Remember the brouhaha and fuss when the Scottish Parliament costs soared to £550 million?
I was never one of the complainants who felt we should have had a flat pack seat of power at a cost of buttons ha’penny.
I still shut down whenever I hear parliamentary observers droning on about the cost of the building. And I suspect there aren’t many people -includingme – who really catch the subtleties of Enrico Miralles’ design.
It’s been described as “Disneyland for pigeons ” and although it is a bit concrete grey for me to truly love it, the building is quirky, in an amazing setting and once inside, is quite suberb.
In a city where the average one bedroom flat costs £125,000, I don’t think £500 million is a lot to spend on our most important symbol of nationhood. In fact, I’ve always thought it was money reasonably well spent.
So today I found myself spluttering with the kind of indignant outrage normally reserved for middle Englanders when I heard radio a reports about the Queen opening the new St Pancras Station in London.
I don’t think I’ve ever been to that particular station, so my only real sense of it comes from it being one of the bargain buys on the Monopoly board. So how come it cost £800 million to refurbish. Yes. £800. Million. For a poxy railway station. Or at that, price, for a palatial railway station.
Don’t know about you, but until today, I haven’t heard a peep about this project. Not a whimper.
After the national contortions in Scotland, the endless finger pointing, agonising, blame spreading public inquiries and general toxic fallout over the parliament, it all comes down to this: In London the public is prepared to spend the cost of almost two Scottish parliaments to tart up a train station – with no recriminations at all.