P&J Column 2.7.15


It’s great that the Council have a ‘Master Plan’. But it does make them sound like a Bond villain.

Archie Fraser, Gentleman of the Road

Well, one cannot keep up. What is it called now? City centre master plan? City deal? City linking, smart thinking? No, sorry, that was an advert from the 1980s. I knew I shouldn’t have had that third bottle of Thunderbird. So what does the master plan mean to the the man on the street? Well, all I do know is that pedestrianisation means Stinky Jimmy won’t get knocked down by a taxi if he bides between Bridge Street and the Castlegate.  Which has to be a good thing – unless of course it’s Christmastime, when he tended to step out deliberately to secure some of ARI’s delicious turkey and trimmings. Apparently, there has been much consultation on the master plan but there is one group in this fair city yet to be consulted. That’s right – we, the gentlemen of the road! And now it is time for our voice to be heard. Here are our demands – delivered in the style of a Greek politician, some of whom may be joining us out on the street ‘ere long, one fears.

1. Outdoor urinals on every street corner so we do not have to stagger far from our bench. We will, however, continue to do our number 2s in the gardens of Ferryhill. We are not unreasonable people;

2. Benches on every main thoroughfare, each able to seat at least 3 of our band of brothers. That way, we can all have a good bosie as we fall asleep, having used up all our energy chasing pigeons and giving out guttural cries;

3. Free bunnets;

4. A civic square where we can congregate and chase Japanese tourists around whilst shouting “I was a wizard once”; and

5. A seat on every community council in the town. We do not expect to contribute to discussion. We do expect a free heat and a hob nob. And there it is; the manifesto of the Tramps of Aberdeen. I look forward to All Party support in the council chamber. And hob nobs. Mostly hob nobs.

Cava Kenny Cordiner, the football pundit who’s still 100% man

All through my extinguished career I always tried to come across as something of a hard man.  Whenever there was a tricky winger needing halfing, a cheeky forward needing chinning or a ref needing sworn at, I was never one to puss-in-boots around.  I just got stuck in, heid first. So, with my hard as rails reputation to protect, what I am about to write has got my stomach all butter fries.  Old Kenny’s been watching the women’s world cup.  There, I says it, I says.

To be honest, I thought it was the man’s world cup when I first tuned in.  I did think it was funny that I hadn’t known about it, but when they showed the group tables and Scotland wasn’t there I figured that was about right.  It did not help that the first game I watched was Spain v Costco Rica.  I seen all the ponytails and thought nothing of it. I could tell something was different though, especially when it come to the spitting, diving and meringuing the ref – because there wasn’t none.  I think that’s the main reason Old Kenny would never have cut it playing women’s football.  Oh well, it’s still football I thinks to myself, and soon enough I finds myself getting possessed with it. England’s ladies is doing a lot better a job than the men did in Brazil last season.  They’ve been on a great run and by the time this is printed they’ll have had their semi-final against Japan.  I for one will be supporting them 107%.  I never thought I’d see the day I’d root for the Auld Enema in a tournament, but I’ll try anything if it means the commentators will bang on about 1966 a little bit less!

Ron Cluny, Official Council Spokesman

For years, I have been asking the back-biters and naysayers who take such pleasure in criticising the council to bury the hatchet, abandon the childish fripperies of partisan politics and join us in governing Aberdeen in the common good. Well blow me down if it hasn’t happened: we have a cross-party consensus on the City Masterplan! Of course, I am delighted that good sense has finally prevailed. But victory has a slightly hollow feel. As I nursed my celebratory pint in the Kirkgate Bar, I found my mind harking back to the glory days, when Barney Crockett would “accidentally” barge an SNP councillor on his way back from the cludge while Willie Young stripped to the waist and took on all-comers at arm-wrestling. (Apart from Jill Wisely, obviously; she was unbeatable). Yes, responsible consensus politics is a drab business. Still, I can console myself with the fact that we are doing the right thing by the city. And that it cannot possibly last.

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