People who are calling for an inquiry into Edinburgh’s tram project should be aware that it will almost certainly be a waste of time for three reasons.
First, the inquiry will have no judicial powers, allowing witnesses to be as “economical with the truth” as they please.
Second, the chairman chosen to conduct the inquiry will be a highly respected person who knows nothing whatsoever about the subject and will spend much of the time out of his/her depth, missing the significance of what is being said.
Third, there will be no specialist witnesses who could shed some light on the affair, because they would risk being sued by any aggrieved parties.
These are not conditions in which one can get at the truth. The most one can hope for is that the chairman’s conclusions will be harmless.