Doddie Spence, Radical Independence Campaigner
The last year has been a strange and difficult time for us a. Ower the last few wiks though there has been signs that things are getting better. For mony, those signs hiv come in the gradual lifting o’ restrictions.
For me, it has come in seeing my ain political credo – for so long derided as “fringe” or “bonkers” – enter the mainstream.
As the lifetime president, chief executive officer, nominated tea-maker and egg-cracker general for the Freedom for 39G Seaton Drive Party, I have avoided political wrangling through the simple expedient of nae hivin naebody to wrangle wi. I have therefore managed to avoid internal disputes, apart from that one time I ate an oot o’ date curry.
Alex Salmond has nae been so lucky. But his foundation o’ the Alba Party – for separatists fa wint to be separate fae the ither separatists – is very much a move fae my ain political playbook. Hopefully he will noo go on to further embrace my concept o’ politics. If so, we can expect to see him getting into shouting matches in the Post Office fan they winna accept little photies of him in profile as stamps, and unilaterally declaring independence for his hoosie in Strichen, and jist biding there. Widna be the worst thing.
The ither wye in which my worldview his entered the mainstream is of course the Covid passport. I’ve been issuing unofficial passports for the People’s Democratic Republic o’ 39G Seaton Drive for years. Hardly onyone qualifies for them and naebody really kens if they’re allowed to accept them. I’ve sent Boris Johnson an invoice for £200,000 for nicking my idea.
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It’s disguised as coming fae the interior designer fa did up his flat, so there’s a fair chance I’ll get paid.
Kevin Cash, Money-saving expert & king of the grips
Ab’dy is weeping and wailing aboot the state o’ the toon centre, it seems. And I’m nae jist talking aboot a’ yon manky greenery growing oot the gutters o’ the buildings on Union Street.
The Bon Accord cinter sez it’s been ‘absolutely battered’ by the effects o’ the pandemic, and mony o’ its units is staying shuttered. Files ither toons his hid mair luck wi’ shops planning tae reopen, here in Aiberdeen, even Disney disnae.
Cooncil big wig and wannabe Tory MSP Douglas Lumsden says we’ve only wirsels tae blame, and that ‘if people buy everything online they can’t complain’. I beg tae differ – his he nae seen the letters page in the Evening Express? Blaming consumers for seeking oot low prices but ignoring the actions o’ retailers in aggressively pursuing a low-overhead online model seems, at best, naive and, at worst, disingenuous tae me, but fit div I ken about it? Onywye, efter 12 months o’ lockdown that’s like bolting the stable door and then blaming the horse for nae turning up tae the races.
Given the cost o’ buses intae toon, and the cost o’ parking in the toon, and the cost o’ the stuff in the shops in the toon, they’re finger-waggling at the wrang mannie here. As somedee fa watches ivery penny in a nivver-ending quest for the best possible value, I dinna buy stuff in shops. Saying that, I dinna buy online either, as my connection cuts oot ivery twa minutes. It’s the only doonside o’ leeching aff the wifi fae the flat above mines. I dae a’ my shopping at unlicensed car-booters and poorly lit pub car-parks.
But fit is bad news for the big stores can be a boon for the independent local entrepreneur. City centres is needing tae seek a radical new model fit is less dependent on national chains and looks, instead, at pop-up shops and community enterprise. Weel here’s me! I’ve a lobby full o’ quality unsold merchandise and I can pop up onywye at short notice. By the same token, I can hiv it awa on ma toes as soon as I get spotted by ony security guards.
So my message is, eence yer allowed tae visit non-essential stores, dinna be afraid! Come oot tae the Bon Accord Centre, far you will find fairytales can come true. I’ll be there, hinging aboot ootside the boarded-up Disney Store wi’ a suitcase full o’ artisan crafted Princess Elsa costumes. They’ve been specially hand-stapled fae my grunny’s blue polyester curtains fit she set alight wi’ a stray Lambert & Butler twa Christmases ago. Topped off wi’ a plastic tiara and best viewed in a low light, they will delight ony wee quines in search o’ the magic o’ Disney fa dinna mind the smell o’ stale fags.