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 It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: Parboiled  
Date:   Fri 4 Nov 14:40

As usual, the FM fended off questions at FMQ’s yesterday using comparisons with Wales and England on NHS failings etc.
Can’t point finger elsewhere today though at the ferry contract enquiry, but she does have handy lapses of memory to rely on…



Post Edited (Fri 04 Nov 14:46)
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Fri 4 Nov 15:16

Let`s be honest, pointing at England is irrelevant. That`s like us losing the next 5 games and pointing at Peterhead to make us look better.

Whilst Scotland is doing relatively well in comparison, the ferries fiasco is a disgrace. Seemingly the community is now looking into getting their own boats! It`s the type that the Scottish Government declared were unsuitable. I think it was because they were unable to house crew on them. I`m not an islander, but I fail to see the relevance on such short routes.

These boats are essentially just for hopping round the islands so shouldn`t need to be anything fancy. I`m obviously no shipbuilder but it seems to be taking a hell of a long time to build these ferries!
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Fri 4 Nov 15:37

Whenever a public service contract goes wrong inevitably the government carries the can, and not just in Scotland, but there must have been deficiencies amongst the professional people responsible for procurement, design, commissioning etc. The same thing applies when hospitals are delayed or patients are misdiagnosed etc. It strikes me that an awful lot of people get off the hook when these things become political.

I watched some of the committee proceedings this morning and some of the MSPs were simply trying to get the FM to apologise rather than get to the bottom of what went wrong. Some of the language used like `dodgy contract` and `jobs for the boys` suggested they`d come to their own conclusions without hearing her evidence.



Post Edited (Fri 04 Nov 15:50)
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: LochgellyAlbert  
Date:   Sat 5 Nov 10:46

Imagine the uproar if the contract had gone to Turkey, hundreds of workers made redundant.

The shipbuilders are surely responsible for the amount of time they have taken to build them?

Meanwhile, down South


https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/aug/21/crossrail-delayed-again-until-2022-and-another-450m-over-budget-tfl-covid-19#amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&aoh=16676449344497&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&share=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fuk-news%2F2020%2Faug%2F21%2Fcrossrail-delayed-again-until-2022-and-another-450m-over-budget-tfl-covid-19

Of course Covid never happened in Scotland!🤔💩
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Sat 5 Nov 11:38

Nevermind about what`s going on down south. This happened up here and it stinks.

And although my eyes were open
They just might as well be closed
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Sat 5 Nov 13:02

What do you mean `never mind about what`s going on down south`? Aren`t we paying for Crossrail and HS2? Aren`t they part of the `union dividend`?

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Sat 5 Nov 18:05

Because what has crossrail or HS2 got to do with the rank incompetence (or even worse) from the snp government with the awarding of this multi million pound contract?

And although my eyes were open
They just might as well be closed
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Sat 5 Nov 18:21

I think the point is that they`re all useless.

Public sector contracts are a joke. They almost always pick the lowest quote so all the potential suppliers go in with a low quote then fire it up as soon as the contracts are signed. Can you imagine someone doing your kitchen and deciding after you`ve agreed the quote that it`ll actually take twice as long to do and will need a 50% hike in price?!
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Sat 5 Nov 19:55

You`re right, jake, but I don`t think it`s inevitable that public service contracts should be late and over budget. Wasn`t the Queensferry Crossing delivered on time and within budget?

I do think the Scottish government is judged to different standards from Westminster though. It just seems to be accepted that public contracts down south will be late or over budget or a waste of money. PPE was another one that didn`t give value for money but losses were just written off because they were incurred in an emergency.

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Sat 5 Nov 21:37

In 2014 before the referendum the Scottish government arranges for prominent independence supporter Jim McColl to buy the beleaguered Ferguson Marine shipyard. One year later the snp administration awards said shipyard the ferry contract despite Ferguson Marine tendering a bid £37 million pounds more than its nearest rival and telling the Scottish government that it couldn`t afford to meet the financial guarantee stipulations in the contract. Ferguson Marine also had zero experience building such vessels.
So to expand on your kitchen fitter analogy Jake imagine that for some reason you tasked your next door neighbour with getting your new kitchen fitted for the best price and value. They decide that rather than accept quotes from experienced kitchen fitters they opt to give the job to a bathroom fitting firm who are asking substantially more to do to the job and who also essentially say they can`t even do the job at that higher price anyway. You then find out that your next door neighbour just happens to be really good friends with the boss of the bathroom fitting firm.
Like I said this deal stinks.

And although my eyes were open
They just might as well be closed
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Sat 5 Nov 22:37

It seems to vary wildly. I don`t think Holyrood gets more negative attention that Westminster but the general public like to blame the SNP for everything.

The latest is the planned National Care Service. Opposition parties who were previously supportive are now against it and suggest we keep things as they are. I don`t know if they`ve noticed but social care is in a state. Nearly 2000 patients in hospital beds who should have been let home or into care elsewhere but are stuck. It`s a disgrace yet Labour and the Tories think the solution is to sit on their hands.
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Sat 5 Nov 23:00

Doesn`t matter if Labour and the Tories (Lib Dems too I assume?) sit on their hands. The snp have a majority with the help of the Greens so can sort out the mess they find social care in.
I see it differently from you Jake. The general public don`t blame the snp for anything, even for things they are clearly and solely to blame for. Like the ferries.

And although my eyes were open
They just might as well be closed
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Sat 5 Nov 23:08

They definitely do. Usually have union flags or a Rangers crest in their profile...
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Sun 6 Nov 00:07

So are Rangers fans now the entirety of the general public?

And although my eyes were open
They just might as well be closed
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: da_no_1  
Date:   Sun 6 Nov 00:08

Absolute nonsense Jake.

"Some days will stay a 1000 years, some pass like the flash of a spark"
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Sun 6 Nov 00:26

Why don`t the Scottish public blame the SNP? They mustn`t read the papers because they never have a good word to say about them.

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: LochgellyAlbert  
Date:   Sun 6 Nov 10:24

Fighting against the main stream media constantly, BBC are a disgrace!
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Sun 6 Nov 10:27

I don`t mean the ENTIRE general public.

Spend a bit of time looking a paper comments sections and social media.

The media will report the awful things done by both the Tories and the SNP yet you`ll find people are GENERALLY more forgiving of Tory failures. How there hasn`t been an uprising yet is beyond me.
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: Parboiled  
Date:   Sun 6 Nov 12:03

“ I take a different view to the Auditor”

A rather chilling response from Sturgeon to a question at the Holyrood enquiry.

When I worked in govt departments of various hues nobody questioned reports from the NAO. Nothing they highlighted in their report was a surprise, points they were raising were discussed during the actual audit and some were satisfactorily resolved there and then. Those that still needed action were in the report and that was final.

We had jump to fix the issue and respond accordingly.

The Auditor General for Scotland is not there to be another yes man, she’s got plenty of those already.

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: hurricane_jimmy  
Date:   Tue 8 Nov 12:27

Quite a revealing post there actually Parbroiled.

So it would seem you`re basically out to defend your British former paymasters on .net at all cost?

I genuinely need to read a bit more into the ferry stuff as I haven`t paid that much attention to it, however I would say that the fact that you created this thread among all the economic turmoil - likely in your mind to be a distraction or an attempt at a "wind-up" - created by your beloved Tory party is honestly quite funny. Particularly so because you quite obviously avoid such topics that provide your viewpoint no quarter.

Have you really nothing to say regarding the intellectual thickness of Douglas Ross or Liz Truss? Or the economic illiteracy of Kwasi Kwarteng or Jeremy Hunt? Kwarteng studied Economic history to PhD level at Cambridge and STILL messed it up. I have a background in Chemistry and Astrophysics and took a bunch of Economics and Economic history credits (at Bachelor level) at Lund University out of sheer interest and even I could have told you his economic plan was absolute nonsense because there were no precedents that gave it credibility. Low and behold, it crashed the Pound Sterling. LOL!

Personally, I find it more "chilling" that the British Government would employ someone such as yourself to administer their business in Scotland, when you quite obviously possesses a clear ignorance of basic economics and an arrogance that means your ego simply makes you project without a factual basis. That said, such behaviour is not out of character for your generation. It`s quite obviously that you personally are not used to losing face in public.

As other have said, it is absolutely reasonable to expect that Holyrood and ministers are held to a certain standard. To create a double standard which include separate criteria for Holyrood and Westminster though is rather...lacking in integrity.



Post Edited (Tue 08 Nov 12:36)
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Tue 8 Nov 13:03

Parboiled doesn`t say WHICH government (UK or Scottish) but either way, a civil servant is supposed to be impartial. They are employed to serve the government no matter which party leads it. Displaying preference would be against the civil service code.

That doesn`t mean they take the party-line, quite the opposite. They should be providing a true picture but it`s up to the ministers to set the direction.
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: Parboiled  
Date:   Tue 8 Nov 14:00

The Auditor General is the head of an independent public body, Audit Scotland, responsible for scrutinising Scot govt and many other public agencies such as Police, Fire Service, local authorities etc etc to ensure public money is properly accounted for and best value for money practices are followed. He is appointed by the Monarch

He is not there to serve the Scottish Government, be influenced by its policies, its political agenda, ortake any direction from it whatsoever.

Oh, and HJ, do try to stick to the subject, which in this instance is not me, your boring self, or your achievements, it is about an issue which you confess to have read eff all about.

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: Wotsit  
Date:   Tue 8 Nov 14:10

Offices of State being appointed/sacked by the Monarch is something that hasn`t happened for centuries. The Royal Prerogative is wielded by the UK Prime Minister, with some parts delegated to ministers, these days.

These appointments are very rarely politically neutral.


"Who you are and what you feel comes not just from inside you, but from where you are in the power structure"
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: Parboiled  
Date:   Tue 8 Nov 14:32

Oh for gawd’s sake, not appointed by the Monarch personally!

It was an open recruitment process involving interviews by cross party MSP’s chaired by the presiding officer who then recommend the candidate to “The Crown” ( not the telly series I hasten to add)

I note the the current holder of the post was already a employee of Audit Scotland so would have a head start I suppose.

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: hurricane_jimmy  
Date:   Tue 8 Nov 15:00

Again Parboiled, have you nothing to say about your zealous defence of the British Government? Or Ross, Truss or Kwarteng?

I'm assuming that by your wee bit of projection there you have read and studied "eff all" economics. That said, it's blatantly obvious from your posts.

Seems you`re a wee bit of a political Del boy for sure! 😂

Post Edited (Tue 08 Nov 15:05)
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: Parboiled  
Date:   Tue 8 Nov 15:08

If you could point me to any of the “zealous defence” you refer to..?

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: hurricane_jimmy  
Date:   Tue 8 Nov 15:23

Pretty much every post on this forum since you reared your head on this forum perhaps?

Or do you view yourself simply as more of an anti-SNP or anti-Holyrood contrarian?

What is your take on the current Westminster Government`s Economic performance? How do you rate the performance of the current Tory Front Bench? How do you rate the performance of a certain Douglas Ross as leader of the Scottish Conservatives? Can you critique their economic, fiscal and social policy going forward both in the long and short term? What changes of policy would you advise the Scottish Government undertake and upon what basis would you make such recommendations?

Kinda funny tbh, because I watched the most recent BBC debate night from Aberdeen yesterday and all the pro-Union voices (bar one that I counted) were old and spoke with English accents. All were rather intimidated by younger more savvy folk, particularity the English Tory MSP by the name of White who had the wind taken right out of her sails on the NHS by a staff nurse who worked in ARI. Exchanges with you very much echo that TV debate. I`d genuinely like to hear some proper solutions from opposition parties rather than moaning.
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: Parboiled  
Date:   Tue 8 Nov 16:34

Yes.. but…where have I zealously defended all of any of these people?

Oh btw did you see the attendees of the recent SNP conference? The zimmers, grey heids and beards, and most of the men were just as ancient

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: hurricane_jimmy  
Date:   Tue 8 Nov 16:41

Can you actually address the questions instead of your usual whitabootery?
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Tue 8 Nov 16:50

How about we stick to the topic on hand and discuss the snp`s scandalous handing of the ferry contracts? Why do so many seem completely incapable of criticising the snp government even when it`s clear they have displayed, at best, rank incompetence?

And although my eyes were open
They just might as well be closed
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: hurricane_jimmy  
Date:   Tue 8 Nov 16:55

TOWK - If that comment is directed at me, can I ask where I disagreed with your point? I`ve been very critical of the SNP in the past, particularly in 2014 over their model of Independence.
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: DBP  
Date:   Tue 8 Nov 17:30

I think the problem is that these types of criticisms is they are generality viewed as having an implied attack on independence...
Eg rather than saying the SNP could have done x or y better, what you often get is very strong emotive words and the associated mood music coming through its that it in some way evidences were too stupid, etc to govern ourselves.

I think people find that a bit galling given in many cases the Westminster government (which is the one the attacking posters generally feel we should remain dependent on) are often performing worse in very similar undertakings...

You could argue that its basic whataboutery (and I would agree)...but generally, when unionists make these kind of arguments, the constitution question is never sitting that far behind, which probably explains the defensive nature of most independent supported responses.

That`s my take anyway
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Tue 8 Nov 18:16

You sum it up very well, DBP. Social media and the MSM are full of criticism of the Scottish government which implies independence is beyond our capabilities but if independence supporters raise issues which demonstrate the incompetence of Westminster they`re accused of whataboutery. It`s incredible how much ineptitude and corruption from the UK government is tolerated with no suggestion we should seek another solution.

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Tue 8 Nov 20:00

Parboiled, I was referring to yourself/civil servants generally rather than the auditor. Apologies if I caused any confusion.
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: hurricane_jimmy  
Date:   Sat 12 Nov 03:54

Parbroiled - still waiting for the answers to the questions I posted to you above. You have posted on other threads but have conveniently avoided this one. Why was that?
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Sun 12 Feb 09:33

[URL/]www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-64609542[URL]

Hopefully this independent investigation will get to the bottom of what happened here. With the public audit committee publishing its report into this scandal next month I suspect that this move suggests that the committee is going to pretty damning into the incompetence (and that`s a generous interpretation) of the Scottish Government in this affair.

And although my eyes were open
They just might as well be closed
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: LochgellyAlbert  
Date:   Sun 12 Feb 10:31

Yeah, should have given contract to Turkey!
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Sun 12 Feb 12:45

Or any ship yard that could, you know, actually build ferries.

And although my eyes were open
They just might as well be closed
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Sun 12 Feb 13:45

Genuine question, but what DO Ferguson actually build?
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: LochgellyAlbert  
Date:   Sun 12 Feb 18:00

Quote:

The One Who Knocks, Sun 12 Feb 12:45

Or any ship yard that could, you know, actually build ferries.


Or any PPE company that could actually produce PPE!🤔🙈💰💴💵💶💷
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Sun 12 Feb 18:19

Indeed. So was it scandalous with the money frittered away on ppe then but not with this?

Jake they build ships but they didn`t have the space or facilities to build these two ferries. That`s why they will be five years late and 150 million pounds over budget. Hopefully this independent investigation gets to the bottom of the many questions that must be answered regarding the awarding of this contract though that investigation won`t be helped by the minutes of meetings mysteriously going missing.

And although my eyes were open
They just might as well be closed
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Sun 12 Feb 19:04

Good to know you`re keeping an open mind on it.

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Sun 12 Feb 19:19

That`s interesting to hear TOWK. Trust the first question I`m the inquiry will be "Why did you give a contract to someone who lacked the facilities to build a ferry?"
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Sun 12 Feb 20:42

An open mind on what? This has been a scandalous episode, that much is clear. This investigation will determine if it is merely rank incompetence or something else far worse that led to us to this outcome.

And although my eyes were open
They just might as well be closed
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: Parboiled  
Date:   Sun 5 Mar 10:13

Looks like the pit of taxpayers money to keep this project afloat isn’t bottomless after all. They will likely never sail.
Perhaps this is why Sturgeon and Swinney quit?

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Sun 5 Mar 11:51

Is that your Sunday Herald been delivered? 😂
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: LochgellyAlbert  
Date:   Sun 5 Mar 11:59

🎣🎣🎣
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: Parboiled  
Date:   Sun 5 Mar 13:24

Helen of Troy, the face that launched a thousand ships.

Else the Selfie, the mug who cannae launch two!



Post Edited (Sun 05 Mar 15:16)
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: McCaig`s Tower  
Date:   Sun 5 Mar 13:31

I guess it`s possible but I think it highly unlikely that Sturgeon or Swinney quit due to the Ferries Fiasco - when did an SNP minister last resign over a failure of responsibility? Stevenson back in 2010?

Meanwhile the rest of the fleet is falling apart.

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Sun 5 Mar 13:54

As a matter of interest when did a UK government minister last take responsibility for a failure of policy and resign? This is just another example of how the devolved governments in the UK are judged by different standards from their masters at Westminster.

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: McCaig`s Tower  
Date:   Sun 5 Mar 14:49

Who`s judging different governments by different standards? (This seems a classic of "whataboutery" - surely it is permissible to criticize the SG without swearing an oath on the equal incompetence of Westminster or any other government?)

But to answer your question, there have been any number of resignations over the last couple of years, plus the odd sacking. Most of these have been "on principle" some of them have been due to behavioural issues; Amber Rudd resigned after misleading the house, and arguably Truss, May and Cameron all resigned after a failure of policy. Edit - I think Dowden quit as well, but that was party competence, not government competence.



Post Edited (Sun 05 Mar 14:51)
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Sun 5 Mar 15:09

If you look at the posts of those who oppose independence they rarely say what it is about the union that appeals to them. They jump at any opportunity to criticise the performance and behaviour of the Scottish government as if this demonstrates the inadequacy of having a government, of whatever political persuasion, controlling all Scotland`s affairs from Scotland. This seems to me to be an argument against having any government at all because, if you applied the same critique to the way reserved matters are run at Westminster, you would want to do away with it too.

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Thu 9 Mar 17:39

I see HS2 is being cut to reduce costs but it`s still going to cost more than twice the original budget!

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: LochgellyAlbert  
Date:   Fri 10 Mar 17:09

SNP representatives not allowed to meet foreign politicians without a UK Government official in attendance!😡😡😡
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: Buspasspar  
Date:   Fri 10 Mar 17:17

"I see HS2 is being cut to reduce costs but it`s still going to cost more than twice the original budget!"

Don`t forget wee eck that a lot of people have had their homes compulsory purchased and great swaths of protected wildlife habitat have been disintegrated to allow this white elephant to go ahead .. and as far as I can tell it won`t even be coming to the North of England now

We are forever shaped by the Children we once were
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: LochgellyAlbert  
Date:   Fri 10 Mar 17:40

Quote:

Buspasspar, Fri 10 Mar 17:17



Don`t forget wee eck that a lot of people have had their homes compulsory purchased


I believe a certain Stanley Johnson pocketed over £1million in compensation, surprisingly!🤔😡😡😡
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: Buspasspar  
Date:   Fri 10 Mar 18:00

Do you mean Sir Stanley LA ?

We are forever shaped by the Children we once were
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: LochgellyAlbert  
Date:   Fri 10 Mar 18:40

Quote:

Buspasspar, Fri 10 Mar 18:00

Do you mean Sir Stanley LA ?


For services to wife beating!😲😡
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: Buspasspar  
Date:   Fri 10 Mar 18:43

Don`t forget the sexual harassment that never got to court

We are forever shaped by the Children we once were
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Sat 11 Mar 08:14

Nothing wrong with honouring a wife-beating, French passport holding tax avoider. Remember, the rules only apply to the plebs.
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: Parboiled  
Date:   Wed 15 Mar 12:55

Total shambles, years late, massive budget overspend, yet the Audit office has highlighted and sought clarity of the payment of performance bonuses to the senior managers of Fergus Marine.

Out of our pockets as well, and now they threaten collapse if no more public subsidy is forthcoming!

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Wed 15 Mar 13:20

We should have let Westminster manage it!
From Simon Jenkins in the Guardian :-

`It is death by gangrene. No government seems to have the guts to kill HS2, Britain’s biggest and craziest infrastructure project, so each merely lops off another limb. In 2021, it was Leeds. Now the opening of the Birmingham-to-Manchester and Acton-to-Euston lines has been delayed.

This railway is a southern project on which the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, is blowing a staggering £100m a week or £5bn a year. He is paying HS2’s boss £622,000 a year, and its executives in the region of £250,000. After six hopeless chairs, Whitehall last month desperately turned to a civil servant, Sir Jonathan Thompson, to take charge.

Even on present guesstimates, the core HS2 will not reach Birmingham until the mid-2030s. As for the bizarre decision to head for Euston, that cannot be realised until about 2040. By then, the citizens of Camden, who have already lost hundreds of homes to this railway, will have overlooked a wilderness on their doorstep for 20 years or more. The world’s finest contractors will have taken a quarter century to build a project that Robert Stephenson finished in five years with picks and shovels. This is inexcusable.`

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: Buspasspar  
Date:   Wed 15 Mar 15:55

Cracking article wee eck .. At least they have scrapped the super yacht and the Bridge to Ireland :-))

We are forever shaped by the Children we once were
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Wed 15 Mar 16:55

If Chris Grayling had been Transport Minister the ferry company would have delivered.....

.....pizzas!

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: OzPar  
Date:   Thu 16 Mar 10:17

I have been following this ferry contract thread with a combination of curiosity and interest without commenting, but now seems as good a time as any to ask a question.

Up until I retired about three years ago, I had full access to both the Lloyds of London and Clarkson shipping databases on my laptop. In practical terms, between them, these databases contained pretty much everything you needed to know about ships and shipping from a commercial perspective.

Data ranges from basic specifications, through to how much a particular ship costs to hire per day, its daily operational costs, though to construction prices, scrapping values, and a hundred other key factors.

About five years ago, the company I was working with was engaged by a client to search out the most suitable and cost-effective vessel in the market capable of carrying a certain number of passengers, a relatively small number of vehicles and some groceries and agricultural products to offshore islands on a regular service. The vessel it would replace was coming to the end of its life, and the client would prefer to purchase an existing ship, rather than order a new-build, which might take three years to deliver.

Immediately, I thought of the CalMac fleet in Scotland and started to probe my databases for suitable ferries. It was then that I started to notice something very odd... what these ships had cost to build.

In terms of size and operational requirement, several vessels within CalMac`s 30+ fleet appeared to have been hugely overpriced. To our eyes, they appeared to have paid two, three, even four times the price of comparable vessels that are in private ownership.

By the time, you allowed for age, depreciation, and such like, the residual value of these ships was way too high for our client to make a worthwhile bid for any of them. So we quickly scored the CalMac fleet off our list.

When the Ferguson Marine shipyard won the £97m CMAL contract for the two ferries, out of curiosity I went back to the Lloyd`s and Clarkson databases to do a comparative costing for two vessels of similar specifications at yards in Europe. I could have done a global search and come up with yards in South Korea, Japan, Vietnam or China, but in practical terms, they were too far away from Scotland.

I asked what would be a reasonable commercial price for a 5,000 dwt ferry with capacity for 16 HGVs and 600 passengers? Main specifications: LOA 103m, Breadth 17m, Draught 3.6m, Speed 16.5 knots. Propulsion: Hybrid system with two azimuth thrusters and two auxiliary generators. Environmental credentials: Low-emission design with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, lower fuel consumption, and improved air quality. Vessel to mainly operate day services up to 150 nautical miles between ports.

Anyway, the databases came back with a selection of recently constructed ships that had specs closest to those above. The prices for two vessels ranged from £40m through to about £75m.

The high end was a Finnish shipyard with a global reputation for building top quality ferries. That yard had recently delivered a very similar ferry to a Danish client for a price of £41m. Realistically, there would usually be a sizeable discount for two identical vessels. So, in CalMac`s case, it wouldn`t be £82m, more likely around £70-75m.

Last time I looked, the cost of these "half-built" ferries at Ferguson Marine had blown out to more than £200m.

So the question I would like to ask is:

Did the Scottish Government through its agency, CMAL, as part of its due diligence, undertake an empirical search of recognised global marine databases in parallel with its bid process to establish a reliable price guide for these ferries?

This is normal practice in the commercial maritime industry.

To play devil`s advocate, in CMAL`s defence, you could at a stretch argue that Ferguson Marine`s bid of £97m was not that different to the Finnish yard`s rough costing of about £75m.

However, I understand that the highest actual competitive bid was about £60m. Quite a difference.

At the end of the day, the decision meant jobs for Scotland and it secured the immediate future of a major fabrication facility on the River Clyde. Albeit, in the short-term.

The alternative view might be that the Scottish Government bought a couple of ridiculously expensive half-built Hillman Imps, when they could have had two state-of-the-art Porsche 911s sitting on their forecourt ready to go for half the price.







Post Edited (Thu 16 Mar 10:24)
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: Parboiled  
Date:   Thu 16 Mar 14:25

Looks like they secured jobs for life building these two ferries..!

The whole project was a political stunt from the off

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 Re: It’s not going ferry welluther delays
Topic Originator: Parboiled  
Date:   Thu 16 Mar 14:32

Honest John Swinney announcing further delays even as I write…

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 Re: It’s not going ferry welluther delays
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Thu 16 Mar 15:37

I suspect it`s because people think they know better.

Building them using a Scottish yard technically costs less as all the tax on their income and how they spend that money comes back into the public purse. Buying one from elsewhere would just cost whatever it costs with no benefit.

However, as we can see with these ferries, it would have been cheaper to buy them from elsewhere and just give a load of guys a couple of grand a month to sit on their hands!

The same seems true with HS2. It`s like a massive version of the Edinburgh trams with things being changed, scaled back and prices rising.
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Thu 16 Mar 16:11

The reason I raised HS2 was to demonstrate that government-run contracts going wrong is unfortunately not rare in the UK. The Crossrail project constructing the Elizabeth rail line across London is another recent one that springs to mind. It`s not a modern phenomenon either. I remember the fiasco surrounding the construction of the Millennium Dome during Tony Blair`s Labour government in the 1990s. The government of the day always carries the can for such follies but how much is down to the incompetence of the professionals charged with managing them?

The issue of the ferries seems to conflate three different matters - (1) saving the shipyard and related jobs, (2) the procurement process (covered by OzPar`s post) and (3) the management of the contract. A lot of questions need to be answered on all of these.

I had to smile at Douglas Ross`s description of the managers who received the unauthorised bonuses as `fat cats` - a term usually reserved for supporters of the Conservative Party.

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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Sun 23 Apr 10:54

Awkward that HMS Prince of Wales is now allegedly being scrapped and spare parts taken off it for HMS Queen Elizabeth. Apparently PoW was rushed to be launched for political clout. It`s now sat in drydock needing millions of pounds of work. Why does this sound familiar?
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 Re: It’s not going ferry well
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Sun 23 Apr 13:26

If true I hope these defects don`t reflect badly on the dockyard.

And although my eyes were open
They just might as well be closed
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