reminded me of a Paris Metro station. Apparently, more lighting will be installed once the remaining "snagging" work is complete. One of my party asked a workman what he was doing. The reply: "I not know. I no speaka da English." Labour outsourcing was evident elsewhere: the waiting staff were Australian, as was the wine. When leaving, I spotted a cash machine and asked an MSP if it was the only one in the country that took money instead of giving it out.