Having won a battle that they should have lost (over the hotel), the bosses of Edinburgh St James are now engaged in one they should lose.
Enough was enough. The cost and the disruption were too much. It made more sense to build the new Scottish Office elsewhere and leave the old gaunt, grey building to the pigeons.
‘So St. James Square remained the province of a handful of small businesses and workshops and 3,700 or so of Edinburgh’s lower orders and their exploitative, ever-neglectful landlords. The long decline of James Craig’s tenement buildings continued. Rack followed ruin and ruin begat rack.’
‘Losing the heid’ is the title of an STV documentary on foreign takers of Scottish companies made by the author 25 years ago. Here he returns to the topic, finds more and more ‘crown jewels’ are no longer in Scottish hands, with Holyrood powerless to stop the process, and lists those that have gone recently.
Who’s to blame for the closure of the Forth Road Bridge? No-one, or perhaps everyone. George Rosie counts the ways we have overloaded the fifty-one year old structure.
Scotland faces an acute energy gap in the near future and the Scottish Government will fall short of its 2020 target of self-sufficiency in energy supply via a ‘balanced mix.’ Key elements of this mix, especially renewables, will fail too deliver so – apart from imports from England – we could be forced to make a very rapid ‘dash for gas’ as alternatives run dry.
The Queensferry or Second Forth Crossing is no triumph of Scottish engineering but, rather, a reflection of globalisation. George Rosie reports on – and laments – how very few Scottish firms are engaged in building this hugely important and costly infrastructure project.