The latest topical insight from Aberdeen musical sketch comedy team, The Flying Pigs.
Tanya Souter, Lifestyle Guru
I da ken aboot youse, but fit wi’ the hale cairry on aboot face masks, I’m gled I dinna live in England of noo. If their so-ca’ed “Freedom Day” gings ahead on Monday, fowk there winna hae tae use them, though the government “expect and recommend” that they will.
They’re saying they think they should, but they winna dae nithin if they dinna.
Weel, ’at’s nae gaan tae work, is it? If I say tae my bairns “I think ye should eat yer greens, but if ye dinna ye’ll still get pudding”, I ken fit I’ll get. Three plates o’ caul broccoli and a freezer cleaned oot o’ Magnums.
Saying “Dae fit ye wint, jist be sensible aboot it” may be fine for maist folk, but we a’ ken that there exists a sizeable minority o’ total heid-the-bas fa canna be trusted nae tae – jist tae pluck an example oot o’ nae wye – ging tae a fitba match and stick a lit flare in their erse.
Sadiq Khan, the mayor o’ London (ye ken the boy – looks like Philip Schofield’s swotty wee brither. Niver wears a tie) disagrees wi’ Boris and his made masks compulsory on public transport. Ither English cooncil leaders his followed suit, so it’s a’ different rules depending on far ye are or fit company yer bus or train is.
For me it’s a no-brainier. I mind the last time I wis on the Tube, I ended up squashed up against the door wi’ ma face in some mannie’s sweaty oxter. I wish I’d hid a face mask yon day, ken? Preferably the een my Jayden uses for ice hockey.
Even Mark Drakeford, first minister of Wales (ye ken the boy – looks like a cross atween Ronnie Barker and a tortoise) his cried Boris’s position on face masks an “outlier”. I dinna really ken fit ’at means, but I suppose it’s quicker than crying him an out and out liar.
Meanwhile, here in Scotland, we continue to ca’ canny. We’re gan tae “Level 0” on Monday so physical distancing is doon tae one metere, fit, funnily enough, is the distance that maist folk hiv thocht wis twa meteres for the last year and a half.
It’s a big difference atween the twa nations though, is it? It’s like fan I’m heading hame efter a nicht oot in my six-inch platforms; Scotland is a slow, careful stott doon the road, trying tae nae drop my cairry oot on the pavement.
Whereas the English approach is mair like trying tae jog it and hoping nae tae tak a heider.
Having experienced baith scenarios in my time, I ken fit een I favour. My cairry oot may be caul by the time I get hame, but better that than a sair unkle and chips ’n’ cheese a’wye.
Ron Cluny, Official Council Spokesman
As chief spin doctor for a local authority I am occasionally called upon to advise elected officials on what is now termed “crisis management”, but used to be called “what to do when you’ve made a neep of yourself”.
When SNP group leader Alex Nicoll left his mic unmuted while telling his dogwalker that the other participants in his Zoom meeting, including council leader Jenny Laing, could “bore for Scotland”, I fully expected my phone to ring off the hook. But call came there none; Councillor Nicoll had handled the press in his own way.
Alex was less than contrite, saying “If I’ve offended Cllr Laing by inferring that she can bore for Scotland then I would apologise on that front – knowing her political views she would likely much prefer to bore for Britain”.
Demonstrating that he doesn’t know the meaning of the word “apologise”. Or, for that matter, “infer”. But also that he thinks he can still score points from a situation arising entirely from his own ineptitude.
This is an example of what the Americans call “doubling down”. Rather than owning up to your mistakes and trying to make amends, you simply repeat them more forcefully. The idea is that it plays well with your own supporters but infuriates your opponents, whose outrage makes them look ridiculous.
Of course it rather depends on your supporters being the kind of people who are impressed rather than embarrassed by arrogant petulance, and everyone else not concluding that you’re a discourteous prima donna who lacks the ability to contribute usefully to matters of importance, the wit to turn off your microphone before insulting your peers and the grace to take responsibility for either your insolence or your incompetence. So it’s a bit of a risky tactic. Probably best not undertaken by someone who could boor for Scotland.