P&J Column 18.2.16


Twitter – for people who prefer antisocial media.

Struan Metcalfe, MSP for Aberdeenshire North
Of an evening, after a hard day representing the plebs, I like nothing more than to dis-robe, pour myself a large Brandy and perch my considerably hirsute posterior on the office pouffe to watch re-runs of Blackadder. This, I find, is the ideal state in which to fully appreciate the utter wonderfulness of that fellow ex-public schoolboy, Stephen Fry. A national treasure to rank alongside Dame Judy Dench, Sir Bruce Forsyth and Michael Portillo.
So I was bally horrified to hear that poor Stephen, after delivering one of his trademark witty asides at the BAFTAs earlier this week, has been so attacked, so harangued over the Twitter-sphere that he has decided to leave the social medium entirely. He is, presumably, moving across to Instagram which has considerably less in the way of cultural zeitgeist and social commentary but significantly more images of top-class totty in the altogether.
Notably, Stephen has not apologised for a joke he made at the expense of an old friend. He clearly doesn’t have Central Office breathing down his neck! I had to express ‘sincere regret’ immediately the time I tweeted that my old pal Ruth Davidson looks like Kim Jong Un!
Anyhoo, it turns out that the BAFTA winning bag-lady, Jenny Beaven, was not in any way offended by his joke, but thousands of Twitter-users took umbrage on her behalf. What a humourless lot! You shouldn’t be berating the king of quips – you should be congratulating Miss Beaven on winning such a prestigious award, in spite of her homelessness. If only the rest of the great unwashed had her spirit!
Ron Cluny, Official Council Spokesman
It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good, as they say, and the recent downturn in the oil and gas industry has provided the local authority with our latest batch of victims – I mean, a new pool of talent – as we try to attract fresh blood into teaching; specifically, unemployed North Sea Tigers.
Announcing the initiative, I spent some time with a group of former oil workers at a local primary school the other day, and let me tell you, watching a huge burly man, clutching a crayon in his oil-stained hand, I thought ‘This is the future!’.
It will take time for this new intake the adjust. There was considerable disappointment when they learned that free lunches are only available for children, However, the likely change in the male-female ratio will be well-received by the boys in the school, who have been lacking positive role models, and also by the dinner ladies, who have been lacking mannies to ogle. Most importantly, ex-oil workers have a range of skills that they will be able to pass on to our students. Their ability to work out 3-dart finishes is going to provide a fun new twist to mental arithmetic, and with all due respect to the current crop of teachers, very few can match our new intake when it comes to rolling their own cigarettes, chatting up strippers and drinking heavily on long train journeys.
Jonathan M Lewis, local Headteacher
If there’s one thing that we at Garioch Academy pride ourselves on, it’s our unswerving commitment to dealing with conflict in a restorative fashion. We firmly believe that solution-focused reconciliatory discussions are best conducted face-to-face. Which is why it saddens me to hear about schools in England sending letters to the entire parent body encouraging them not to “use cannabis” when dropping their children off in the morning. I refuse to believe that the situation required that every parent receive such a letter.
Regrettably, some of Garioch’s parent community have got the idea that this is how all schools conduct their business. We have begun to receive ‘tip-offs’ which the senders hope will lead to a school-wide ticking off.
For example, I recently received an anonymous letter, from which I shall quote directly, “Could any parent who has recently won the lottery please refrain from lording it over the rest of us by turning up in his flash sports car with his designer suits and statuesque new girlfriend. All you did was pick a few random numbers, mate, you didn’t invent penicillin.”
I’ve investigated the matter and it transpires that object of this ire wasn’t a parent at all, but our janitor, Mr Grieve. I am very happy to report that the matter is now closed because he finished working his notice yesterday.
Does anyone know how to switch off the fire alarm ?