Remember the Aberdeen nine? It’s just become 10.
That’s the number of senior members of Scottish Labour in the Granite City now suspended by their party.
Willie Young, the former finance and policy convener, and the driving force behind the Marischal Square development, the town’s breathtaking art gallery and P&J Live – the new events and conference centre – before he lost his council seat in May 2017, has just become the latest Labour politician in limbo.
There were complaints after Mr Young shared a social media post – a caricature of a Chinese person with an image of a fortune cookie as a replacement for a Covid-19 test – which was deemed by some to be “clearly racist” and offensive to the Chinese community.
There are those from a different era who may take the view the controversial tweet was no more racist than Russ Abbot’s CU Jimmy act characterising Scots as drunks who liked to fight.
Other comedians portrayed Irish people as dim and unintelligent, while Aberdonians were said to be mean.
Offended? Me neither, but that’s a debate for another day.
It may be argued Mr Young, who has since apologised, rather than being labelled racist, should instead have been charged with crimes against comedy.
But politics is a strange arena with many equally funny (and not funny in the ha ha sense) inhabitants.
A growing number of them in all parties have climbed the ladder from student politics to being assistants and researchers for MPs and MSPs, before finding themselves as election candidates, just one step from the gravy train.
Real world? Real jobs? Are you joking?
It would be unfair, of course, to bracket all politicians as having set out from an early age to make a career in that job.
The vast majority work extremely hard for their constituents, although along the way we’ve seen too many forget why we put them in place.
The Aberdeen electorate at large are unconcerned with the case of the nine Labour councillors suspended three-and-a-half years ago for entering a city council coalition with the Conservatives, which has still to be heard.
Certainly, no one at Scottish Labour’s Glasgow HQ appears to be bothered to push their leaders in London to bring the issue to a conclusion. What are they scared of, apart from the potential cost of next May’s Scottish parliamentary elections?
I imagine party apparatchiks on both sides of the border have either never heard of the Aberdeen nine or forgotten who they are and why they’ve been left dangling.
On that basis, Willie Young’s suspension is unlikely to hit their agenda for several years – if, of course, he decides to continue to beat the Labour drum.
Kermit was right … it’s not easy being green in politics
It’s not easy being green. But if ever there was an opportunity for the Green Party to make the impact on Scottish politics we’re still waiting for, it will come at next spring’s Holyrood elections when their aim, they say, will be to hunt down Labour and leapfrog them as the country’s third party.
But, as the football pundits are accustomed to saying, it’s a big ask.
However, with Scottish Labour devoid of ideas and barely breathing at the far side of the parliament’s chamber, as well as being without a dominant leader, the Greens will hope to cash in on the disillusionment of their voters.
They’ll tell the electorate their six MSPs have used their influence to push the minority SNP government into tax changes, more funding for local services and free bus travel for young people.
Alas for their leader Patrick Harvie and his team’s efforts to overhaul Labour’s 23 MSPs, it could all come a cropper on the basis that their half dozen parliamentarians keep the government, and its determination for independence, in place.
Mr Harvie will then have it hammered home that what Kermit sang, all those years ago, was spot on.
Lead on job that’s pure animal magic
At a time when job opportunities are decreasing daily, I was intrigued by the plea from a London law firm for applications for a personal assistant/dog walker.
They’re looking for a pet-friendly person with experience of looking after and walking dogs.
It seems a senior member of their team needs someone to run errands “with a small dog in tow”.
So, for £30,000 a year, a company pension, life insurance and private medical insurance, my application’s off to the dog-owning lawyer with loadsamoney.
I’ll even buy my own lead.