P&J Column 19.11.15

Living legend commits vandalism – it’s a sign of the times

Tim Bee, the conscientious objector

Dear Sir,

Having lived in Aberdeen all my life, I have become somewhat accustomed to the City Council’s flagrant disregard for due process and the rule of law. However, I am shocked, horrified and appalled by their conduct regarding “No Ball Games” signs.

Let me make myself clear. I object! Yes, I objected when these eyesores were erected, but I object even more vehemently to their removal, and the tidal wave of football-kicking ‘youths’ who will follow, as surely as ‘Watchdog’ follows ‘EastEnders’. These signs provided a useful focal point for concerned citizens, such as myself, allowing us to add ‘pointing at the sign’ to our arsenal of weapons (tapping on the window, wagging a disapproving finger and mouthing “I’m calling the police”) in the fight against the rising social menace of children playing in the street.

But most of all I was shocked to see that these acts of Council-sponsored vandalism were being perpetrated by none other than Aberdeen’s most famous septuagenarian son, Denis Law. Mr Law may be the greatest footballer ever to come out of Printfield Terrace, but he should know better than to go around pulling up sign-posts. Mark my words, if we continue down this route it’s only a matter of time before the Local Authority enlists the 1983 Cup Winners Cup team to cover our bus shelters in graffiti! Madness.

Tanya Souter, Lifestyle Correspondent

Mary Portas his fair pit the boot into the Cooncil aboot Marischal Square, his she? She’s crying it “madness” that they’re ga’an to spend hunners of millions on a new build project files half of Union Street stands empty. I dinna think she’ll be getting the key to the city onytime soon – locked oot, mebbe! But the Cooncil has taen her criticisms right weel. Even Willie Young, fa normally responds to criticism like Broad Street’s answer to Kim Jong Un, wiz saying he’ll tak her points onboard. He even said he’d be willing to work with Mary on ideas for civic regeneration. This kind of touchy-feely style is a real change in direction for the Cooncil. In the recent past, dissenting voices hiv been aboot as welcome as a taxman’s letter. Mind you, they’ll hiv to watch. If they’re going to offer to work with abody fa objects to their ideas, they’ll hiv to stert hauding Cooncil meetings at Pittodrie.

I div think Mary’s got a point, though. The toon’s looking a right state. There’s mair foliage growing oot of the chimney pots in Union Street than there is in the Duthie Park. If you ask me, there’s ower much emphasis on shopping centres these days. Nae jist because it’s led to the death of the quirky, independent shop in Aiberdeen, but also because if you get banned fae the Bon Accord Centre and Union Square, there’s naewye else to ging. I wiz raging fan they took those ASBOS oot on me. Fit evidence did they hiv that I wiz using the old five-fingered discount? Nithin! (They says they’ve got me on CCTV trying to stuff frocks into a tinfoil lined Sports Direct bag-for-life, but I’ve seen Spectre. They can dae onything with video these days). So, if I’m going to be confined to Union Street for my Christmas presents this year, it looks abody’ll be getting mobile phone cases or a line fae the bookies.

Entertainment news with showbiz insider SHELLEY SHINGLES (Miss Fetteresso, 1993)

I ran in to my old pal George Clooney down in Edinburgh, last week. I was there doing some high-profile promotional work for a major sports organisation; holding up the “Golf Sale” sign on Princes Street, when I heard he was in town to visit the Social Bite Cafe, just round the corner on Rose Street. OM actual G!!! I went rushing round – just in time to bump into the man of the moment as he was getting out of his taxi, and go sprawling all my length on the cobbles! What an actual affront!

Of course me and George go way back. When he broke through in 1994 as Dr Doug Ross on ‘ER’, I used to watch it every week. He didn’t remember me, which was hardly surprising, of course! It was a long time ago.

Still, he was very kind as his bodyguards helped me to my feet, asking if I was OK and taking the time to tell them to make sure that they deposited me feet-first into the wheelie-bin, not head-first, as they had initially planned. Ah, George. He really is the perfect gentleman. Worse luck!