Why, why, has the botch of the Dunfermline cost the taxpayer a potential £1.5bn? The chancellor Alistair Darling today said that the stricken building society would have needed between £60m and £100m to stay afloat. So why, we should be compelled to ask, didn’t we allow it to have it? Access to the much trumpeted liquidity scheme, says Darling, wouldn’t have been enough to ensure its depositors’ money was safe. A building society such as this had a lot in common with the small businesses now under such pressure as the downturn takes hold and the government bashes the self-employed with an above inflation hike in business rates and national insurance contribution.