P&J Column for 9.6.14

Obama’s views on the referendum weren’t entirely welcome. Well, what do Americans know about Independence?

Struan Metcalf, MSP for Aberdeenshire North and surrounding Nether Regions – an Apology

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had to say sorry to my family, my constituents, the Conservative Party as a whole and even Super Dave himself for a social media faux pas, but this time I’ve really surpassed myself. I find I must unreservedly apologise to US President, Barrack Obama.

Suffice to say I deeply regret Tweeting the following:

“Obama says we probably shouldn’t. Salmond says “yes we can”. Who is the man on Banff High Street to believe? Both of them are capable of droning us into oblivion!”.

Apparently, my inadvertently implying that the Leader of the Free World has a penchant for executing his enemies by remote control might put a spanner in the works of the Sepcial Relationship. You will note that I also suggested Alex Salmond is a bit of a windbag, but the lawyers at Central Office think we’re on safe enough ground there.

In my defence, it was a metaphor (I think it’s a metaphor, never did pay too much attention in Wet-Patch Withers English class) for current voter apathy. I can totally relate to that, btw – I forgot to vote in the European elections myself after a chance encounter with Barney Crockett turned into a tremendous all day bender. Boy-oh-boy, does he have a tale to tell!

But let me be clear, in no way did I mean to devalue the President’s intervention into the Scottish Independence debate. Mr Obama showed erudition, balance and most importantly, insight, when he declared the decision was ultimately “up to the people of Scotchland”.

As it happens, I’ve got my own Special Relationship with Obama – or ‘Brac’ as I call him. We met at the G8 in Paris in 2011. I was part of Super Dave’s entourage and there was a bit of a sesh on the eve of the Summit. Turns out Obes likes a cheeky Vimto or 3 and we struck up an unlikely alliance that night discussing everything from US foreign policy in the Middle East to why their chocolate smells a bit like sick, whilst Angela Merkel – on the wrong side of 3 Vodka tonics – knocked out “99 Red Balloons” on the Baby Grand. He left me at 4am, putting his arm around my shoulders, jokingly poking his index finger into my chest and saying in that warm, powerful and charismatic way of his, “I like you Struan, you’re not as up-tight as I figured you’d be from your emails.” “But I’ve never sent you any emails.” I said. Then he just winked at me. What a guy.

Cosmo Ludovik Fawkes-Hunte, the 13th Earl of Kinmuck

So Bernard Jordan, the 90 year old veteran who slunk off to Normandy without telling anyone where he was going, is being held up as a shining example of the indomitable spirit of the bulldog generation. What utter piffle. Going awol, leaving those responsible for his wellbeing worried sick, then dodging off to the continent in order to lark around on a beach and chat up a girl band? He’s just the world’s oldest teenager. The fellow should be clapped in irons, not feted as a hero.

I speak as someone who knows a thing or two about military matters. My father, the 12th Earl, led a battalion at D-Day. I say “led”; he stayed behind in Dover. He would have loved to have gone, but his drinks cooler was mains operated, so it was quite impossible. Still, he overcame his disappointment by despatching a regular supply of carrier pigeons across the channel with inspirational messages like “Carry on, chaps”, “shoot anything carrying a knockwurst” and “go for the chuckies, that’ll drop them.” Providing his men a series of morale-boosting fillips, as well as a regular supply of unrationed protein. Churchill himself described his methods as “unique” before withdrawing his commission “to save him from harm.” Or perhaps it was “to stop him doing any more harm”. Can’t recall. But suffice it to say that if we’d had a few more like Papa, and a few less like Bernard so-called bally Jordan, the war would have been over a dam sight quicker.

‘Cava’ Kenny Cordiner – the sports writer who needs to work on his backhand .

With the World Cup just around the corner I’ve been keeping my eye on some of the other sporting eventuals that have been in the news. I was roofing for Andy Murray over at the French Open but he got teached a lesson by Nadal in the semi. Now I’m no horticologist, but the groundsmen over at Roland Argos is not a patch on them at Wimbledon. I’ve never seen grass look so brown. Shocking.

Since he parted company with Ivan Lentil, Andy Murray has been on the outlook for a new coach. He has disposed with tradition and gone for a female coach in Amelia Mesmera. I’m guessing her first task will be to get Andy to work on his grunting. When I hear some of them tennisers heaving and roaring I can’t help but think that Andy could be making more noise. They don’t call it a racket sport for nothing!