P&J Column for 2.9.13

Historically, Britain was ‘Great’ in two areas; bossing people around and blowing things up


29 August 2013.  The day when Britain officially ceased to be Great.  We’ve been drifting towards this day for years of course, with the marginalisation of our aristocracy (do you know that our Bolshevik new Bank manager makes me queue with the lower orders?), our ridiculous obsession with equality and the proliferation of Sushi houses (what on earth is wrong with a good old traditional British curry?).  But Parliament’s refusal to militarily intervene in Syria has finally done it.
If there are two things we Brits have traditionally excelled at, it’s bossing people around and blowing things up.  But now our foppish, hand-wringing House of Commons has got its knickers in a twist about the need for a clear strategy and observing international law.  Well, really.  My illustrious forebear, the 10th Earl, didn’t get all hung up on legal niceties when he fell out with Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914.  He just blew the fellow up and blamed it on a passing foreigner, and that turned out alright in the end.
The position could not be clearer.  The Syrians are suffering under the jackboot of an oppressive dictatorship.  They need outside help to allow democracy to flourish.  If our parliament can’t understand that, I say it’s time to abolish it and return to absolute monarchy.


View From the Midden – rural affairs with MTV (Meikle Wartle Television) presenter JOCK ALEXANDER


It’s been a perambulatory wik in the village, with the news that once again fan it comes tae “footfalls’, far Meikle Wartle leads, the big city follows.  I wiz real interested tae read aboot the new proposals fer Aiberdeen city centre. Fit an idea it is too: tae mak a new train station exit at the corner o’ Union Terrace, so happy travellers can come staggering and peching up the stairs, cursing the broken lifts and faulty escalators and enjoy at close quarters the transformative delights of a traffic jam at Union Bridge. But of course, here in the village, we already hiv a similar scheme, thanks tae the aul Meikle Wartle Railway, fit fit has recently been revived as a special Heritage service, ferrying day trippers keen tae mak the scenic trip atween MeikleWartle and Gask. Noo maist fowk in Gask dinna wint tae come here, and vice wersa, but for those that dae, fit a journey it is! Thanks tae a wee miscalculation wi ma slide-rule and foo mony miles ging intae a yard, the rails run oot twa mile fae the village. But thanks tae the ingenuity o’ Feel Moira, Meikle Wartle’s answer tae Isambard Kingdom Brunel, we hiv devised a system o’ dank subterranean tunnels all the wye tae the village, and then oot jist twinty feet tae the west of the village square,  richt in the middle of’ Tam Broon’s pile o mineer.  Visitors emerge in need o’ refreshment. And hosin’ doon.  Happily, baith close at hand in the village pub and fire station, fit is noo daein’ a roaring, if somewhat whiffy, trade.  So go for it, Aiberdeen! Jist mak sure yer visitors emerge in as much need of a good drink as oors dae. And if the first thing they see if yon mannie at Union Bridge with the bagpipes and the jimmies, I’m sure they will. Cheerio!


CAVA KENNY CORDINER, North East of Scotland Junior Footballer of the Year 1981

I remember February 1979 like it was yesterday.  It wasn’t yesterday, though.  In reality it was over 10 years ago.  Britain was emerging from the “Winter of Disco Tent”; former Sex Pistols bassist Sid Viscous was cruelly taken from us and I had not long signed for the Dandy Dons.  But that month should be remembered for a truly hysteric moment in football – Trevor Francis became the first British million pound player.

Transfer fees have risen astroeconomically ever since and this summer’s transfer window-box has been totally mental. 

Chelsea has been particularly busy, signing Samuel Eto’o and Will.I.Am among others.  I never knew that boy from the Black Eyed Beans was a good footballer but Mourinho knows a player when he sees one.

Of course Tottenham was after Will.I.Am’s signatory as well before he jumped strip to West London.  But they has signed a pile of players too, including a Spaniel called Soldado.  There used to be ice creams called Soldados.  The tropical one was my favourite.

Manchester City has splashed the cash too, signing midfield dinosaur Fernandinho and Jesus Navas.  Of all the summer transfers I thought Navas was the biggest transfer – but as I write this it looks like there is one player who will be bigger than Jesus.

Rumour has it that Gareth Bale is off to Real Madrid for £86 Million.  There is no one can deny that is silly money.  When Billy McNeill signed me for the Reds he paid Culter FC £8600.  Arthritis was never my best subject, so I have no idea how many Kenny Cordiners you could get for £86 Million, but it is a lot.  I wonder if Bale will blow his signing on fee like what I did back then?  I took Melody out for a few drinks and a curry.  Mind you, he’ll be in Spain so he’ll probably have a pizza

See the Flying Pigs Live in ‘Finzean in the Rain at HMT Aberdeen from the 7th to th16th November