P&J Column 26.3.15

No 3rd Term for David Cameron. At last, a policy announcement we can all get behind.

Struan Metcalfe, Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire North and Surrounding Nether Regions

Loathe him or hate him, you’ve got to hand it to Big Eck, he knows how to pick a fight, doesn’t he? In his autobiography “The Dream Shall never Die” (b.t.w what a duff title! Sounds like a Pierce Brosnan Bond film, or a Ronan Keating single!) he takes a pop at virtually everyone he’s ever come into contact with. The only person to escape his ire is long-suffering wife Moira. Golly, poor lady! Imagine what life must be like for her at Salmond Heights:

“Good morning Alex, it’s a nice day isn’t it?’’

“Indeed Moira, and since I became First Minister, Scotland’s days have been, on average, 11% nicer than under the previous, discredited, Labour administration. And with no help whatsoever from Westminster.”

But the bit of his book that really got my proverbial goat (question; is there actually a proverb with a goat in it?) was his attack on Super Dave. He called him a “Tory toff”. How very dare you Mr Salmond? Super Dave’s not a toff. He’s the Toff. Completely and utterly, the poshest person on Earth.

Of course, the leftie press are giving poor Dave pelters for ‘arrogance’ since His Excellency announced he won’t run as PM for a third term, just because he said so before he’s been elected for a second. What rot. Obviously, if he wanted to, The Chosen One could carry on leading the Tories (and the nation) as long as he wants, but as he said : “Terms are like Shredded Wheat; two are wonderful, but three might be too many’.

Actually, call me thicky-thick pants but I didn’t really get that analogy. I’ve always found eating Shredded Wheat akin to trying to choke down a door mat. I know it’s meant to be good for you, but it’s unpleasant to swallow and difficult to stomach. I reckon one would be more than enough for most people!

Jonathan M Lewis, local Headteacher

It came as no surprise to me that my critics should attempt to hijack the Garioch Academy’s “Eclipse Day” to further their own agenda. In fact, there is quite an apt analogy at play. Whilst my efforts are like a beacon energising the lives of our pupils, my detractors attempt to snuff them out. Thankfully, just like the moon, they can only momentarily obscure my aura.

I applaud teachers and pupils alike for the many ingenious ways they chose to mark the occasion last Friday. Granted, there were some minor oversights in Health & Safety procedures, resulting in more than the ideal number of trips to hospital, but, statistically, very little permanent harm was done.

Parents of pupils in Mr Jenkins’ Maths class have been the most churlish, complaining that their children may suffer problems with their sight for up to 2 weeks after staring at the entirety of eclipse without any eye protection. Poor Mr Jenkins feels terrible, as he feels he should have known that unless his pupils were directed otherwise they would spend the entire lesson as they always do, catatonically gazing out of the window.

The most trivial complaint of all comes from parents who were invited to attend an Eclipse-inspired performance from Miss Walker’s 3rd year drama group. Knowing their children were taking part in a celebration the celestial event through the medium of interpretive dance – could they not have predicted how the boys might have portrayed ‘the moon’? I accept no responsibility. We all heard the warning not to look directly at it!

Ron Cluny, Official Council Spokesman

So the news that the Council is not minded to grant planning permission for a new visitor centre at Rubislaw Quarry was met by the all-too predictable chorus of disapproval.   “But this is the Granite City!”, our critics wail. Well, thank you for your information, but we didn’t think the town was made of cream cheese. Our point is not that there should be no Rubislaw Quarry visitor centre; it is that there might be better places for a spleet new attraction like that than tucked away up Queen’s Road at the quarry itself. Such a facility, boasting, no doubt, a top quality coffee shop with a variety of fine cakes and pieces should be located in city-centre, ideally within walking distance of my office.

And that is as it should be; granite is so omnipresent within Aberdeen that it makes sense for a visitor centre about it to be in the heart of the city. Using the same principle, we shortly intended to announce proposals for fascinating, interactive attractions about potholes, aggressive seagulls and pound-shops. And they say this City Council lacks imagination!