STATEMENT FROM PROFESSOR ALF BAIRD.

Sometimes Ministers can get away with disasters by pleading ignorance to what was happening. Here is absolute proof they were being warned well in advance of the impending disaster that was revealed by the BBC DISCLOSURE programme last night. Yours for Scotland have a host of articles with info going back to at least January 2021 warning of this scandalous waste of taxpayers money and CMAL dubious practices. Not a single Scot Gov Minister did a thing to stop it. This article is from April this year. More to follow.

SG ACTION ON FERRIES

This is from the former FMEL management team’s response to Holyrood’s RECC, 4 Feb 2020:

“The Scottish Government did not save this yard from administration, they forced it into administration by repeatedly refusing to instruct CMAL to engage in reasonable requests for mediation, an expert witness process or arbitration to address the significant cost pressures being put on the yard – even when recommended by their own appointed
independent expert.”

Let’s also remember here that Ferguson’s yard had gone bust only a few years prior to Jim McColl’s ownership whilst also working on a CMAL order – the ‘heavy’ hybrid ferries – the latter another of the CMAL/CalMac in-house, unproven, untested, complex, costly, concept design of what is really a prototype ferry nobody ever built before. A bit like asking Ford to build an entirely new car model.

The far better alternative as repeatedly proposed by myself and others for a decade and more is for Scotland to build proven designs of low-cost, medium-speed catamarans, as used very successfully since 2011 in Orkney, and for the last 30 years in numerous other parts of the world – and which may be acquired at less than a third of the price of a CMAL concept prototype ferry: https://www.seatransport.com/ferries/

Scottish Government agencies’ waste and mismanagement here may ultimately cost up to £500 million, if we include several port modification costs, which brings the ferries fiasco into the realm of the Trams Fiasco and the Holyrood Parliament Fiasco. More importantly, we could easily have replaced all 31 CalMac ferries with new catamaran ferries based on proven designs for less than that amount, so the opportunity cost for islanders, for Scottish shipbuilding, and for the taxpayer is enormous.

And accountability? None so far, and the very same agencies and officials in CMAL, CalMac and Transport Scotland who ‘specified’ and sanctioned the costly heavy-hybrids and the two concept prototypes now languishing on the Clyde, have just gone and ordered another two concept prototypes in Turkey. Meantime a larger car-capacity standard Norwegian ferry design ordered in the same yard is costing half that of the CMAL vessel!
https://mullandionaferrycommittee.org/2022/04/03/two-ferries-two-buyers-same-shipyard-but-two-very-different-prices/

So whilst a convenient political scapegoat may be found, and Audit Scotland’s usual timely report points the finger in the wrong direction (again), let’s not forget who the real culprits are.

MY COMMENTS

As usual every attempt is being made to ignore this catalogue of terrible decisions, involving huge efforts to fog and disguise the responsibility for this scandalous misuse of public funds. Not just the cost but the lengthy delay and the stunning reality that what is on order is outdated, impractical and inefficient ships that go nowhere close to providing the service and frequency that would be possible using tried and tested, proven catamarans for a fraction of the cost. They hope it will all go away. It must not be allowed to happen, What signal does this give to people that Independence would lead to a better Scotland if nothing is done to reverse and repair these errors in the face of the mountain of evidence that the current course will at best lead to a third class service and hugely impossible problems in terms of design, capital cost and hopelessly inefficient running costs.

Everyone and everybody makes mistakes but sensible people recognise their error and take urgent steps to recover the situation. Burying the heads in the sand and doing nothing is a recipe for disaster and would indicate the complete collapse of competent Government.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland

BEAT THE CENSORS

Sadly some sites had given up on being pro Indy sites and have decided to become merely pro SNP sites where any criticism of the Party Leader or opposition to the latest policy extremes, results in censorship being applied. This, in the rather over optimistic belief that this will suppress public discussion on such topics. My regular readers have expertly worked out that by regularly sharing articles on this site defeats that censorship and makes it all rather pointless. I really do appreciate such support and free speech in Scotland is remaining unaffected by their juvenile censorship. Indeed it is has become a symptom of weakness and guilt. Quite encouraging really.

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32 thoughts on “STATEMENT FROM PROFESSOR ALF BAIRD.

  1. I grew up in NZ and informed myself about Polynesian sailing technologies and techniques. Their ocean going new island and then colony craft were catamarans with triangular sails, a platform spanned the hulls (dugout canoes). The craft which sailed to settle Hawai’i, Aotearoa/New Zealand and Rapanui/Easter Island could sail against the wind. Circa 1200CE while European sailors could only sail down wind. The vikings would row against the wind.

    The tea clippers of the latter half of the 19thC used Polynesian triangular sails to speed to and from India. The modern America’s Cup super yachts are the modern descendants of that technology.

    The Polynesians and their relatives found every half way habitable (Henderson Island) scrap of land in the Pacific (1/3 of the globe) and the Indian Ocean (They found and settled Madagascar). They made it to South America, already settled, traded coconuts for sweet potatoes. Why there are sweet potatoes in the Pacific and coconut (domesticated in Lowland New Guinea) in SA and the Caribbean. They are the world’s peerless blue water sailors and navigators.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Sorry of course they could sail against the wind. To get to the three points of the Polynesian Triangle from the Central Pacific you must be able to sail across the wind, wind coming from the side of your intended course.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Good article Alf, it looks like the Scottish taxpayers will be paying enormous amounts of cash for these untried and unknown prototypes, I wonder how many palms were greased in the process, as you rightly say better and cheaper ferries could’ve been built, the question must be why weren’t they, even after Mr Ballantyne offered his services.

    Is just sheer incompetence, or is there something far more sinister at play here.

    Liked by 19 people

    1. I suspect much of it is down to a jaw dropping lack of accountability. Sturgeon and many of her administration would be off to the chokey if they were not “law makers”.

      Liked by 18 people

      1. We now have an open goal for independence: many soft NO voters are home owner, now facing an unaffordable tripling of their mortgages as they come off fixed rates. The folk have had to put together 20% deposits that they will now lose because of the reckless actions of a government Scotland did not vote for. They must be angry – very angry – and they must know that reckless government is not accountable to Scotland and there is nothing they can do to remove these fools from power.

        We will know after the SNP conference whether the members manage to reclaim their party, as they say they can. If they fail then it is time to take the gloves off, bring down Sturgeon and her treacherous clowns by every means possible and indy done.

        Liked by 9 people

      2. going to add: someone needs to spell out to Sturgeon that the ‘party of devolution’ ticket is taken by Labour who are in a position to deliver devolution. The SNP is the party of independence or it is nothing.

        Liked by 5 people

  3. In any other walk of life the people responsible for this fiasco would never be allowed to work in their profession ever again in their life. As with the public servants and politicians involved with this disaster they should never be allowed any where near public office in any way shape or form ever again.
    The should be Sacked immediately, all pension rights and any renumeration removed instantly.

    Liked by 15 people

    1. We need real standards in public office – currently the most disgraceful behavior to be found is found in public office holders. Failure to uphold those standards should result in dismissal without and severance deals. Malign misconduct could well merit loss of pension.

      Liked by 12 people

  4. Sadly Sturgeon will simply March on. She will arrogantly dismiss or simply ignore any criticism of the SG.
    She controls the Party, Holyrood, etc. what would be the route be for action? She will use all the usual tactics of reviews, setting up a committee, finding a scapegoat, putting any evidence in the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet.
    We already have comments about it being a Unionist attack.

    The sheep will be herded and the squirrels provided by this incompetent Tory Government will take up the headlines.
    It is a dreadful story. It is a shameful waste of money. Welcome to SturgeonLand.

    Liked by 17 people

    1. Aye Clootie, Welcome to SturgeonLand.. To think that she was once held on a high pedastel by so many of us. And is now MORE Hated than the woman she “Pretended” to hate herself Thatcher. Bad as the Tories are Bad as Labour Greens & Liberals are, NONE of them come close to what Sturgeon has done to this country, or a once great party & an even greater YES Movement. I absolutely DETEST her, & the cabal she has surrounded herself with. I do NOT Believe that there are STILL good people in that party, Because good people would not sit there even on their high salaries knowing they were destroying their own families futures.. They too should pay dearly for what they have ALLOWED to happen..

      Liked by 19 people

      1. I agree 100% kurikat, if they were good people they wouldn’t be in the party, some might argue they’re still there trying to save the party from within but they must know by now it’s a pointless exercise,
        The SNP have been completely and utterly infiltrated by British unionists, careerists & Stonewall, they are lost to us, I can’t see anything now that can redeem the party as an independence organisation.
        Call me a conspiracy theorist but I firmly believe that Nicola Sturgeon has been got at by the British establishment and I believe that happened sometime shortly after the Brexit vote.
        We have to let them go, there can be no unity in the independence movement that includes the SNP, they are a unionist party in my opinion and we need to treat them as such, that said maybe there are still some who support independence if there are it’s time for them to make there voices heard loudly, otherwise we must consider them all our enemy, it’s that simple and it’s that sad

        Liked by 15 people

    2. Indeed C . * Enquires * are the expedient Fire Blankets immediately put to use whenever any awkward issues arise . They serve the useful ( to the protagonists ) purpose of APPEARING to give answers and apportion responsibility whilst in reality burying the issue – often for years – long enough for any public outrage to be dulled and , ultimately , forgotten . Job done .

      Wonder what’s happening with the * enquiry * into the Nursing Homes scandal . ” Scandal ” putting it mildly . No doubt the hope is this too will be quietly buried . Just like the victims of this truly appalling * misjudgement * .

      As ever , the sole intent is the preservation of the beatified public image of N.S .

      Truth , Accountability ( the buck stops over …………there , where the squirrels frolic ) acknowledgement of mistakes ? Forget it .

      Great comment Alf . I imagine it’s meagre recompense to you to be proven right all along .

      Nonetheless : you were/are

      Liked by 11 people

  5. To me the dark state is behind this assisted by the Colonial administration. We need change. What more damage can queen covid do before she departs to her job in the UN or is it Shell ? . We need independence and need it now. Dissolve the Union.

    Liked by 16 people

  6. If the cops (or anyone else, for that matter), truly want to get to grips with the inside minutiae of this perhaps not so strange phenomenon on the Clyde, might I suggest they seek the insights and opinions of the Ferguson workforce, those who have been quietly observing the whole farce taking place, blow-by-blow over a lengthy period of time, before their eyes. As the people with the most to lose i.e. their jobs and income, you can be sure that a rich source of potentially evidential knowledge and information exists amongst their number. Will the voice of this large, invaluable witness-cohort be heard? Most probably not! For ’tis not, unfortunately, the professional way.

    Liked by 13 people

    1. The only thing I will say against that Eric is the 2 workers that were interviewed (I may be wrong , and I hope I am ) sounded very much like liebour supporters and that would be par for the course for the Bastard Biased Corp , although one was seen to utter “there’s oor nicola” when the cameras were rolling , I wonder if he feels that way now

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I almost felt sorry for Swinney having to ‘defend’ this. After his leader ‘ personally stepping in and stopping the bin strikes’, having sent John out to defend the position as there is no more money and him getting slaughtered.
    They, the SG, refused to listen to the work force and unions when they warned them that this was a disaster waiting to happen. Why are some people so opposed to the use of catamarans? They have still to do the many alterations to the ports that are necessary.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Frank I have no , zero , nada sympathy for swinney he has been a willing and eager accomplice to EVERYTHING sturgeon has done , he was THE REDACTER and took great delight in doing so , he was a spokesperson at a public meeting where he vociferously supported the cocks in frocks policy he also lied to the assembled crowd by saying there is no threat to REAL WOMEN and GIRLS
      Swinney exemplifies a lying scum amoral troughing coward

      Like

    1. Not so much an incompetent government, more likely a bunch of saboteurs. I believe that Sturgeon and her cronies are deliberately attempting to turn people in Scotland against independence by making bad decisions and generally failing the Scottish people.

      Even GRA is part of the con trick. I don’t think that Sturgeon believes any of it. The plan, which is working so far, is to divide the independence community and then destroy it.

      Liked by 5 people

  8. Any chance you’ve got a copy of the actual contract?

    The dispute resolution clause referred to in the above quote from FMEL, which infers SG administrators were delegated contracts management oversight (rather than, say, a consulting engineer with public indemnity insurance under contract to the Client) sounds like a cracker of a change to industry standard – – and could be an excellent first place to start (ie who wrote it that way, and why) when looking for any lesson(s) still to be learned.

    Liked by 10 people

  9. “I am unaware of any evidence of Criminality” says Sturgeon.

    Perhaps she should ask those who can see? The SNP leadership remind me of this old parable.

    Parable
    A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had been brought to the town, but none of them were aware of its shape and form. Out of curiosity, they said: “We must inspect and know it by touch, of which we are capable”. So, they sought it out, and when they found it they groped about it. The first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said, “This being is like a thick snake”. For another one whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan. As for another person, whose hand was upon its leg, said, the elephant is a pillar like a tree-trunk. The blind man who placed his hand upon its side said the elephant, “is a wall”. Another who felt its tail, described it as a rope. The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is that which is hard, smooth and like a spear.

    They were next given a mandate mandate for Independence and, as with the elephant, they all had different visions of what it was.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Some thought a mandate was a date with a man , but got confused because they no longer knew what a man ( or woman ) was . Others just thought it was free ticket for unlimited rides on the Gravy Bus

      Liked by 10 people

  10. This fiasco is much more than stupidity and incompetence. A gift for the yoons and a huge embarrassment for us. Get her/it oot! Traitor. What was once a leader in world ship building has been made a laughing stock BY sturgeon. My forefathers will be turning in their graves. I hope the men and women working on the Clyde will take this opportunity to spill the truth of the matter now.

    Liked by 10 people

  11. Why does “I will never apologise for the actions this government has taken to save the jobs of the people who work in Ferguson’s shipyard”, sound like an inadvertent admission of guilt? (From First Ministers Questions by the way).

    Isn’t it literally the type of thing you’re cautioned against saying whenever you get arrested? “Look Officer, IF I did do a bad thing, I did it for a good reason and I’m not even sorry”.

    I’m sure that’s the point when the Officer takes out his wee notebook, writes down all down the details, then adds “Gotcha” at the bottom and pulls out the handcuffs.

    And subsequently, under cross examination, “ So please enlighten the Court. Which actions were you specifically referring to, which by your unguarded remark, you clearly considered dubious and deserving of the apology that you were determined never to give?”

    “Errr….. “ Cue amnesia… Dive! Dive! Dive!

    Liked by 5 people

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