P&J Column for 3.3.14

Local MSP gets into the cabinet. Unfortunately, it’s the drinks cabinet.

Struan Metcalfe, Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire North and surrounding nether regions – an apology

 Dear friends, I fear that the time has come for me to apologise to you, to my constituents and to the party faithful for my latest indiscretion on the social media minefield that is ‘Twitter’. Call it the exuberance of youth, say I acted like a puppy dog trying to impress his master, or blame the fact I was out of my mind on rum and cokes. As that fruity filly Tulisa from the N-Dubz would say, “What-ever”.  But nonetheless, apologise I must. I was celebrating you see, what with Super Dave and the rest of his Cabinet being in Aberdeen this week. Dave and I go way back – to university days and the Bullingdon Club. I wasn’t actually a member of course, but they did give me the honour of polishing their Chelsea boots before every important Club event. “Jock Boots” they used to call me. Hilarious.

 So this week was my chance to impress my hero by showing him the many assorted delights of the North East. And by Michael Gove (that’s Tory Party rhyming slang, LOL) had I not pulled out all the stops? Breakfast at the Inversnecky cafe, a quick spin on the Grampian Eye at Codonas, luncheon at the Victoria Restaurant, and a postprandial visit to a Gentlemens’ Club on Chapel Street. Unfortunately Super Dave was too busy with cabinet meetings, and visiting all the oil & gas big wigs and so had to politely decline my kind invitation, through a party wonk. Imagine my disappointment to find that I had, instead, been allocated the task of accompanying Michael Gove on a visit to his old stamping ground, Kittybrewster  Primary School. The staff there declared themselves delighted that their former pupil was Secretary of Education. For England and Wales. So once that was done and dusted I just went straight to Private Eyes at lunchtime, in the vain hope that Super Dave might find a mo to join me. Anyhoo, a spiffing time was had and I did my bit for European integration discussing the very tricky situation in the Ukraine with a long legged Latvian called Anya – absolutely delightful young lady – and ended up a little bit squiffy. Hence the following tweet, for which I apologise, unreservedly:

 “Super Dave in Abz. I’ll be hanging with my homey. Reminds me of uni japes, giving a tramp a tenner then laughing when he realises it’s lira. Good times”.

 Gosh that was silly. Rest assured, that story is not true. Neither Super Dave nor I would ever treat the poor in such a way. As Ian Duncan Smith is always saying, the unemployed need a hand up, not a handout!

 Cava Kenny Cordiner, the football writer who puts the head in.

As a long-life Aberdeen and Scotland fan my whole life, the first half of last week truly was a first half of a week of two halves.

Like 16,000 other Dons fans, I was at Pittodrie on Tuesday night to witness the end of Celtic’s unbeaten league run.  The atmosphere was eclectic and we knew something special might be away to be happening when the Hoops’ Virgil van Dijk was sent off for a processional foul.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a Dons fan through and through– if you cut me, I would bleed red – but I think the boy was unlucky to get his marking orders for that challenge.  If that’s worth a red card, I myself would have got heaps of them in my career.  Which I done.

 The Dandies pressed home their ecumenical advantage though, and a real thunderclap from Jonny Hayes broke Celtic keeper Fraser Forster’s run of well over 1,200 minutes without receding a goal.  It reminded me of my playing days when I narrowly missed out on a similar record.  It was when I was ploughing my trade down at Brechin City. The gaffer comes up to me before a local grunge match against Montrose, and he says to me, he says “Kenny, if you can last the next 90 minutes you’ll have gone 10 games in a row without getting sent off”.  I’d never done that before in my career so I started the game on tender books.  It was all going so well until I inadvertently elbowed their striker.  In the groin.  Whilst he was already lying down. Recovering from my previous challenge.  As my regulator readers know, the refs always had it in for Kenny, so I never made that magical 10 in a row.

 If I was on cloud 99 after the Reds’ victory over Celtic, I was brought back down to Earth with a thump when I seen Scotland’s new away kit on Wednesday.  Now, don’t get me wrong, Kenny is as open minded as the next man.  But that strip is a total shocker! The lovely Melody, who is something of a fashion iPod, says the pink and yellow stripes remind her of a packet of fizzy refreshers.  As for me, I think that tasty boiled sweets and 1970s cartoon cat and dog duos is fine, but rhubarb and custard has no place on a football strip! I would be embarrassed to see our boys wear that kit in a major tournament. Happily, after Scotland’s draw for the European Championship qualifiers, that is not never going to happen.