As the unions point out, while eight jackets are likely to be fabricated in Fife, the other 45 will come from Indonesia “delivered by cheap foreign labour then shipped by diesel-burning barges to the Fife coast”.
The Scottish Government’s defence is that they are bound by EU procurement rules which mean the French developer, EDF, can contract an Italian contractor, Saipem, to procure the infrastructure in Indonesia. That is one EU impediment/alibi we could do without.
More fundamentally, the investment has simply not been made in the yards – in spite of Methil being owned by Scottish Enterprise for the past decade – in full knowledge that the offshore wind boom was in the offing. Is that now going to change?
Meanwhile on the other side of the country, it looks increasingly as if it will cost the Scottish Government the thick end of £100 million to resolve the fiasco at the Ferguson shipyard, resulting from what always looked like a political stunt, lacking in all due diligence.
That is serious money – £100 million which could have been spent on schools, hospitals or council services rather than doubling the cost of two long-delayed CalMac ferries. A fraction might even have been invested in the Fife yards.
Will any heads roll for either scandal? Almost certainly not for we live in a land of non-accountability. Just keep waving the flags and shouting about independence from Glasgow rooftops. Nobody will notice the rest.