Suzanne Kelly gets to grips with the week that was with relevant definitions.
Bells rang out across the land; families cheered; flags were waved in celebration; couples kissed in the streets. The happy news swept the world; the twittersphere nearly exploded. I’m sure we will all remember where we were the happy day Ian Tallboys collected another award for the forest created on Tullos Hill. Hip hip hooray.
Yes, it’s good news again – Tullos Hill has won another award http://www.scotsman.com/tullos-hill-wood-commended. Chris Piper and Ranger Bigboy, who proudly collected the award, are captured in a moving article and beautiful photo, even more beautiful than Tullos Hill is at present.
Weeds choke many of the new trees, saplings are planted amid household and industrial rubble in stony soil, the deer are gone – but it’s award worthy in this state all the same.
Pete Leonard should be told that various ‘garden escapee’ flowers still manage to grow on the hill; he made it clear he had no time for the field of Dame’s Violets which used to cover the hill. No doubt he’ll want the remaining stragglers eradicated.
There is no news yet on the original proposal to make Tullos Hill’s future forest pay its way by producing timber. I hope they’re not holding their breath (or do I?). For some reason the phrase ‘don’t count your chickens before they hatch’ springs to mind.
There are however actually signs of growth on the trees at St Fitticks. Soon some of them will be as tall as the surrounding weeds; tall enough to be hit by the salt spray from the North Sea and be hit by the 90+ mph winds we sometimes get.
Thankfully the deer are all gone/shot/culled, so it’s only the soil, salt spray, strong winds and a few random vandals that stand in the way of us having a forest (on a spot where Mother Nature had somehow not planted one before we did – I wonder why?). What could possibly go wrong? (note – in fairness there are a few positives as well as a number of negatives regarding the current Tullos Hill ‘state–obviously not for deer though.
More on the state of the hill will be forthcoming. Thanks to everyone who came on our picnic last Sunday and congratulations to our experts on yet another award.
While we’ve had those Tallstoryboys winning awards, there has sadly been a spate of bad boys lately too. Naughty councillors, apoplectic security guards and profane beer brewers all made this week’s local news.
Advertising Standards Agency: (modern Eng. noun) An organisation set up to oversee advertisements for accuracy and profanity.
It would be remiss of me to ignore that the ASA have deemed some of BrewDog’s website copy offensive. The use of the word f*ck (among other words) on the BD website was totally criminal, unacceptable, offensive, immoral and the rest of it. No doubt they had planned to turn the paragraphs in question from a small blurb amongst hundreds of other small blurbs on their page into tshirts, an MTV video, and a tv series.
The whole world would have been offended. I’m very glad the ASA folks nipped this in the bud, or tried to. And to think I used to believe the ASA were feckless.
The ASA knows what it’s doing and fearlessly pursues those who advertise falsely or offensively. Mind you, they were no help regarding the Union Terrace Gardens referendum. I’d been among complainers to the ASA and OFCOM about the content of the pro web adverts. Believe it or not, the promises for the web almost seemed too good to be true, but then I’m a touch cynical on occasion.
The ASA wrote to me advising they had no power over all the ads and propaganda that appeared about the granite web.
They said their hands were tied – they could not challenge claims the web would mean billions of pounds flowing into the city for hundreds of years, the green space would double magically, or that 6,000 desirable permanent well-paid jobs came with the web, and it wasn’t going to cost the taxpayer anything at all ever. I guess these claims sounded realistic or that the ASA didn’t want to get involved.
Yet while the ASA shied away, OFCOM stepped up to the plate – after the referendum vote had taken place of course.
at the rate we’re going, the entire shire will be under concrete soon
Anyway, I’m glad the ASA team have sprung on this meaty topic. It must have been boring, trying to get energy company advertisements to give reliable, truthful information on energy pricing, or look at all the truthful, verifiable, legaly ads appearing on Facebook. Way to go.
Doing a bit further research, I note there have been similar f-word issues. Thankfully, common sense has prevailed. BrewDog’s been smacked across its collective nose with a rolled up newspaper (possibly the Evening Express) for writing ‘f*ck’ on its website, while at the same time, French Connection U.K. remain, understandably, free to ‘FCUK’ around. I hope we can all appreciate the distinction between the two cases.
Skateboarders: (mod Eng. plural noun) A youth subculture based around urban landscape two-wheel transport.
I feel sorry for our local skateboarders; they would have been the true beneficiaries of any granite web. Mind you, at the rate we’re going, the entire shire will be under concrete soon, and ideal for skating.
Most skaters do their thing without bothering people. Clearly two young boarders got under the skin of an oil business security guard. In a Facebook Video, the man loses his temper spectacularly.
Was the guard taunted? Was it persistent annoyance from the boys? We don’t know. We do know our heroic guard used language the ASA would have had issues with, and chased the kids away – while chasing them down the public street, threatening GBH. Alas! the company in question has faulty phone lines, and could not discuss the incident when a concerned FB reader rang about the incident.
Rumours suggesting the guard’s being poached by Malone to work security at Trumpland remain unconfirmed.
Martin Ford: (Proper name) Aberdeenshire Councillor.
Who’s been a naughty boy then? Cllr. Ford is in the doghouse, facing the charge of being a councillor giving an interview to the media on council property concerning council issues. The supreme commander, aka chief Executive Colin MacKenzie and nemesis Cllr. Gifford are out for Ford’s head on a platter for this.
MacKenzie summoned Ford by letter to a meeting, somewhat like the principal sending a letter to your teacher summoning you to the principal’s office. How dare Ford give an interview at the council without getting a hall pass first? MacKenzie would have us believe that any and all interviews must be vetted and approved by him in advance if they happen to involve councillors talking when at the council.
Old Susannah’s written to get answers to a few questions – It’s just as well that every one of Cllr. Ford’s peers has behaved impeccably at all times.
I asked the complainers to answer a few simple questions for me:- where is the procedure set down for giving interviews; how many requests to conduct interviews were made; how many approved or disallowed; and what would the august Chief Executive who hands out the permission slips do if he himself wants to give a media interview?
When they answer me, I’ll let you know. Until then, it’s the naughty step for Martin Ford. After all, we can’t have people going around using their positions in unauthorised fashion.
It might be useful to juxtapose this anger over the use of council offices by a councillor with how the Scottish Enterprise logo and footage of Jennifer Craw got into the promo video made to convince us that Trump was the future.
Things are just a little different in Aberdeen City Council
I remember seeing this video presented by George Sorial himself at a town hall style meeting years ago. I got in touch with SE asap to find out whether this was an endorsement and if permission had been given to use this footage.
They coyly replied that permission had not been given to use the SE logo, which clearly implied that this government quango were in favour of Trump. Which of course they were; they’d spent taxpayer money on the promo DVD made to sell Balmedie to investors. Did Craw get hauled in to explain her presence in the film? Did SE make a protest and clear the air, saying they gave no permission? Definitely not.
Clearly this kind of propaganda is allowed; Ford talking to reporters in the shire’s hallowed offices is, of course, just wrong.
Things are just a little different in Aberdeen City Council. Old Susannah’s been to more than a few big meetings there now, and the funny thing is, after major votes, the councillors and waiting media just meet up and speak wherever and about whatever they want on council premises. It’s almost as if there is nothing wrong with councillors telling the public where they stand.
Next week: more on the city of culture bid submission, which I’m still forcing myself to read.
I had to stop at the ‘gigs on rigs’ bit; it was too exciting. Leaving aside the great-sounding, hip, happening concept title ‘gigs on rigs (which doesn’t at all sound like an idea scrawled on the back of an envelope after a long dinner), I am not really sure how this was going to work. First there is the fact the ‘city of culture’ was not really meant to be an ‘oil rig of culture’ hundreds of miles offshore.
For some reason, oil rigs are protected by the highest levels of security and the inherent safety issues with access dependent on weather conditions. Would your average band want to fly out to the middle of the North Sea to spend an evening?
Then there was the small matter of where these concerts were to be beamed in town, what acts would play (Toto? The Beautiful South? Deacon Blue?), and how we’d cope with the massive influx of visitors and the ticket demand for people who’d come to Aberdeen to go to local venues to watch offshore gigs on rigs. This could have been our own Glastonbury.
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