P&J Column 23.7.15


The deep fried mars bar saga; a sign of the times?

Ron Cluny, Official Council Spokesman

“Will they, won’t they?” the saga continues. Far be it from we in the big city to revel in the misfortunes of another local authority, but the ‘Shires attempt to effect the removal of the Carron Fish Bar’s “Home of the Deep Fried Mars Bar” banner has caused some wry smiles here in Marischal College. Apparently, we now learn, Aberdeenshire Council’s initial letter insisting that the banner had to come down for the greater good of the community was nothing to do with the public health issues raised by that calorific delight, nor any objection to the accuracy of the claim. It wasn’t even a demand, but merely a request which need not be complied with! Well, I’m sorry, but it looks like the council’s credibility has taken a bigger battering than the celebrated confectionary itself. This is certainly not what one would expect to see from an award-wining local authority. But rather than crow over our neighbour’s misfortune, we shall instead offer our country cousins a few words of advice. The public are never impressed by flip-flopping, flim-flam or U-turns. What they look for is firm and decisive leadership – the kind that we in the City have shown over the Exhibition and Conference Centre, the Haudagain Roundabout, Union Terrace Gardens and Marischal Square.

But if i’ve learnt anything in my many years in public service, it’s that every cloud has a silver lining. What has been achieved is an avalanche of publicity for the Carron Fish Bar and Stonehaven in the national media. I don’t know how good the tourism boys are at Woodhill House, but if they’ve got their wits about them, expect a letter banning animals from this year’s Turra Show and a note telling Dunnottar castle to get its roof fixed.

Struan Metcalfe, MSP for Aberdeenshire North.

I know we shouldn’t laugh, but for we Tories the disintegration of the Labour Party is absolutely hilarious. They don’t seem to know what they’re supposed to be for or against anymore, other than not getting another whopping spanking in the next election. Their leadership contenders can’t help looking like the last four kids to get picked in the playground, and as of right now, Jeremy Corbyn is top of the polls to get job of leading Labour to their next defeat. He looks less like a future Prime Minister and more like a polytechnic lecturer who’s 2 years from retirement!

in fact, the whole political landscape in the UK seems to have changed dramatically hasn’t it? It’s not just the Labour Party’s spectacular implosion; the SNP are acting as if they are the genuine opposition in Westminster (Marie Black’s maiden speech has had more hits on YouTube than a kitten playing the piano), and meanwhile hundreds of people are stuck in traffic queueing to get in to France (I’ll say that again – to get IN to France). I haven’t been so confused since I got bladdered on Peach schnapps at the Town house, got my local politicos mixed up and kissed Len Ironside on the cheek before challenging Kate Deans to a wrestling match.

Cava Kenny Cordiner, the football pundit who kicks back – but doesn’t take kick-backs

You could have knocked me down with the weather when I seen that the comedian Simon Brodkin – who also goes by the nom de flume Lee Nelson – has got his self charged after he mucked up a FIFA press conference by throwing money at Sepp Bladder. If that’s against the law then there’s an awful lot of folk who are going to be feeling the hot breath of the long arm of the law on their collars!

I’m not sure exactly what the alligators is against the lad – maybe he didn’t use the proper FIFA-authorised brown envelope, or pass the money through the proper channel tunnels – but he has previous for doing his pranks at the football. He also acted the anteloper back in 2013 when he tried to warm up with Manchester City before a game against Everton. As practical jokes go, it was exactly as funny as it sounds. If he’d tried to pull a stunt like that with Inverurie Locos in my playing days he’d have been telling jokes through a fat lip. Then he tried to sneak onto the England plane to the World Cup in 2014, for which he rightly got pelters for. Although to be fair, I still think he might have done better at left back than Leighton Baines.