P&J Column for 4.3.13

They may take our pies, but they’ll never take our freedom!

Cava Kenny Cordiner, the football pundit who kicks back.

Some people says, they says “football is not the game what it once was”.  They couldn’t have been righter last Tuesday night at Pittodrie.  The Dons lost one-nil to Ross County and I don’t think I’ve ever left a football stadium with such a feeling of emptiness.  I never had my tea before going to the game and they wasn’t selling no Pittodrie Pies because of all this horsemeat scandal. They did have chicken pies, but vegetarian food is no use to a meat-eating carnival like me.

It got me thinking though, football certainly has changed a lot.  Some things has changed it for the better, like stadium safety and Sky Sports News– but some things has made it a pale limitation of the beautiful game I played.

These days, football is almost a non-contact sport.  Where I used to fly into challenges studs up, modren players is scared to get their foots dirty.  Back when I was playing, it was perfectly receptacle to give the opponents’ most skilful player a ‘reducer’ in the first 5 minutes.  Now you’d be getting booked or maybe even your marking orders.  Players with disciplinary records like mines (173 yellows and 31 reds) is unheard of. I seen that Ryan Giggs will be making his 1000th first team appearance this week at Man United. There’s no way anyone would have managed a career of that longitude in my day. Not if I’d had anything to do with it, anyway.

A crack team of councillors cannot agree on who should receive the Freedom of the City of Aberdeen. As a result, no one is to receive the honour. So we asked some of our regular contributors who they would nominate for the Freedom of the City

Tim Bee, the Conscientious Objector

Whilst I strongly object to aggrandising awards being dished out to a select few, I object even more to the lack of vision and indecision of the committee in charge. It is perfectly clear that the Freedom of the City should be awarded to someone who stands for something, someone principled, with a clear – yet humble – understanding of the importance of their own personal opinion, someone who does not kowtow to ‘prevailing public opinion’ or the tyranny of ‘due process’.

That person is William Walton of  ‘Road Sense.’ I have vociferously objected to every single proposed development in the city since I was old enough to pick up a pen and compose a vitriolic letter to the paper, but even I can’t claim to have single-handedly stalled the AWPR for 15 years. For me, that kind of dedication puts him up there on the same podium as Nelson Mandela.

Doddie Esslemont, Radical Independence Campaigner

I am not interested in the Freedom of the City.  I want Freedom from the City, with long-overdue official recognition of the People’s Republic of 39G Seaton Drive.    Persuasion and diplomacy (in the form of a letter writing campaign to the Provost, the First Minister and the Sunday Post) have so far availed me naught.  My patience is not limitless. If my demands are not met I shall have no alternative but to move into a phase of direct action against a target of symbolic importance.  I have purchased a spud gun, and the Herald & Post delivery loon had better look oot.

The Reverned Edmund Everend, Minister of Holburn North North East

My suggestion for the Freedom of the City is our Lord, Jesus Christ.  What better way to restate our faith and bring ourselves closer to God than to intimate his son is free to move within our city – and indeed our hearts – without let or hindrance?  I mentioned this to a councillor at a civic event recently.  He laughed in my face, calling it a ‘stupid’ idea.  I had not realised that the secularisation of society had come so far, and said as much.  I also asked him to consider what it might be like to live in a society where the teachings of Christ were consigned to the past. To assist him in those imaginings, I head-butted him on the bridge of the nose.  As the blood flowed down his startled, porkish face, strong hands seized me and a policeman turned me to face him.  He looked at me solemnly and said that he had witnessed my actions. He told me that the councillor was known to him, as a member of the police board.  And he asked me why the hell I had not hit him harder, shook my hand and sent me off into the cold, clear night.  Truly, the Lord moves in mysterious ways.

Struan Metcalfe, MSP Aberdeenshire North by North West and Surrounding Nether Regions

So, ACC can’t decide on who gets Freedom of the City. Three words: up, brewery, and something that rhymes with hiss. My suggestion? – Me!  I’ve spent years propping up the local economy, especially pubs, hotels and off-licences. I’ve invested heavily in North-East real estate (principally cheap brown-field land in Kingswells and Inverurie. Amazing how the value went through the roof when those developments I knew nothing about got the green light!). And I am a great Champion of the Doric. My Banffshire pile is much improved by the faux Greek columns either side of my new front door. It looks like the Music Hall! But without the riff-raff squatting on the steps.