In one of my many incarnations I hosted a radio phone-in show in Aberdeen before I was shown the door.
For some reason they didn’t like it that I agreed with the caller who disputed whether the station could still claim to be “local” as just about everything apart from their news output came from Edinburgh or Glasgow.
I particularly enjoyed that job when we featured the topic of the city’s bus services when the phone lines lit up.
Poor punctuality, rising fares and waiting times were always high on the list of complaints.
Satisfying bus users came a poor second to turning a profit, callers insisted.
Like many of her decisions, the deregulation of bus services was a monumental blunder by Margaret Thatcher and her ministers.
Similar moves at selling off the family silver – BA, BT, the railways and gas and electricity suppliers among them – may have worked well for the shareholders of those companies but have done little for consumers. When Grampian Regional Transport morphed into First and became a global enterprise, we celebrated their success, particularly because the organisation was based in Aberdeen.
But as the users of the X40 and No 11 services in Aberdeen are about to learn when those routes are axed, there is no place for subsidising the smallest of losses from First’s pot of gold.
So, if like the dwindling number of passengers who use those buses, you feel your route could be the next to go, you’ll have to take it on the chin and accept the comment from a company executive that “despite our efforts and commitment, it has been impossible to retain a viable service on the routes at this time”.
Harbour expansion will be great for city
The news that the £415 million harbour expansion at Bay of Nigg, Aberdeen, is still on course will have entrepreneurs in the area rubbing their hands.
Can you imagine the opportunities with all those sailors and cruise ship tourists arriving on Aberdeen soil?
If I’m still around when it comes to fruition – doubtful, I know – I have my heart set on a lucky white heather stall on the quayside.
Sturgeon take note
Rather like those nice Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses do, we’re soon to have a knock on the door from the SNP.
Will they verbally bludgeon you into voting for Nirvana, otherwise known as independence?
That ace European Madame Sturgeon is nothing if not tenacious, despite a democratic vote telling her two years ago what she didn’t want to hear.
Maybe she thinks it’s “best of three”.