P&J Column 25.2.16


Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right – Stuck in the middle with EU

Struan Metcalfe, Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire North and surrounding nether regions – An Apology.
Whoops, I did it again! Old Struan has gone off message and Head Office have been on the blower giving me a right good rollicking. Apparently I went out-of-bounds with this little tweet-let:
“Gove, IDS and Boris say ‘Ciao ‘ but Camo, Osborne and May say ‘stay’. I haven’t seen this much division since Primary 7 arithmetic!”
I am truly sorry for making light of the internal ructions tearing apart my beloved Conservative Party. As Super Dave has made tremendously clear, we are all free to make up our own minds about how to vote to stay in Europe. Unless we have aspirations to lead the Tory party into the next General Election, of course!
I have to confess, I’d rather tuned the whole thing out until quite recently, (well, it is a bit…snooztastic, isn’t it?) and when I first heard about ‘Brexit’ I assumed it was a new cereal from Weetabix. That was a tricky convo with Eric Pickles, I can tell you.
But I don’t think it matters which MPs are ‘in’, which MPs are ‘out’ or which MPs are ‘shake it all about’. I heard Chris Grayling announce that he expected the great unwashed will ‘vote with their feet’ on this one. Which is bally odd, isn’t it? Why can’t they use a pencil like the rest of us?
Ron Cluny, official council spokesman
It is not normally the job of a local authority to take an interest in democracy in action in far-flung countries. Indeed, after the great Union Terrace Gardens U-turn, some might opine that we do not take a great deal of interest in democracy here. However, given the special, albeit dysfunctional, relationship between Donald J Trump and Aberdeen City and Shire, we have been keeping a weather eye on how he is getting on in the Republican Primaries. And, as his crushing win in Nevada increases the risk that America will make history again by following Barrack Obama’s Presidency with the election of a crudely-drawn cartoon character, we have commenced planning for the contingency that Trump becomes Leader of the free world.
The major concern is defence. Air cover and ground support will have to be provided to the Aberdeen Bay Renewables Project and the Robert Gordon University; and of course, a round the clock guard will be needed at the Menie estate, lest the president seek to annexe the Greatest Golf Course in the World™ and declare it the 51st state of the union. But overall, the news is positive. In tourism terms, his election would be a boon, with large numbers of Americans expected to come and see the town that hated him before it became fashionable. Moreover, a Trump presidency would be good news for the whisky industry, as it is hard to imagine many Americans getting through it sober.
Professor Hector J Schlenk, Senior Research Fellow at the Bogton Institute for Public Engagement with Science
As a scientist, people are always asking me questions like “Will Virtual Reality headsets replace mobile phones?”, “Will commercial space flights ever catch on” and “Space for milk?” This week, though, I’ve been asked about the dark side of the moon and gorillas. To which I reply “Give me David Gilmour over Damon Albarn any day!” And then we laugh – As soon as I’ve explained about Pink Floyd and the Blur frontman’s most successful side project.
NASA have acted quickly to dismiss any talk of alien involvement in the eerie “space music” that Apollo 10 astronauts heard when they orbited the far side of the moon in 1969, recordings of which surfaced on the web earlier this week. Of course, we scientists know that there couldn’t possibly be music playing in the vacuum of space, as sound waves need some form of medium through which to propagate. Boffins have pointed out that radio interference was the most likely cause of the strident, tuneless wailing. But whatever the cause, scientists are unanimous that the “music” was much better than ‘Love Yourself’ by Justin Bieber.
Back on terra firma, a Bristolian obstetrician successfully performed an emergency caesarean section on a gorilla he at his local zoo. He denied that he’d performed heroics, stating that the anatomy of a gorilla was remarkably similar to that of a human. We are similar in many ways to our mammalian cousins and many behaviours are transferable between species. Which is why I get my hair cut at “Posh Paws” my local canine grooming parlour.