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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scottish Public Projects Cost 8 Times What They Should - Scotsman Letter

  The Scotsman have published this letter, sent out to all and sundry, based on yesterday's blog. Google News shows no other publication.

We are told that the reason the price of the Aberdeen bypass has gone up to £653 million over 9 years from £347m is inflation. If so inflation has been 7% annually. I don't think so.

Worse is that this is a cost of £23.3 million a mile. According to a previous newspaper article, critical of high Russian roadbuilding costs caused by "post-Soviet bureaucracy and chaotic planning" their roads cost a whole £6.8 million per mile, far more than the EU average of £2.7 million or China's £840 thousand.

I hope our "chaotic bureaucracy" which makes Scottish and British public projects normally at least 8 times more expensive than they should be, comes under as critical an eye from the British media as foreigners do. However since there has been no media outcry over the new Forth crossing costing £2,300m when the inflation adjusted price of the old one was £320m this is more a hope than an expectation.

Neil Craig

ref http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/is-soviet-style-bureaicracy-choatic.html

  As usual the numbers and the most severe criticism of the reporting double standards of the British media, has been excised, however they did keep in the "more hope than expectation" line.

Online comments are supportive.

There is also a good letter from Dr John Cameron about the radiation scare at Dalgety Bay. He reuses a classic insult of Gordon Brown from a previous letter of his..

UPDATE FRIDAY

  The Herald have published this letter too, edited in a different way.

We are told that the reason the price of the Aberdeen bypass has gone up to £653 million over 9 years from £347 is inflation.

If so inflation has been 7% annually. I don't think so. Worse is that this is a cost of £23.3 million a mile. According to a previous newspaper article, critical of high Russian roadbuilding costs caused by "post-Soviet bureaucracy and chaotic planning" their roads cost a whole £6.8 million per mile, far more than the EU average of £2.7 million or China's £840 thousand.I hope our "chaotic bureaucracy" which makes Scottish and British public projects normally at least 8 times more expensive than they should be, comes under as critical an eye from the British media as foreigners do. However since there has been no media outcry over the new Forth crossing costing £2.300m when the inflation adjusted price of the old one was £320m this is more a hope than an expectation.
Neil Craig

  Normally I prefer the Scotsman's editing and I think their technical placement of paragraph stops is better. However the Herald has left in most of the international figures, excising only China's. By editing out that comparison and the "post Soviet chaotic planning" remark the Scotsman left my reference to Scotland's chaotic planning unsupported. On the other hand the Herald left out all mention of £2 billion of the Forth crossing going walkabout.      On previous occasions I have said where editing has improved my letters. In this case I think neither editing matches the original.      Neither paper gives the impression of being willing to hold this country's government to account, for incompetence or theft, which is said to be the mark of a free press.

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Comments:
The why of it might be as follows. a woman of my acquaintance believes that everything in the bible is completely true. Any and all attempts to bring the inconsistencies this presents to her attention are ignored.She is otherwise a pleasant, thoughtful and intelligent lady. This demonstrates that people can hold firmly to irrational beliefs and will ignore, and / or deliberately avoid anything that might put these beliefs at risk. In that circumstance they have to arrive at doubt by themselves. Many of the issues that end up on your blog arise from people who would rather have the comfort of a false belief than deal with uncertainty. Loyalty to others who promote these false ideologies only reinforces the preferred comfort.
 
Good point & I sympathise with those people even when I disagree. However in many cases the believer's employment depends on them expressing such beliefs. TYhat does not mean that they do not honestly beieve what it is in their interests to believe - all human being except me ;-) have a great capacity for self delusion - but it does mean they are not entitled to sympathy.

And those using public money to push the scam are worthy only of the deepest condemnation.

For example, several years on, I am still seeking a single scientist who pushes catastrophic warming and is not paid by the state.
 
How did the debate on Tuesday go?
 
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