Takin throu han By Bill Johnston

WEEL, weel an, n foo’s aa mi freens e day?

Somebidy wis speerin at mi the ither day here if e grumphy aal mannie wis still gaan aboot? Weel A’m afa pleased tae say aat he is still alive n kickin - in fac he’s a bittie like Johnnie Walker – still goin strong!

A hiv tae admit tho aat he his bin rale quaet for e past wee fylie bit ye cud say aat he his jist bin biggin up a fine heid o steam!

Noo like maist fouk here in e north-east A’m rale pleased tae see aat e new Aiberdeen Western Peripheral Route, better kent as e AWPR, his noo got e go-aheid tae be biggit. A hiv tae say tho aat A did agree wi a lot o e protesters aat a far better route cud n shuid hiv bin pickit, nae maitter, e route his bin decided on, bit fit dis gie mi a fair bit o concern is e cost? Ay, fit cost!?

Awa back in 2005 e cost o e AWPR wis estimated tae be £295 million, in 2008 es price hid gaen up tae £347 million. In Mairch last ‘eer it wis tae cost £400 million, noo e day e estimated cost is somewye atween £625 tae £653 million!!?? Whit a farce ar is it jist a racket? A’m wullin tae bet aat eence e wirk begins es price wull gang up - n up - n up, ay e price wull b mair than doubled b e time its feenished, jist wait n see! Min aboot e cost o Holyrood? Ay, tak yer pick – a farce ar a racket!!

Fit A canna oonerstan is es, fin I advertised tae sell a tin beans for a shullin A hid tae sell it for a shullin, fit wye can e billies aat say they can dae a job for X nummer o pounds nae b held tae dae e job for aat price? They are, efter aa, sipposed tae be e so-caaed expeerts! Ay, w shuid hud them til their estimate.

Noo than, cam 2014 w’ll aa hae tae vote in e Referendum tae see if w shuid b a separate cwintry.

Weel A’ve nae doots in my min’ aat tae vote tae tak sicca step wid fairly b a backward ane. Hooiver, mi first concern, afore gettin doon tae detail, is es – as w aa ken as inhabitants/residents o oor cwintry w dinna dae verra weel fin it cams tae votin. Sadly w dinna seem tae b wullin tae mak eese o e maist important richt aat each n iveryane o’s hiv got – oor vote.

Syne haein oor Scottish Government at Holyrood e turnouts at e fower hinmaist elections hiv bin 1999 = 59%; 2003 = 49%; 2007 = 51%; 2011 = 50%.

Ay, ye certainly cudna say aat wir afa passionate ar enthusiastic aboot Scottish politics, ar of coorse its maybe Scottish politicians fa pit fouk aff, anafa lot o them jist like tae hear themsels spik!

Weel than, I wid mak it, seein it’s siccan important issue aat his tae b decided, at least 90% o e Scottish electorate his tae vote, n than e percentage in faavour o bein separated his tae b at least 75%.

Noo A said earlier aat in my opeenion tae vote tae be a separate cwintry wid be a backward step. Tae begin wi Scotland disna need independence, there’s nae great need for it n nae great benefits for e majority o fouk.

Pensioners hiv speered on numerous occasions o the SNP fit aboot wir State pensions? – They canna tell us! They dinna ken! Noo its nae aat pensioners are bein selfish n thinkin only aboot themsels – bit for anafa lot o them the State pension is their only income! A new independent Scottish government winna hae ony sillar! Of coorse wir telt aat w’ll hae aa e sillar aats camin frae North Sea ile!! Faun?? It winna cam e day efter e vote, wull it?

Na na, as A’ve said afore there’s strength in bein igither – keep it aat wye!