Labour MSP, James Kelly:
|Seeing his face explains the story.|
...has accused the SNP government of an 'astonishing' waste of tax payers money over the cancellation of the £300m Glasgow Airport Railway Link. Johann Lamont recently tried to use a land sale to smear the Scottish Government whilst the problem really lay with the purchase of the land carried out by the Labour controlled SPTA. I've already had a good yack about that here.
You might remember, Johann's righteous indignation was somewhat attenuated by the fact her husband, (Archie Graham,) was on the board of Strathclyde Passenger Transport Authority back when the land deals where being negotiated in the run up to 2009 - the problem lay not with the sale of the land - which the Scottish Government were legally obligated to do - but with its price and method of purchase.
Anyway, James Kelly thought this turd of a story still had some rolling to do. So far £29m has been spent on compensation, land deals and 'other costs'. In reply, Keith Brown SNP transport minister...
The Glasgow Airport Rail Link was an expensive vanity project instigated by Labour-led Glasgow City Council, it was overseen by the SPTA board which was in turn rammed with Labour councillors.
For the avoidance of doubt because even I know how these things work, GARL was Glasgow's answer to Edinburgh's Trams. Not content with one over-priced, almost impossible to deliver, gravy train for Labour councillors and their retinue of yes men - they wanted another one out west.
What the Scottish Government are doing - that'll cost £30-odd-million - is tidying up more of Scottish Labour's mess. It was Labour who signed the contracts, negotiated the land deals and greased the palms in the initial stages of GARL, just as they did for Edinburgh's benighted tram project with TIE. Lets look at the trams for a moment, initial cost in 2003 was said by Labour to be £375m. By 2011 it was clear we wouldn't be getting any change out of £1bil for a truncated version of the original plan. (info)
Can you imagine the same debacle in Glasgow?
What James Kelly is basically saying is this:
"I took a large malodorous dump under the stairs of the Scottish parliament building some time ago, and I am astonished its costing so much money to clear up, what is the SNP Government thinking about, the Scottish people demand to know."And since its the BBC, we also get the old story rehashed even although its been discredited thoroughly.
Derek Bateman* used to work for the BBC as a reporter on Good Morning Scotland among others, he left some time ago. Recently he wrote this about Labour's relationship with the BBC in Scotland, its a longer piece of writing but you won't regret reading it at all. Given the topic, you might ponder for a moment why he no longer works for the BBC...
* Link may not be up much longer, he's definitely no longer with the BBC - the web team didn't get the memo.