Feb 072014

Old Susannah aka Suzanne Kelly brings you the latest ungodly news from Aberdeen and the wider world.


Armageddon outta here! It’s the end of the world as we know it.  I will tell you about the nice places and people I’ve see next week (from a brilliant new Jo Malone perfume to Brewdog’s newest creations, and CASC) – if the world hasn’t ended by then – but for now, it’s all panic, gloom and doom, you’ll be pleased to know.

People are marrying people who are the same sex; people are falling in love with people – of the same gender. This is an aberration. Speaking of aberrations, UKIP have some thoughts on these dark days as well (more on that later).

It’s rained for 40 days and nights (or so it feels). There are people not resting on the Sabbath.  We don’t have a granite web.

Not since the days of worshipping a golden calf and Sodom and Gomorrah has God been so unamused with us. There are signs of this displeasure everywhere.

Best get your affairs in order, buy a few cases of BrewDog, c-rations and long life milk, and get ready to hide in the fallout shelter. Here are some reasons why.

Divine retribution: (Eng. compound noun) An instance of God or Gods carrying out a vengeful act.

As previously mentioned and painfully obvious, it’s raining constantly; some will tell you it’s global warming. However, former Tory UKIP defector David Silvester from Henley-on-Thames knows the truth. It’s God’s punishment on us all for allowing gay marriage.

Sometimes politicians accidentally say the wrong thing, almost like they were mere mortals themselves. Such slip ups are probably how this whole same-sex (do pardon my use of the word ‘S E X’ ) business started. But Silvester’s not made a mistake, In fact, rather than qualifying his remarks, he’s bravely backing them up to us heathens and pagans.

He’s defending his stance that God is throwing thunderbolts and lashing us with lashings of rain.

His rational explanation is:

“The scriptures make it abundantly clear that a Christian nation that abandons its faith and acts contrary to the Gospel (and in naked breach of a coronation oath) will be beset by natural disasters such as storms, disease, pestilence and war.”

“I wrote to David Cameron in April 2012 to warn him that disasters would accompany the passage of his same-sex marriage bill.

“But he went ahead despite a 600,000-signature petition by concerned Christians and more than half of his own parliamentary party saying that he should not do so.”

The scriptures also make it abundantly clear that Lot’s wife got turned into a pillar of salt and that the world was created in 7 days. Best to take all of its contents as equally factual I suppose.

just don’t engage in any non hetro stuff. It will confuse the locals

It must be kind of nice for Silvester and all the other people who have this hotline to the Almighty, and are convinced they know what God wants. Imagine knowing what God wants. Half the time I can’t decide what flavour of beer to drink next, or what to wear to work.  Guess I just don’t have the right kind of faith.

Another man of the times who says ‘down with this sort of thing’ is humanitarian Vladimir Putin. It’s a very good thing there are not really any gay people in Russia, as Putin’s very much against this whole gayness thing, never mind gay unions.

He’s always engaged in such manly events (or photo ops anyway) that Hemingway’s exploits look effeminate. If you’re going to the Olympics, be it to look at the captive orcas doing cute tricks, or to see who is better, stronger, faster than the next guy or girl (steroids optional), just don’t engage in any non hetro stuff. It will confuse the locals, and probably get you Pussy Riot’s old prison cell.

So next time you’re sloshing through a puddle on your way to work, just remember:  it’s all the fault of gay people who want to have legal protection for their families as if they were normal heterosexuals. Vote UKIP.

Humanism: (Modern English Noun) Philosophy and movement suggesting that people can live ethical and worthwhile lives without worshipping a god, and that there is beauty in this life.

Of all the dangerous philosophies to have arisen in the history of the world, this is possibly the worst. Humanists aren’t afraid of going to hell. They don’t have to dress in a particular way or do any rituals. They do not conform to any one doctrine. And worse, they even let women  perform ‘humanist’ marriage ceremonies.

Worse – we might eventually see a Humanist woman performing a ceremony linking two same sex people. Repent now (or it will rain harder).

These Humanists are even in Scotland, which is quite rightly causing a stir. Worse still, the Church of Scotland has agreed with the Humanists that in schools instead of time for prayer, there should be time for reflection instead.

I’m sure this development has angered you as much as it has me. The Reverend Watson, of a parish in Lanarkshire, has bravely decided to leave his post amidst all this heathenism. He explains in the Scotsman:-

“It would be hypocritical of me to preach the Bible week after week if I’m not prepared to live by its teaching, and as a family we have been amazed at the doors that God has opened for us over the last couple of weeks.”   – Scotsman 2 February 2014

Looks like the old chap upstairs with the harp and sandals is giving rain to some of us per the UKIP Silvester, but opening doors for the righteous.

recruitment companies and those who work offshore are being greedy if they switch companies

I’m not sure what we should do about these Humanists with their ideas about living a good life, helping others, and so on – but it’s clearly not compatible with the kind of philosophy that Reverend Watson’s church preaches. I also read that Watson has left the Church of Scotland to ‘join the stricter Free Church of Scotland’ – if I figure out how something that’s ‘Free’ is also strict, I’ll let you know.

Greed: (English Noun) Desire to acquire material goods; avarice.

Greed is certainly bringing the world down; even the Press & Journal have a front page story based on this sin on its front cover this past week.

On Thursday the P&J  reported on Sir Ian Wood’s latest findings. Sir Ian thinks that recruitment companies and those who work offshore are being greedy if they switch companies to get higher salaries. The amounts of money paid to those who work off shore are going up, and apparently are ‘unsustainable’.

It’s important to remember that there are two kinds of capitalism: first there is the kind Sir Ian preaches (the good, non-greedy kind), and the kind that he wants employees to follow. When the Wood Group came up with an interesting way of paying people via offshore entities to avoid tax, thought to possibly be £15 million a year lost to the UK government, this was not greed.

This was good business sense, and I’m sure everyone was doing it. Sir Ian’s worth is somewhere around the £1,187m  mark. This is because he’s a good businessman who takes advantage of opportunities. Some people think there is a growing gulf between the haves and the have nots, but I can’t find any evidence of this.

He does lots for charity – like keeping some £50 million in his family trust.  I’m sure it will be used any day now – if not on a granite web, then on turning Rwanda’s forests into tea-producing land for the benefit of the plantation owners and his venture partner Lord Sainsbury – sorry – for helping Rwanda’s poor, AIDS victims and others.

The other kind of capitalism is the bad kind – it’s when you want to get more money to support you and your family. It’s if you are offered more money for your work by one firm, and don’t turn the offer down.

A cynic might think this article and Sir Ian’s advice to the workers and employment agencies is just a tad rich. Like Sir Ian.

Could the P&J article possibly have an unspoken message from Ian to the agencies to freeze salary  hikes, keep margins down, and for us all to stop being greedy have anything to do with increasing profit margins for those one percenters at the top of the energy sector hierarchy? Of course not.

Reactionary: (modern English noun)   Someone who has knee-jerk reactions to events and situations.

Oh dear. While Reverend Watson, Vladimir Putin and UKIP ministers tell us what God wants when it comes to gay marriage and Humanists, there are those people who just have to go against God’s messengers. It pains me to tell you, but we have a few godless reactionary people right here in Scotland.

I seem to have a defective copy of the bible in the Old Susannah reference library

BrewDog’s founders James Watt and Martin Dickie (I hope that’s not some kind of gay surname) have created a beer that makes fun of Putin. It is such a disappointment, I may have to rethink my fondness for the company after all. (But not until I finish the case of ‘Hello My Name Is Vladimir’ double IPA I’ve got).

Then we have a woman (who should really have stayed in the kitchen) who is an MSP in the Highlands and Islands, Mary Scanlon.  After receiving kindly suggestions not to back gay weddings which she took as threats and intimidations, she decided to support homosexual marriage instead.

She was apparently branded (perhaps literally if there is any justice) ‘GODLESS’ for coming out in favour of allowing gay marriage.

Some people have got in touch with her to spread the word of god. Apparently, she should be burnt at the stake as a witch, but they better hurry with that, because others say God will strike her down. I wonder if he’ll use a thunder bolt or just make it rain harder over her home.

The funny thing is, I seem to have a defective copy of the bible in the Old Susannah reference library. Mine has things about ‘doing unto others as you would have others do unto  you’, ‘he who is without sin may cast the first stone’, and ‘love one another’.

Far be it from me to suggest that those who clearly know better and who seem to have God as a ‘Linked In’ friend could be somehow mistaken when it comes to wishing ill on others, or telling us God doesn’t want gay weddings. I’ll have to find out what bible they’re reading, and whether or not it only has the old testament fire and brimstone stuff in it, and where I can get a bible without the modern hippy Jesus love each other business.

Next week:  four men of the apocalypse (probably shirtless), fire, brimstone, and of course floods.

PS – for the avoidance of doubt, I remain a BrewDog shareholder (less than 5 shares). My name is Legion, for we are many (well, 10,000 other shareholders anyway)

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  23 Responses to “Old Susannah No. 143 – We’re All Going To Hell Special”

  1. “Plantation owners”, you mean poor farmers trying to eek an existence out of the land to feed their families.

    Your fixation with Sir Ian is bizarre at the best of times, to try and make a mockery of his charitable trust for helping poor families in Africa feed themselves not only oversteps the mark but is sick in the extreme, how dare you write about something you know nothing about, have you any idea the good the trust is doing?

    Perhaps instead of spending your money on holidays to America and on fad beer you might send a good portion of it to starving people in Africa, then you might be in a position to question others on the matter.

    • Bill, do you seriously think Ian Wood gives up holidays and alcohol in order to give to charity? There is a massive difference in asking someone with an unfathomable disposable income to give a small percentage of their money away than someone with very little, you surely understand that?

      When a billionaire publicly suggests that the some of the lowest paid people in his organisation, in the riskiest jobs, responsible for the entire production, working for a fraction of the highest paid, should take a pay cut then people should ask questions.

      Charitable trusts in the UK are used by wealthy individuals to avoid paying tax. I have no idea whether this is true in Ian Wood’s charity or not, and I would very much welcome a report from Suzanne on it (although I suspect that might be a bit much to ask!).

      • Hello Rico and all – you may be interested to know that I’m not alone at looking into the finances involved. In the mean time, this little snapshot from the Charities Commission doesn’t tell the full story – but I still think it speaks volumes. Draw your own conclusions https://www.oscr.org.uk/search-charity-register/charity-extract/?charitynumber=sc037957

      • Are you seriously trying to have a go at the man over the charity work he and his family do? A new low for you and the Aberdeen Voice if you are.

        Is this all because he suggested regenerating Aberdeen and you didn’t like his plans?

        Where do you imagine the income is coming from for this charity still in its infancy?

        Not one word of appreciation for the good the charity is doing, just a look down your snooty nose at it, do you imagine those getting food parcels from the Someone Cares charity this week will be grateful? guess they’ll never know where the money came from as the Wood family trust don’t generally publicise the good they’re doing.

        How easy would it be for the family to emigrate abroad and live a life of luxury without giving away a penny, in Aberdeen they give their charity almost £100 Million and still have people being snide to them.

        Shame on you I say for being so shallow and blinkered, I for one would like to think him and his family for helping those less fortunate than themselves, the mind boggles at the comments on here, I’m glad I’m not as bitter as you.

    • I assume the YPI referred to is the same Youth Philanthropy Initiative referred to in the WFT website http://www.woodfamilytrust.org.uk/current-programmes/YPI-Page2.php . There is a great deal of money of the £55,000,000 or so which sits in the WFT accounts at stake here: £3,000 per winner. As the website advises “YPI School Finals: Each year, at each participating school, the YPI programme culminates in a show case event whereby students are given the platform to present upon their experience, and in their teams compete for a grant of £3000 to award to the small, local, grassroots, social service charity they have researched” – so in other words children compete against each other with the charities they shortlisted, and the charities spend time and energy, some going away with apparently nothing at all. Perhaps we could just put them all in a pit to compete for scraps?

      It’s not really anyone’s business how much of my time and money I give to good causes locally and abroad, but I’d happily match the percentage of my time and money given to good causes against that of the WFT.

      • Keep digging that hole Suzanne, you’re really making a fool of yourself now.

        The YPI scheme which runs in almost every secondary school in the Country encourages 3rd year pupils to get involved in local charities, the pupils visit the charity they have selected and get the chance to work with them, not only do they learn the charities work they then get a chance to raise awareness of their chosen charity in a one off debate.

        The charity does no work towards this at all, it’s all the pupils work, the most deserving charity is then given £3000 towards the work they do.

        I don’t know about you but I see not one negative in this scheme, from an education viewpoint it gives teenagers an insight into the problems others face, the bonus is the big winner but no one is a loser, many of the children continue to work for their chosen charity and this is supported by the scheme.

  2. If you perhaps tried doing some research into the Wood family trust you’d see it not only helped smallholding African farmers but also many local charities, only in the last fortnight through the YPI scheme the trust runs £3000 was awarded to the Someone Cares charity in Aberdeen, that’s a local food bank to help the poorest in our community, this is one of many similar donations the trust makes through the scheme, all charities are selected through local schoolchildren participating in YPI events.

    Of course this doesn’t fit with your agenda of running the man into the ground so why print it, no one wants to hear the good that any wealthy man is doing in the community.

  3. Local man does well and turns the family fishing supply firm into a global oil support leader, not only providing huge employment in Aberdeen and globally, in turn it makes him a very rich man, most would say rightly so for the gamble he took and the hard work he put in. The taxes his company make produce vast sums for the exchequer.

    As he nears retirement he sets up a charity to give something back.

    Aberdeen voice opinion, let’s dig deep and try and pick holes in an attempt to besmirch him and his family, blame him for the demise of the Rwanda rainforest in the process. It’s no wonder only the same 3 or 4 people comment each week, this site has turned into a joke, you certainly don’t speak for me nor I suspect the vast majority of all right thinking people in our great City.

    • Bill,
      Sir Ian micht be a local chiel fa his deen weel, He micht be a billionaire, His firm micht provide lots o jobbies. His charitable trust micht be helpin fowk in Africa. Aat still disnae exempt the mannie fae scrutiny or criticism nor onybody else in a similar high falutin position fer aat maitter.

      • I agree Bob, I would also add that it doesn’t mean he can’t get praise when it’s rightly due, the article writer in her dislike for Sir Ian would never do this as it doesn’t suit her agenda, this is what I find distasteful.

        Her reply on the YPI scheme in particular shows how blinkered she is, perhaps she’d be advised to speak to the children and teachers involved in the scheme before making wild assumptions.

        No doubt you won’t agree, nor will the same regular people who reply, perhaps this is why more people don;t comment on these pages, anyone who disagrees is jumped upon, you only need to look at the guy who posted a link to a personality disorder page (and the mod who let it be posted) to see how biased the comment section is here.

      • Dear Bill, you are more than welcome to write a fact-based piece on Sir Ian Wood and it will be published. You do have a habit of stating your opinion as if it were fact when describing me or the moderators. If the comments section and the moderation were as biased as you state they are, one might wonder why we publish your many comments.

  4. I’d add that every child involved is vastly proud of the work they’ve done with their charities, it instils a pride in them and goes beyond what could be learned in a classroom, perfect for kids soon to face the working World.

    You go on running down the scheme though, it says a huge amount about you.

  5. Sorry for the avoidance of doubt the £3000 is per school, every year, that’s a lot of £3000 cheques considering almost every school in the Country participates.

    As for the vast amount of money in the trust, please remember the old adage, give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach him how to fish and he’ll eat for his lifetime, this is the ethos of the trust, these things take time to set up and manage, it wouldn’t be prudent to just give away money as handouts, this charity is a forever thing and will be here long after Sir Ian has gone, keeping a healthy surplus in the infancy years is prudent.

  6. Gosh Bill, I have rarely, if ever, witnessed such an emotional response to a satirical article. Of course, we are all entitled to our opinions and, similarly, to voice them as strongly as we see fit but the vehemence with which you have responded, and the language used, is, in my view, extremely unbecoming, particularly when it appears to have been provoked by, what is after all, a very narrow and relatively insignificant part of an informative and entertaining piece which, in my view, does the author great credit. Indeed your use of the terms ” fixation” “sick” ” new low” and “bitter” are not indicative of a balanced point of view. Personally, I greatly enjoy the weekly articles by Ms Kelly and admire her indomitable desire to provide an alternative to the sickeningly deferential Aberdeen Journals who have a tendency, not unlike yourself apparently, to canonize and grovel to “tycoons” such as Sir Ian Wood on a regular basis. Do you really think it is a credible and tenable position for Sir Ian to accumulate and maintain massive wealth from an industry and then complain when workers seek to make more money for themselves or do you think it is outrageous hypocrisy?
    Unlike yourself, were I to make one small criticism of Ms Kelly’s article,it would be that the criticism of Sir Ian is, in my view, a little timid. This, after all, is a guy who was only too happy to hand out honorary titles to the most vulgar of all nouveau – riche billionares, apparenly as a reward for destroying a valuable and unique part of our countryside and destroying the lives of local residents for no good reason other than because he could. For this alone he deserves much more criticism than he has received.
    Your reference to a “local man does well” and Sir Ian’s “family fishing supply firm” did make me laugh however. The little family firm which Sir Ian inherited and ran was a multi – million pound operation which maximised it’s profits partly due to working practices and conditions which, even by the standards of the day, were unacceptably exploitative. Such practices made for a seamless transition from fishing to oil as the majority of the fishermen, who had helped his father and himself to amass an already considerable fortune, had been employed as “casual labour” and therefore received no redundancy package or any of the other benefits which, even then, would normally have been paid to workers who had lost their jobs. Of course Sir Ian did not create this system. He, like any other brave entrepreneurial opportunistic capitalist, merely maintained and exploited it. Perhaps he would like to resurrect such a system for offshore workers thereby make life easier for large corporations.
    Sir Ian Wood has been extremely vocal in telling us what is good for our city and has tried to force his own vision on a not terribly willing citizenry. In doing so, he has received the most biased press coverage seen anywhere in the world, outside of Putin’s Russia, since the arrival of the duly anointed vulgar billionare mentioned above, yet you appear to take great offence when a local writer has the temerity to rebuke him for his unseemly criticism of offshore workers seeking to earn more for themselves and their families.How very dare you!!!!

    • Dear Bruce, thank you for taking the time to make this comment; I appreciate it. And thanks are due as well to the slightly unhappy poster who made your comments possible.

      I am guessing Bruce that you are not a relative of Sir Ian. Tally ho, cheerio, etc. Old Susannah

      • Alas no relative Suzanne. Sir Ian appears to hail from the tall, rich, gifted and successful Rubislaw Woods whereas I am surely a product of the short, down at heel, talentless, no – hoper Summerhill variety. Still at least he’s not bitter eh?

    • Without paragraphs that’s just too hard to read, sorry.

      • I know exactly what you mean Bill. It is so difficult to read and to eat humble pie at the same time isn’t it?

  7. Excellent response to Bill Stephen’s diatribe by Bruce Wood. I did enjoy reading it. I posted a connection to Anthony Baxter on Aberdeen Voice FB page and a review of “You’ve been Trumped”. I do really like what Roger Ebert says..”These days the nobility has been replaced by billionaire bullies who continue to screw us serfs.” We certainly have a couple of them locally. So Mr. Stephen keep tugging that forelock!

    • And you keep tugging your forelock to the author here every week, no matter what rubbish is printed.

      Not one word of appreciation from any of you for the charity work his family trust are doing, I’m Aberdonian born and bred, unlike most of the people on here, I for one am proud that a fellow man in my City is helping the poor of our World.

      I’d hazard a guess you didn’t receive a food parcel this week courtesy of Sir Ian? Perhaps if you did you’d appreciate him more.

      This rich equals bad attitude on here is bizarre, no doubt all posted from nice semi detached houses in the burbs.

      • Bill,

        With the greatest of respect, your opinions might be more sympathetically heard if you refrained from insulting, labelling and making ridiculous assumptions about others. Some of your remarks here are not only bordering on the xenophobic but are, I assure you, factually incorrect.

  8. The auld saying, “the mair you hae, the mair you want,” springs to mind. Sir Ian is no different from most large employers. They gain their wealth from the hard work of their employees, most of whom are simply treated as revenue earning units to be dispensed with the moment their productivity declines. It’s called “capitalism.” Sad old world we live in isn’t it.

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