Dec 032010

Old Susannah takes time off from hanging effigies of ACSEF members and cooncilors from the branches of her Christmas tree to bestow enlightenment upon us in her latest weekly instalment for Voice….

Just a reminder to Voice readers that there are still public meetings scheduled at which you can meet the stars of the City Council and tell them what a great job they’re doing and maybe even get an autograph. That’s if the roads are clear enough for your car or bus, if any are running, to get you there. There will also be a public hearing into the plans for Loirston Loch in the near future. Old Susannah has a slot to speak at this meeting, so please write in with your thoughts on this proposed AFC move. What do you like best – less birds and less wildlife? The opportunity to travel from the city centre to the stadium down fast-moving Wellington Road? The red glow of the new stadium made to match the embarrassed blushes of the team and the fans? Do let me know.

Defence Special

We all sleep soundly in our beds at night knowing that our military can blow the world up several times over with Trident missiles and the like. As the saying goes, ‘the best defence is a good offence’. And let’s face it, there are a lot of really offensive things going on.

Military Intelligence : We know how good the UK military is at gathering important intelligence and using it wisely. The odd rendition flight and bout of waterboarding helps immensely. But it all takes equipment. Lots and lots of expensive equipment. Of course, it’s to be expected that there will be occasional overspends on some of our military hardware. It’s easy to go to the shops and spend more than you expected to, so if the country’s defence commissioners are currently over budget by £35 billion, it’s just par for the course. You might get the occasional multi-million-pound plane that won’t fly, or a commission for ships which are obsolete before being built, but that’s just how it is. Where would we be without our Nimrods? At least our military goods are appreciated in the third world where they are widely used.

On rare occasions, our troops are slightly under-equipped – such as during the important, clear-cut war we are fighting in Afghanistan. Wrong tanks, wrong guns, wrong clothing, wrong housing – the soldier can put up with all of that, knowing that the brains in charge of the purse strings are at least getting the nuclear weapons orders in. There was a worry for a brief time, as a Supreme Court had declared that soldiers should be given the correct equipment for battle conditions, or their human rights were being breached. Happily, such an unworkable Supreme Court decision was quickly overturned by Lord Philips, who understands that this human rights business isn’t that important. The odd death from improper equipment or heatstroke? These things happen.

Yes, with Nick Clegg’s full backing of our Kate, it’s not long before we’ll appreciate what a gem we have in her

Chivalry : In days of old, handsome, honourable, strong knights in shining armour rode out to the rescue of fair damsels in distress under the Code of Chivalry. Some say Chivalry is dead – but here is an example which may bring a tear of joy to the eye.

No less a chivalric gentleman than Nick Clegg himself is coming to the aid of our own beautiful damsel in distress, Kate Dean! This champion of truth and honour thinks our Kate is misunderstood, and has directed the London Liberal-Democrat machine to improve her image. And if Nick supports Kate, that’s good enough for me. Nick did after all, promise before the Election that tuition fees would not be raised, and just look how he stuck to his principles on that score.

Clegg has asked the crack team of Lib Dem advisors to help with ‘communication’ – no doubt they will be able to explain Clegg’s position on Aberdeen’s financial condition. Nick has said that all the other parties in Aberdeen are responsible for our financial condition and that the Lib Dems, in power here for eight years until recently, are completely blameless. I can’t wait to hear how he reached that conclusion. As to improving Kate’s image, I wonder what the London party machine has in store? Will she be popping up like Anne Widdicombe on Strictly Come Dancing? Will she be made to eat slugs in the jungle on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!? The mind boggles.

As to improving Kate Dean’s communication skills, she was recently quoted as feeling that there is “…no mention of any of the good things which we are doing.” Old Susannah would like to help compile a list of these great accomplishments for Kate. What’s your favourite? When she closed your school, pool or service? When she marched alongside the massive numbers of people protesting against her council services cuts? When she built the sewage plant? When she sold the hospital at Pitfodels to a certain local developer? All the money she pumped into the AECC while she was on its board? Hard to pick just one, isn’t it?

Yes, with Nick Clegg’s full backing of our Kate, it’s not long before we’ll appreciate what a gem we have in her. I guess we all dream of a knight in shining armour like Nick. Truth be told, I think I’m a bit envious.

Defensive Football : AFC seem to take the concept of ‘a good offence is the best defence’ a bit too literally. Maybe they should try defending their net. One thing they will all be defending is the obvious need to ruin Loirston Loch with the proposed ‘community’ stadium. Let’s see if they can win that one.