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The Scottish Government Transport Minister, Greame Dey has resigned today due to health related reasons. I wish Graeme a speedy recovery.

 

Graeme's tenure as Transport Minister lasted eight months and John Swinney has eulogised his term as such, "he has been a highly effective minister and steps down with many achievements to his name". As stated, a Transport Minister living in Carnoustie - probably as far away as is possible to be from a Cal-Mac ferry port - and as far as we know, never set foot on a Cal-Mac ferry. We await Graeme's successor?

 

Still, last week the Scottish Government under the auspices of Michael Matheson, Minister for Net Zero, Energy and, Transport(honest, that is his designation) we found out that all western islands will be linked to the mainland by bridges and tunnels, in thirty years time. Sounds like Michael has indulged in too much hokey-cokey?

 

I suspect Peter Murrell is best placed to take over as Transport Minister. I noted the answer to the oft' asked question, 'wheres Peter' in the Times last month was, "on a pedalo to Portugal". Time to send Peter and pedalo across to the Isle of Jura to converse with islanders and their ferry concerns. Good luck with the Corryvrekan Peter.

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1 hour ago, 26th of foot said:

The Scottish Government Transport Minister, Greame Dey has resigned today due to health related reasons. I wish Graeme a speedy recovery.

 

Graeme's tenure as Transport Minister lasted eight months and John Swinney has eulogised his term as such, "he has been a highly effective minister and steps down with many achievements to his name". As stated, a Transport Minister living in Carnoustie - probably as far away as is possible to be from a Cal-Mac ferry port - and as far as we know, never set foot on a Cal-Mac ferry. We await Graeme's successor?

 

Still, last week the Scottish Government under the auspices of Michael Matheson, Minister for Net Zero, Energy and, Transport(honest, that is his designation) we found out that all western islands will be linked to the mainland by bridges and tunnels, in thirty years time. Sounds like Michael has indulged in too much hokey-cokey?

 

I suspect Peter Murrell is best placed to take over as Transport Minister. I noted the answer to the oft' asked question, 'wheres Peter' in the Times last month was, "on a pedalo to Portugal". Time to send Peter and pedalo across to the Isle of Jura to converse with islanders and their ferry concerns. Good luck with the Corryvrekan Peter.

Only one man for the  job Huzma 

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The current Mess that has been constructed by Herr Murrell goes back a long way.

 

The initial contract or handover to Jim McColl Was overseen by the Child botherer Derek Mckay.

He was then quietly exited on full pay and conditions by Herr Murrell to buy his silence. There was

no Governance on the initial Injection of Cash and of course like "Oliver",  Fergusons were soon asking

for more.

 

She did get her 5 min sound bite about this would reinvigorate the Clyde, new jobs ya da ya da (toaries bad).

 

The bill currently for the two pieces of Rusting Modern Art is north of £200M,   Huls 801 & 802 may never see a 

fare paying passenger. 

 

The determination to go ahead with LNG as the fuel, was to box tick " were' pure green, don't ya know" ,

The problem is LNG has Quadrupled in price, and with Elsie Mcselfie is now going on about Carbon Zero after

meeting Greta Thunderpants at Cop26, the whole project looks to be in trouble. 

 

So the Vessels will be expensive to run, more polluting than Agro Diesel,  but for Herr sturgeon another box ticked. 

 

The latest tender round by the Scottish Gov for the new Islay boat even excluded their own nationalised shipyard from bidding. A nationalised 

yard barred from bidding for work from it owner. You would struggle to make this mince up.

 

Onto recent developments , The turnaround director has now left after trousing over £1M, two board members have resigned

last week Current chairman Alistair Mackenzie and board member John Hudson are both stepping down from their roles at

Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) for personal reasons.

 

Today the latest SNP Private Pike has resigned due to personal reasons.

 

She is now running out of patsies to stick in the roll but no doubt some sycophant will bob to the top of Elsies in-tray, like  a jobbie that

won't go away. That is how Murrell rolls.

 

The story on the most expensive rusting hulls in the northern hemisphere still has a away to go. 

 

If you aggregate all of this and the recent appointment of an HR Mgr from a further education college, as the new COO of Scotrail,

you can maybe understand why this role is Toxic.   Our new Scotrail COO's has been appointed mainly due to the Fact she owns a Vagina,

nothing in her CV brings anything visionary to the role, of the new nationalised railway.  

 

As an Govan born Ileach, I have an interest in what is going on, but if islanders thought London was remote, then Edinburgh is in a different Solar System.

 

To be continued.... 

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

The Spectator

6th March

Brian Wilson

 

Good summary. Maybe the Islanders will stop voting for the SNP now they have first hand experience of their total incompetence? 

 

On a recent television tour of Britain’s coast, Michael Portillo found himself in awe of the Outer Hebrides. Why would more people not live and work in this ‘paradise’, he wondered from a vast sun-kissed beach near where I live on Lewis.

It was a fair question on such a day but the intrepid traveller had struck it lucky. Living on an island involves a high degree of dependency on ferries. And the reliability of the service provided by the state owned Caledonian MacBrayne, known as CalMac, on Scotland’s west coast is at an-time low for reasons that go far beyond the uncertainties of weather.

 

This week alone brought news of further disruption after ‘corrosion’ was found in a 24 year-old vessel during annual maintenance. Lochboisdale will be without a ferry at all for another month. Last week the island of Colonsay had to go without supplies for eight days straight because of weather and vessel issues. Earlier this year the transport minister, Graeme Dey, resigned after eight months in the job. Now it is reported that his departure followed a meeting at which he allegedly told the Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes, that an extra billion would be needed to restore the fleet to health. When she showed him the door, he quit.

 

In short, there are too few ferries and most of the ones operating are long out of date. It is a story of under-investment; the dysfunctionality of an arrangement which splits procurement and operations between two Scottish government entities; and, most conspicuously, an effort to build two medium-sized ferries in Scotland which has turned into a £300 million debacle.

 

The two hulks now languishing in the Scottish government-owned Ferguson shipyard at Port Glasgow were supposed to operating several years ago. Today, some question whether they will ever be completed and the most optimistic prognosis is that they will arrive five years late and at treble the original cost.

For those who believe that the SNP devolved government operates by stunt and headline, this has become a classic case study. The contract was awarded to the Ferguson yard for purely political reasons with every objection over-ruled. What was not to like in saving an ailing shipyard with a government-directed order? Nicola Sturgeon made the mandatory pre-election appearances at the yard in a hard-hat for the photo opportunities with cheering workers.

The only problem was that the yard proved incapable of building the ships. At that time, it was owned by the industrialist Jim McColl who had been a well-publicised supporter of the SNP, a position from which he has since resiled with a vengeance. When the yard went bust as problems mounted there had to be a scapegoat and Mr McColl’s management fitted the bill.

 

He blamed interference by the Scottish government and repeated design changes by the procurement quango, Caledonian Marine Assets Ltd (CMAL), for making the job impossible; a view which tends to be supported by the fact that three years after the yard was taken over by the Scottish government, the two ferries remain very far from finished.

SNP Ministers hired a ‘turnaround director’ by the name of Tim Hair to bring order to chaos. He has now departed after 30 months with huge fees and expenses in his bank account while the evidence of a ‘turnaround’ remains scant.


Every week brings a new revelation. In what was supposed to be his valedictory report, Mr Hair revealed that there would be further delay due to the Scottish government wanting a ‘ducktail’ fitted to one of the vessels. Those with a little knowledge of naval architecture questioned whether you could just add a ducktail without affecting other aspects of the ship’s design.

While this was still being mulled over, Mr Hair took a further curtain call. It had just come to light that almost 1,000 cables installed on one of the vessels had been found to be too short (perhaps because the points they were supposed to connect with had been moved in the course of design changes). So this would lead to more delays, he intimated before departing.

 

If this was only a story of mind-boggling industrial, financial and political incompetence, it would be bad enough. However, the implications for island communities have proved dire as the threadbare fleet tries to hold the network together. Ferries are re-deployed at short notice. Breakdowns are increasingly frequent as elderly vessels are pushed to their limits. And all this on top of the impact, which islanders understand and are used to, of weather conditions which keep vessels in port.  The really depressing point is that there is no early end in sight. If and when the two vessels at Port Glasgow – known as Hulls 801 and 802 – are completed, there will still be a large backlog of investment in additional vessels to catch up on, and a few ships which are currently holding the network together will be ready for overdue retirement.

 

An associated issue is the unwritten policy of SNP ministers not to appoint local people with first-hand experience of islands or ferries to the boards of the relevant quangos. There is no islander on the boards of either CMAL or CalMac. In a bizarre twist, the chairman of CMAL – a Danish businessman named Erik Østergaard – has just been switched to become chairman of Caledonian MacBrayne. It looks very much like SNP ministers and civil servants standing by their man in the dispute, which has still a long way to run, about who has been responsible for the Ferguson fiasco.

In times of war and peace, Scotland’s Hebridean islands have been famous for producing seamen of the highest calibre. It beggars belief that the SNP can find nobody in the islands, or even in Scotland, to preside over the state-owned ferry company or even to serve on the boards of organisations which have such a crucial impact on island life. The prevailing mantra is that ‘trusties’ are hired to serve the government first and the islanders a poor second. As for devolution, that definitely ends at Edinburgh.

 

Meanwhile the fragile economic viability of these ‘paradise’ islands is becoming increasingly in peril.

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3 hours ago, compo said:

Surely it cant be to hard to build a couple of new boats WTF is going on here 

Seems like its down to pure and simple incompetence from them that think they know best, but know nowt. 

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1 hour ago, ChelseaBoy said:

Seems like its down to pure and simple incompetence from them that think they know best, but know nowt. 

Are you over the virus 

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On 24/01/2022 at 12:12, 26th of foot said:

Still, last week the Scottish Government under the auspices of Michael Matheson, Minister for Net Zero, Energy and, Transport(honest, that is his designation) we found out that all western islands will be linked to the mainland by bridges and tunnels, in thirty years time.

No doubt to coincide with the much-vaunted IndyRef2

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22 hours ago, compo said:

Are you over the virus 

Yes thanks Compo, though strangely i still cannot taste or smell anything, but the tests are coming up negative now!!

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