We now know the two ferries being built at the Ferguson yard will cost at least £400 million, four times what they were supposed to cost. The added bad news is the second ferry will now only be delivered in 2025.

The first ferry will allegedly be delivered next spring but the LPG secondary propulsion system has not yet been fired up, the problems encountered in meeting required safety standards are not yet fully sorted and the vessels still have to undergo sea trials before they can be used in service.

In reality we know in our hearts the first full summer season the Glen Sannox will run is 2025 and the Glen Rosa’s first summer season will be 2026. That is a long time for the good citizens of Arran, and the other islands which would benefit from re-allocated ships, to wait for a reliable service which is vital to their lives.

The fact that two ferries much more recently ordered from Turkey will be in service before the Glen Sannox and Glen Rosa only adds to the shame.

The genesis of this problem was the Scottish Government’s desire to create a good news story at the time of the independence referendum. The contract for the building of these ships was steered towards Fergusons who were not experienced with the scale or complexity of the vessels being ordered. Procurement rules were bent and may have been broken to get to the right answer.

Yet, nobody within CMAL, the organisation which specified and ordered the ships, no civil servant and no Government minister has resigned or been fired.

Compare this with Lord Carrington, who was UK Foreign Secretary when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982. The blame for that invasion could not reasonably have been laid at Lord Carrington’s door. Yet he felt that on his watch something had gone very badly wrong, he took responsibility as the minister in charge and he resigned, despite the request by the Prime Minister that he should stay in post.

Everything that has gone wrong with the building of these ships cannot be laid at the door of Jim McColl, whose business owned the yard when it was awarded the contract but whose involvement ended when it became insolvent in 2019.

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The Scottish Government and its agency CMAL are largely to blame. It was they who decided these ships should be dual fuel in a ludicrous virtue-signalling exercise to burnish their green credentials. It was they who specified vessels which were far too large and expensive. It was the Scottish Government which steered the contract towards Fergusons. It was CMAL which kept changing the design after the contract was awarded. It was the Scottish Government which blundered in and nationalised the yard and still crows today about the number of jobs it has saved without grasping how few of those were local jobs and that the money could have been spent so much better elsewhere. It was the Scottish Government, as owner of Fergusons, which endorsed the appointment of a turnaround director at the yard who then failed to turn anything around at all. It is the Scottish Government which ducks and dodges when asked to come clean on the figures.

It was the Scottish Government which decided to press ahead with the second vessel, before the latest cost increases were revealed to us but should have been known to it, rather than scrap it. Avoiding that final humiliation has come at a heavy price.

I could go on. The list of failures, incompetence and hubris is a very long one.

Should there be an independent inquiry into this with the power to compel witnesses and require documents? Of course there should but the course of inquiries is well known. Resist them for as long as you can, bog them down so that they take years to complete, leave office or retire, let your successors wring their hands and cry “lessons will be learned” long after you have gone and are collecting your nice public sector pension.

An inquiry is insufficient. People have got to go; “it wasnae me” is not good enough. The Scottish Government under Humza Yousaf has tried to push Transport out of being a Cabinet role (I wonder why) and we have had four transport ministers in little over two years. The latest is Fiona Hyslop, who reports to Mairi McAllan, who has the laughable title of minster for “Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition”. As a matter of honour these two should accept the ferry fiasco has now become so bad that somebody has to carry the can - they should both resign.

The board of CMAL should be cleaned out completely. All should go and replaced by people who understand ships and the specific needs of our island communities.

The nameless civil servants who have presided over this mess - they should go too. Not shunted sideways but fired.

Lessons do indeed need to be learned but the most important lesson is that the buck stops somewhere; people must be held accountable.