This debacle has been rumbling on for years north of the border.
Back in 2015 the SNP Government awarded a contract to build two new ferries to be operated by state-owned Caledonian MacBrayne to the Hebrides. The contract went to Ferguson Marine, the last shipbuilder on the lower Clyde. A BBC investigation last year unearthed damning evidence that the bidding process was rigged. Ferguson’s owner, Jim McColl, had been a prominent supporter of Scottish independence during the referendum campaign a year earlier. Ferguson’s quote was the highest of the 7 bidders, they were given information and access to officials denied to others, and their management team had no experience of building ferries of this size.
Ferguson’s finances were so tight they could not provide a banker’s guarantee that they would cover any cost overruns themselves. The SNP allowed work to go ahead anyway before designs had been agreed. What has followed has been a litany of failures and delays too many to list here, and the cost to the taxpayer has ballooned from £97m to an estimated £351m. The most recent cock up is described in the attached BBC news report.
The most farcical event occurred in 2017 when Empress Krankie herself (of course) launched the first of the ships, Glen Sannox. Already over a year behind schedule, the ‘windows’ were painted on, the funnel inoperative and the bow made from flat sheet steel which was rejected by the regulator and had to be replaced later.
Ferguson went bust in 2019 and was nationalised by Krankie’s mafia without conducting due diligence. Today the ferries still aren’t finished, essential work at Troon and Ardrossan ports is behind schedule and a professor of maritime safety in Helsinki where the engines were made says they may not work as they’ve been standing idle for 6 years. I suspect this has further to run.
The general consensus in Scotland seems to be that the fiasco is simply a case of incompetence. But here’s the rub. Last year Audit Scotland said it could not account for £158m of taxpayers money spent by Ferguson Marine on the ferries. Where has it gone? Police Scotland have refused to investigate the matter, preferring instead to piss about (not) investigating the SNP’s missing £667,000 – chicken feed in comparison. Meanwhile, the aforementioned Jim McColl, Ferguson’s now ex-owner and reckoned to be worth over a billion pounds, lives with his wife in Monaco.
Incompetence or corruption? You decide, cunters.
Krankie’s fake ship launch at 01.58:
Nominated by : Geordie Twatt
Additional evidence provided by Ron Knee:
With your approval Admin, I’d like to endorse this excellent nom, with reference to the above link detailing yet more SNP financial shenanigans.