Friday 30 October 2009

Has Scotland been Trumped?

Aberdeenshire councillors on the Formartine Committee gave the go-ahead for the preparatory work to be carried out to stabilise the shifting sand dunes around what would become the championship golf course Donald Trump wants to build. A masterplan for exactly what is planned for the estate is expected to be ready for submission next year.

Mr Trump Jnr (pictured above) said of the work which started yesterday: "This is a long-term project, it's one component of many that is getting underway.

"We are trying to deliver the greatest golf course anywhere in the world, we believe we have the land to do that, we believe we have the team to do that. Golf has been a major passion for my father.

"There have been a couple of detractors that don't want this to go forward. It's getting ridiculous and childish. We have been under incredible scrutiny. That will never be enough for some of the extremists.

"I think maybe the stunts we have seen will be their last hurrah."

I supported this project initially but the more I hear from Donald Trump the more I realise we're being duped. The man and his hangers-on are bullies. They have no regard for Scotland whatsoever and their determination to ruin lives and crash through their plans is not the way I want to see business done in Scotland.

The arrogance of Trump & Co knows no bounds and being rude about the opposition isn't the Scots way. 'The greatest golf course anywhere in the world' - Mr Trump, you're dreaming.

We (Scotland) have St Andrews, about 100 miles to the south of your project and it has a world-wide reputation as the home of golf. The Old Course is part of an ancient community which supports visitors whether golfers or not. St Andrews doesn't suffer so much from the lengthy haars which drift in from the North Sea. The Aberdeenshire coastline is well known for haars which never clear all day.

I live in an county which is well known for the number of excellent golf courses it provides and know many golfers. Not one has expressed any desire to play on Mr Trump's invention and it is widely thought it will be a place for the wealthy to come, play, then go away.

When there is the choice of St Andrews, around a 45 minute car drive from Edinburgh airport and Mr Trump's course a 2 hour drive, most golfers will chose St Andrews because it is the best.

I would like to wish success to this project but now, sadly, I don't see it being of any benefit to Aberdeenshire or Scotland and that's why I feel Scotland has been trumped.


Sue said...

Aren't there some people who own some of the land and won't sell to him?

I thought I heard he was trying to get some sort of compulsory purchase order to get them off.

He is a bully!

subrosa said...

Yes that's right Sue. They're still trying hard to fight against it but there's been no progress for a few weeks.

Look at the Press and Journal (Aberdeen paper) now and again. It will keep you up to date with things.

He's a brute too and the type that thinks money talks. Of course he's possibly right there.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

It's not so much the haaaaaar that's the problem, it's the grotesque obsequious toadying done by the local media (hello, Press and Journal) and government.

The golf course is a small part of it. The main aim is to build housing on otherwise protected land (a protected area because of the sand dunes which are home to numerous rare species of birds etc).

What Trump Jr calls "childish" and "extremism" is people expressing their democratic right to, er, not sell their house. The nerve!

Sue said...

I'd stay put even if they offered me obscene amounts of money, just to spite them!

I will follow the story now!

Demetrius said...

How long is it since there has been a thumping good run of North Sea Storms that have reconfigured the coastline involved?

subrosa said...

Don't you think the P & J is turning a little BoT? I've sensed it just a bit.

Of course this is about houses, not a golf course. He knows his golf course won't be for anyone other than his rich pals and they'll only play it if it's free.

subrosa said...

Sue, Trump has slapped compulsory purchase orders on the refusers.

subrosa said...

Demetrius, I think they happen every 50 years, usually in February and the last one was, according to a 'source' was in 1960.

Clarinda said...

But, BoTs, hasn't Mr Trump a reputation for covering vacant plots with a thinly veiled self-serving disguise which doesn't fool anyone?
I wonder to where the money/loans etc. he will have accrued on paper to support this housing development will be filtered off to in order to prop up/pay off some of his other business interests? I hope he won't be hair today and gone tomorrow?

subrosa said...

Hair no more is perhaps appropriate too Clarinda? Wonder if the antis could use it? :)

Key bored warrior. said...

Rosie I do hope and think you are wrong on this one. This has now become a personal vendetta by this arrogant up himself obnoxious English twit, Martin Ford, who does not understand that he was wrong, wrong, wrong, when he used his casting vote on a planning committee to block this much needed and well supported development. There are far to many people of his kind in influence in Scottish society, in particular bodies like Historic Scotland and the RSPB, who live in a wee knitted middle class bubble, where all is cream teas and twittering birdies, and endless wilderness, with the hand of man wiped out of the picture. The man is a buffoon of the highest order.

As a native Highlander of some 60 winters I am well aware what wilderness is. I once flew all round the Highlands and Islands with my son and the lunar landscape and desolation is sad and breathtaking. The landscape in the glens like Strathnaver and many other places and Islands was created by man. These places once had houses and steadings and the land was worked to sustain life, which it did. The island of Sroma was one of the more self sufficient, with it’s own boat building industry, the Stroma Yawl is renowned through out the world. Yet Stroma now looks like a set from an Apocalypse movie. You can still see the outlines of thousands of these homesteads. But the greed of the landowners decided that people were less important than profits, so whats new? Centralised, self-serving and inward looking government hundreds of miles away sneer at their plight. Once more we look at Scandinavia with envy and see how they cherish and support these remote communities.

There are people who are economically advantaged now who can move there and sustain life on their pensions and investments and flee south in the winter. Others stay and try and make a living. The native population in some cases feel strangers in their own land, where their children cannot get work or housing, and are forced to move to the cities or the forces. Sutherlands unemployment rate has doubled in the last year. Imagine the screeching if that happened in London?

Scotland’s economic and geographic landscape has been moulded and carved that way for political advantage. We do not need to fall in love with someone who sees a business opportunity and decides he will invest and create jobs. We need not like his hairstyle or his opulent life style or even his mode of dress. I don’t care if they are Arab, Chinese, Outer Mongolian or Martians, if they can bring commerce and enterprise then I say bring them on, we need inward investment. Any person who has reached the billionaire status in the world is bound to have skeletons in their cupboard and facets of their personality that someone will find objectionable. We need to look beyond that and make the best of it. Who are the shining examples of moral rectitude and fiscal probity that we shall seduce to invest in our modern independent Scotland, does this knight in shining armour exist? I think not. As long as they are not child eating drug-dealing scumbags we need to give them a hearing.

Relatives of mine have farmed in the area for many years, and they tell me when I visit that this development is a welcome shot in the arm and much needed, as they can see that other commerce and investment will follow. We need to put up signs that say. SCOTLAND OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

brownlie said...


The fact that there is going to be a hotel and houses suggests that it will not be just for golfers who will play a round of golf and disappear.

I would suggest that this desolate area will benefit from the money spent by residents at the hotel, houses and golf course, the jobs created and the associated necessary services and utilities.

I would imagine that if, as suggested, the sole purpose was to build houses that there are many similar areas of the country who would welcome such a development into the community.

I certainly know that if he'd picked the Western Isles to build such a facility most would have welcomed him with open arms in an area deprived of services and job opportunities.

Personally, I think most detractors are put off, rightly or wrongly, by the image of Trump put across by the media. It would appear that to be welcomed to inwardly invest in Scotland you have to be kind, cuddly, good to children and animals and have a newspaper-friendly image.

subrosa said...

KBW, I do hope I'm wrong too, but having watched the processes closely I'm certainly not impressed by the Trump group's behaviour.

If they think 'talking big' will gain friends and influence people, then they require a quick lesson in Scots culture.

Ford started the animosity I agree and since he has done himself no favours.

My worries about Trump are will the development be completed? The housing will be well outwith the price of first time buyers and I cannot see many of my age purchasing something overpriced because it is near 'the best golf course in the world'.

KBW, I certainly have no problem with much of Scotland being developed in a sensible manner to suit the countryside which surrounds it, but I worry we shall be left will a bill too enormous to comtemplate with Trump. As sake of 'if you don't cough up £x then x won't be done', but that is the privilege of business these days I suppose.

We need more to proclaim Scotland Is Open For Business - in fact we need a far more efficient Scottish Enterprise which also encourages small businesses as well as the big boys from the Asian continent.

I do so hope I'm proved wrong, because I have a childhood attachment near the area and many happy memories.

subrosa said...

Have you ever visited any of these complexes in Portugal or Spain brownlie? Hundreds of houses surrounding a golf course and club house and little else.

The costs of everything are extortionate or perhaps it's just because I'm someone who likes value for money.

I've outlined my concerns to KBW above so won't repeat them.

No I don't think that's so, but I do think the 'hard guy' image Trump and his cohorts convey on the media doesn't do any good to their cause.

Key bored warrior. said...

Rosie I share your concerns. We always are at the mercy of big business and big egos that come with that. Just look at the history of Scotlands industrial landscape, and the massive tremors we have experienced. The one that spring to mind was Black Bob and British Steel, "Right thats the jocks sorted," he said.

The ideal situation is to have our own indigenous industries but in this multi national free market era that looks unlikely. An independent Scotland will be able to better control who does what to us and where they pay there taxes we hope!

I would like to think that we have learned from the past and that Trump will be held to account if he steps across a line, but I will not hold my breath. Sometimes you have to dance with the devil to get progress.

subrosa said...

How true KBW. Both my grandparents were business people and I remember my granny being in a really bad mood one day - a very unusual happening I assure you.

She returned from wherever she'd been and told my grandpa 'I'm never going to sup with the devil again.'

When I asked her to explain (thinking she'd be smitten in the night), she said it had been necessary for her to have lunch with someone she didn't trust or respect, but in order to protect her own business interests she did it.

Isn't it weird what you remember from childhood?

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