Struan Metcalfe, Conservative (for now) MP for Aberdeenshire North
People often liken me to that Bear Grylls, you know. Yes, they do. And while there are clear differences between us – I have never climbed Mount Everest or crossed the Atlantic in a dinghy, and Bear has never performed the ceremonial opening of a Spar in Tarves – crucially, there are strong similarities – we are both survivalists.
Whilst Bear survives in the wild, I occupy the more hostile terrain of British politics. And I have come through some pretty tight scrapes over the years, let me tell you.
The time Annabel Goldie and I came to blows on the Holyrood steps over whose turn it was to tell Brian Taylor one of his shirt buttons had pinged off and we could all see his belly-button or the unfortunate incident of the disputed expense claim for that delightful but hedonistic weekend in Monymusk with the Cheeky Girls, and not least, my defecation from the SNP to the Conservative Party in 2012.
With both Labour and Conservative MPs jumping ship this week to the breakaway Independent Group at Westminster, the time has come for me to ask myself, in the immortal words of The Klangers, “Should I Stay or Should I go?”
Now, I may previously have given the erroneous impression that I am some sort of ardent Brexiteer with utterances such as “Go on yersel, Boris” or “Up yours, Juncker” and being photographed in my What Would Jacob Rees-Mogg do T-shirt.
But it’s becoming increasingly clear that if we end up with a no-deal Brexit it will actually be a bit of a stinker for old Blighty.
And so I must, in good conscience, think about the welfare of the country as a whole and quickly and decisively distance myself from the rag tag bunch of chancers who said this would be a flipping picnic!
Look here, if the country is about to go off the rails then I have no intention of being the one driving the train. Or even one of the ones sitting in first class sipping my hot coloured water and munching a month-old muffin.
While I have yet to make my decision, I must confess that I do find myself attracted to the Independent Group. After all, unlike the main parties, they are predominantly made up of tottie. Even Chukka Umunna is a dish!
Ron Cluny, Official Council Spokesman
As the chief spin-doctor for a local authority with a slight tendency to occasionally make a collop out of things, I gratefully embrace a week such as this, when national political ructions are so immense that they inevitably take the heat off whatever farrago is unfolding locally.
The blurring and shifting of party lines in Westminster has had ramifications here, though.
We now have nine councillors who are unsure as to exactly which party they’re suspended from.
The parliamentary upheaval has led some commentators to speak of an end of Duopoly. I would welcome that, as I much prefer Lego myself.
Witness the current overtures we in the city have been making to German artist Jan Vormann, and our current appeal for donations of the world’s favourite plastic brick and parental foot-impaler.
Vormann travels the world repairing damaged walls and structures with Lego, and so is a shoe-in for this year’s NUart festival, an internationally acclaimed event, which has proved highly successful at celebrating street art in all its forms, challenging entrenched notions of what art can be, and distracting folk from all our closed and crumbling buildings.
But better than that, Votmann’s Lego skills provide a brilliant opportunity for us to sort out the potholes folk are always banging on about.
With Jan at work we’ll get much faster and more colourful results than we did using our previous strategy; of doing nothing at all.
But its not just in matters of children’s building bricks where your city cooncil are thoroughly down wit da kidz – I hope you’ve all been suitably impressed by Jazzy Jenny Laing and DJ Dougie Lumsden’s plan’s for the TECA, which is the replacement for the AECC (proposed slogan: Different initials, different venue – same superb traffic jams!).
They have been unable to curtail their enthusiasm for the place in the wake of it snagging the only Scottish date for rock superstar Alice Cooper.
I’m sure this is exactly the sort of gig the city needs, though I must confess I’ve not heard of her myself.
But Lumsden and Laing are thinking big, having suggested Oasis and The Smiths as acts who might possibly be lured to play there in the future; undaunted by the fact that neither group actually exists anymore.
Now some might suggest that this shows our elected representatives as laughably out of touch and living in a fantasy world but nothing could be further from the truth.
They are simply demonstrating that there should be no limits on our ambition to bring the biggest stars to our city.
They had a longer list, of course, but regrettably Elvis, Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Holly turn out to be even more permanently unavailable.