In Edinburgh last month on business, I had a chance to look at the parliament building.
Very impressive. In the taxi on the way back to the airport, listening to a radio interview, a senior Scottish politician was hotly denying any and all government responsibility for the problems facing the parliament project. I was inevitably reminded of the passage in Alice Through the Looking Glass. "Now for the evidence," said the King, "and then the sentence!" "No," said the Queen. "First the sentence, and then the evidence!"

Before pronouncing further sentence on the project team, the politicians would do well to reflect upon the following. Contrary to the claims of industry outsiders, nobody involved in a situation like the Scottish parliament project profits from it, certainly not the consultants and contractors who design and build it. The basis of payment for additional, varied and changed work under English, Welsh and Scottish law is indemnity. This is an entitlement, and I can think of no reason why anyone connected with the project should be expected to accept anything less. But there will be many people and firms on that project who will be compelled to accept less. Some firms may be bankrupted, and most of the people on the project will have worked illegally long hours and had their lives made very unhappy.

Who speaks for them? Many of the industry's two million workforce, most of whom also have a vote, have worked on a project like this at some stage of our careers. As the next election approaches, there are potentially 2 million voters and their families watching with interest.