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The Flying Pigs: Geoffrey Cox’s second job has become a bit of a side hassle

Former attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, is currently under scrutiny amid wider controversy about MPs with second jobs (Photo: Andy Rain/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
Former attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, is currently under scrutiny amid wider controversy about MPs with second jobs (Photo: Andy Rain/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

The latest topical insights from Aberdeen musical sketch comedy team, The Flying Pigs.

Ron Cluny, official council spokesman

As an official council spokesman, I am accustomed to having to defend elected members who make the occasional misstep. There are a number of expressions that can take the heat off. “A regrettable incident.” “An uncharacteristic lapse from a dedicated public servant.”

The Flying Pigs

Interestingly, none of these have been used this week to defend former Attorney General Geoffrey Cox. Nor has there been much in the way of outright condemnation; although, given that Boris Johnson missed a succession of key Covid meetings to crack on with writing his book about Shakespeare (advance: £500K), there is probably only so much cover that his royal blondness could provide.

Of course, the second job is something that we are very familiar with in Aberdeen City and Shire. The Homer is the cornerstone of the local economy.

When your side hustle starts paying you 10 times the salary of your full-time job, then it is a time for questions

Many is the Aberdeen bathroom that has been fitted by a cooncil jiner in his spare time. Many the lobby pinted of an evening by a skilled tradesman “on his wye hame fae his work”. Many the flit made possible by use of a works van where it is not 100% certain that the boss would have given his approval, if he had kent aboot it.

Everyone likes a little bit of value, but when your side hustle starts paying you 10 times the salary of your full-time job, then it is a time for questions. Prime among them: “What on earth do you think you are doing?” – the expression that Cox famously bellowed to MPs in the House of Commons when trying to concuss them into voting for Theresa May’s Brexit plan. (That’s the sort of subtle and sophisticated advocacy that you get when you pay for the top banana.)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has defended the right of MPs to have second jobs but said ‘they must follow the rules’ (Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire)

But it is not just the bold Geoffrey whose reputation will suffer. Many MPs who manage to live off their salary – some of whom undertake additional, unremunerated, work for good causes – will face scorn and suspicion as a result of the extraordinarily poor judgment of one man. It is he alone who deserves to be stigmatised for his actions.

So, in the future, whenever we see an egregious example of a public servant elevating his own personal interests above those of his constituents, we should make a point of saying: “What an absolute Cox.”

J Fergus Lamont, arts correspondent

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the jewel in Aberdeen’s cultural crown, the Art Gallery: reopened, reinvigorated and currently in the midst of its most brilliant and audacious exhibition yet. You may not have heard of it, for it has had little or no publicity, but I speak of the collection of 1,195 artworks currently curated under the intriguing title “Missing”.

The extent and importance of this staggering collection was recently revealed when the catalogue was released by local situationist pranksters, “Aberdeen City Council”, as a monograph entitled “Freedom of Information Response”. Amongst the many disparate artworks you can currently not see are priceless pieces by JMW Turner, George Washington Wilson and James McBey.

Aberdeen Art Gallery has lost track of more than 1,000 pieces (Photo: Scott Baxter)

This is a sort of “Schrödinger’s Exhibition”, in which these magnificent works are not-displayed in un-space where the visitor can’t gaze upon them in all their absent glory. Courageously, the experience poses the ultimate test of the subjective appreciation of art, challenging the viewer to consider, not just “what does this say to me?” but, more fundamentally, “what does this look like anyway?”

Dramatically evoking John Cage’s 4’33” and Nam June Paik’s 1962 video piece, Zen for Film – clear film, accumulating in time dust and scratches. The exhibition represents a coup for “The City Council”, and a daring upscaling of its previous “Missing” art installation, The Steps from Union Terrace Gardens.

With so many pieces in the collection it took me several hours to not see them all, following which I popped to the new gallery cafe for a restorative earl gray and a fine piece; £5.75 for a cuppie and a fruit scone?

I wept.

Cava Kenny Cordiner, the football pundit who knows the score

It’s the end of an earring for The Rangers, as “The Choosen One” – Stevie Cheese – has headed off for postures new. Stevie was a revolution at Ibrox, and has did an amazing job cutting his managerial tooths at Scotland’s youngest club. But that’s what he gets for biting his nails so much.

When he first arrived, I says to myself, I says: “He’s in for a chariot of fire managing that lot.” But, when he guided them to being undefeated league champions last season, Gerrard wrote his self into the Rangers history book. Even although it is more of a leaflet.

Now he’s moved to the Premiership and become a Villain, I hears he wanted to take his support staff with him – but, sadly, Willie Collum, Bobby Madden and all the other refs have to stay up here.

As a Scottish football fan, I’m sad to see him go. As a dyed in the wood Dons fan, I’m glad to see the back of him.


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