Many thanks. This is very helpful. …

Comment posted Was this a fair tender process? Government cuts Orkney ferry frequencies within days of Serco contract award by newsroom.

Many thanks. This is very helpful.

newsroom also commented

  • We gave the information direct from the government tender document – which is hardly unresearched.

    If you have other documentary evidence to the contrary, why not give links to it so that readers may see it for themselves, rather than make what at the moment are unsupported declarations?

Recent comments by newsroom

  • On nationalism
    If you’re referring to the author of the letter, you demonstrate the process he is talking about.
    If you’re talking about the author of the article, myself – I am a rationalist, not a nationalist. The two are not compatible.
  • On nationalism
    It has to be doubtful that the egg-lobbers of Kirkcaldy see: ‘a Yes vote about trying to protect what is left of the values and institutions that many of us used to think of as being British’.
    There is though a very challenging play by the Irish playwright,Tom KIlroy – Double Cross.
    This identifies the double-jeopardy of empire as being that a state newly emerged from empire into independence and forming its own identity, has no template other than empire – and so ‘creates’ itself in the image of its former imperial principal.
    What you are saying here carries all of the symptoms of that particular double cross.
    How can you know that there never was a better way of doing any of the British things you claim, bizarrely, that a ‘Yes’ vote is designed to preserve? [And the notion that the proposed new Scotland is conceived of as a place of sanctuary for the repository of the sacred artefacts of the Union you would destroy is the laugh of the campaign.]
    The NHS, for example, is now a sacred cow by default. It would be a positive advantage to be free to start again in defining, shaping and delivering a national health service free at the point of delivery.
    Your stance would be more worthy of respect had you shown an independence of mind that is willing to think newly.
    It is also noticeable that you choose the soft option of engaging with the patently honest letter – from the already paralysed victim of the action you support Scotland to take; and that you are sufficiently arrogant to assume that your own idealism is in some way ‘better’ than his?.
    You fail to engage with the major issues of the Achilles heels of nationalism – its chauvinism, its utopianism and its incipient racism.
    And by the way, the federation that the United Kingdom should move to become and which would without doubt be the most popular option of all – cross-party and across the Union – would not be a ‘unitary state’.
  • On nationalism
    ‘we ourselves’ and ‘ourselves alone’ have the same connotation of comfort in separateness.
  • Jim Murphy hit by eggs in Kirkcaldy
    On a point of fact: the ‘Seagull Whisperer’ at Mr Murphy’s Oban street session was not an apocryphal incident. We were there. We have the photographs. We christened him. His powers were mesmeric.
  • Indy, the banks and the Scottish economy
    About 20 months ago, Alastair Darling who was Chancellor at the time of the major period of meltdown in the financial sector in the Autumn of 2008 gave this first hand insight on his experience of the recapitalisation of RBS: ‘All I can tell you is that, on the night of 7 [October] 2008, no one at all anywhere in the world rushed to chip in to bail out RBS, despite the fact that it had a very large trading arm in the United States and many of the losses that it made were there.
    ‘Obviously the US Fed was immensely helpful in terms of liquidity support and tiding over;it kept RBS going for a whole afternoon when it got into trouble on that Tuesday.
    ‘When it came to recapitalisation, though — I think that the recapitalisation figure is about 30 percent of Scottish GDP — there was no one queuing up to do it. As Mervyn King said, these banks are global in life but national in death.’

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8 Responses to Many thanks. This is very helpful. …

  1. Well I wait with baited breath to see how The Doc, DMH, Morag, Anne and the rest of the usual suspects put a positive spin on this, the latest bit of chicanery by the SNP!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. @ Newsroom: You will find up-to-date transport statistics on the Transport Scotland website. To save you from having to search for it yourselves, here’s the link to the 2011 figures.
    Given traffic levels on the Pentland Firth service mid-winter — the midday crossing usually only carries a handful of vehicles, often in single figures — I am left wondering if any other bidder saw savings to be made by omitting it when really it’s not needed. Yes, I know it’s supposedly a ‘Lifeline Service’, but be realistic about this — there are still two other NorthLink sailings and also Banksie’s catamaran running three times a day too. Did Northlink themselves (or anyone else) bid to run three runs every day? Without knowing that, criticising Serco is a bit harsh in this instance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. “When the change of service provider was announced following the tendering process, Orkney and Shetland were assured that they would see improvements to the services. Is this it?”

    I am sure Transport Scotland will find some way to claim its a better service. The claim does not need to have any basis in reality. Look at the improved service we got in Dunoon with bigger boats!

    Does the Orkney service include relief vessels or has that been “improved” so that sailings get cut in half anytime a vessels breaks down or needs serviced – as in Dunoon.

    It is a good point about the contract being changed immediately after companies bid, though presumably even Transport Scotland were not stupid enough to leave themselves exposed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. The forArgyll article stated “The issue with which we are concerned is whether this substantial change of required service provision, coming to son after the award of contract, invalidates the tender”

    But, as I now understand it, the tender specification essentially invited bidders to reduce from 3 to 2 return crossings per weekday for the non-peak period. The non-peak period was not specified and had to be defined by the bidder.

    So most of this article was un-researched forargyll speculation about an article read somewhere else and then regurgitated as news and information.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • We gave the information direct from the government tender document – which is hardly unresearched.

      If you have other documentary evidence to the contrary, why not give links to it so that readers may see it for themselves, rather than make what at the moment are unsupported declarations?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Having watched Question Time the other night, I was astounded at the paucity of comment in favour of the union. Even Forsyth made an idiot of himself.

    It does appear, yet again, our very own SNP are leading the charge for a ‘NO’ vote in 2014. Their defense probably will be something to do with Green issues or European rules…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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