Friday, December 14, 2007

Infected Salmond

The moral, technical and political arguments over Trump-not-quite-a-gate (and despite the efforts of some bloggers, I’m in agreement with Josh Lyman that there’s no way this qualifies as a gate) have been thoroughly covered by our Scottish colleagues. What strikes me about the whole affair however is how nice it is, particularly from a Welsh perspective, to see that nationalists in power are affected by the same diseases as any other shade of politician would be; Megaprojectitis.

Because you just know that at some stage this thought went through Alex Salmond’s head;

There is this weird price range, between £500 million and £2.5 billion, where politicians will do anything to get something built, no matter how stupid the thing is or how stupid the building is. I’d hazard that it was the price tag more than anything that persuaded Blair to plough on with the Dome; some part of him knew it was insane to do so, but that was shouted down by the incessant cry of SEVEN HUNDRED MILLION POUNDS!

I suspect it also explains why the original Olympic budget was exactly the size it was; anything above £2.5 billion and the primary thought changes from “Man, that would be great for the economy!” to “Man, that would be unpopular with taxpayers!”

Either way, it will be interesting to see how Plaid deal with the disease, although on the evidence of the Wylfa row, Wales Millennium Centre and Ieuan Air, the omens are not good…

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