The Herald published an exclusive interview with Lord George Robertson on their website. Lord Robertson, Islay resident and living in Port Ellen, is well known for his former occupation of Nato secretary-general. In the interview Lord Robertson reveals that he has appealed directly to the new European Transport Commissioner to break up Calmac. Last week the BBC already reported about a possible "beginning of the end" for Calmac. Below a quote from the interview in the Herald:
A leading Labour peer, who fought attempts by Tory governments to privatise Caledonian MacBrayne, is now calling for the break-up of the ferry company's network to allow private firms to operate some services. In a blistering attack on the ferry operator he once championed, Lord Robertson accuses CalMac of misspending tens of millions of pounds of public money, acting in an anti-competitive manner and behaving like a secret society. Lord Robertson said: "I was born on Islay and grew up relying on ferries. Then, later, most of my youth was in Dunoon where again we were on the end of a ferry route. So it is something that is close to my heart. "But I am also a taxpayer and Â£74m a year is being used to subsidise CalMac and NorthLink. I think it is being misspent. The paper by Roy Pederson is an outrageous indictment of the way that subsidy is spent and the way the people are served. "In the past, there was also a belief, an acceptance, that overall CalMac used its profitable routes to cross-subsidise the routes that could never make a profit," he said. "It's only in the last two years that we have actually managed to get the information that not a single CalMac route makes a profit or even comes close to breaking even."