Saturday, February 11, 2012

Poll : does Trump branding Alex Salmond "insane" represent progress on "amazing"?

As far as I can remember, the one and only time I've found myself arguing in favour of something I don't really believe in was on the subject of "Trumpton". The (now former) Labour MP Nick Palmer was laying into the SNP for backing the development, so the partisan instinct kicked in and I defended the decision without really thinking. To be fair to myself, though, I had spent the previous few months writing umpteen comments under my Scotsman pseudonym saying what I really thought. I can't deny that I feel considerably more comfortable now that Trump seems to hate Alex Salmond's guts, particularly given that he feels that way for the silliest and most transparently self-interested reasons imaginable.

So that's the question for today's poll : are you happier when this nincompoop (© Alex Massie) calls Alex Salmond an "amazing man", or when he calls him "insane"? The voting form is in the sidebar.

I for one won't be shedding any tears if the golf course is shelved, although of course a fair bit of the damage is already done. And if it goes ahead, well...where would "the world's greatest golf course" be without a view of some lovely windmills? This is the 21st Century, after all.


  1. If this whole issue weren't so sad, it would be really funny.

    Trump tears up a great chunk of coastline, destroying habitat and ruining natural scenery, then complains bitterly that HIS views are being destroyed by windmills.

    I wonder if it has occurred to him that on grey, low sky, cloudy, misty days, of which there are a fair few in this part of the world, he and his paying his guests won't be able to see the windmills...

    I've got mixed feelings about this development.

    The old problem of having to choose between leaving the countryside in the state that nature intended, with all that entails, and, encouraging a project that will bring money and jobs, but mess up the views, and the lives of millions of animals and birds, has been with us for centuries, and gets harder rather than easier.

  2. Trump is a buffoon, or should that be a bouffant? I would imagine his golf development is bound by a fair few contracts...I wonder if they have enough wriggle room in them, or if he'll be shelling out compensation if he does indeed cancel them. I'm sure the lawyers are rubbing their hands already.

    In any case he's overplayed his hand. No way the SNP can cave in now. I suspect his threats are as empty as those of that Crohne character in Borgen though. The windmills will be there, as will Trump's labour of lucre.

  3. Trump may be looking for an excuse to dump this project as the economics have changed and he can see that we are facing years of recession like Japan. he has done so before.

    The vote against this was carried on the casting vote of the leader of the council who had a personal agenda going, he paid the price by being flung of. The project enjoys huge support amongst local trades and commerce bodies, and locally the people are for it.

    However with regards to the original decision, would you go to Auchterarder and tell the people that James Braid wrecked the landscape there, when he designed and built the award winning golf courses of Gleneagles that sustains the local economy?

    Are you suggesting that all of Scotland links courses be torn up and allowed to return to wilderness again, despite them bringing in millions in trade each year?

    Are you suggesting that the local chamber of commerce and the local trades and business people in Aberdeen and Menie are wrong in supporting this development?

    Brora, Golspie, Dornoch, Fortrose, Nairn, Moray, Fraseburgh, Cruden Bay, Royal Aberdeen, Montrose, Arbroath, Monifeith, Panmure, Elie, Crail, St Andrews, Kilspindle, Dunbar, Leven, Musselburgh x2, Longniddrie, Kilspindle, Craigelaw, Lufness, Gullane, Muirfield, North Berwick, Glen, Whitekirk, Winterfield, Dunbar, Troon, Prestwick, Largs, Turnberry (Ailsa’s lighthouse hole is one of the most photographed in the world. Even if you’re not playing it, take a look. The rocks are 390 million years old and from the green you can see the remains of Robert the Bruce’s castle.) The above places all depend on Golf to bring much needed trade and commerce to their areas, are you seriously suggesting that it was wrong to build these links courses also?

    I have played and worked on several of Scotland's top courses, and I can tell you that the stewardship of the land in and around these courses could not be in better hands. At Luss on Loch Lomond they employed a professor to advise them how to best preserve the environment and cater for the local wildlife, they have done a spectacular job. Golf course design and management is one of the few land based activities that goes to such lengths to preserve and encourage the local wild life and it's habitats.

    To read some of the hysterical nonsense about the trump development you would think that Alex Salmond and Donald Trump were personally bulldozing Aberdeen shire in to the North Sea whilst eating live babies.

  4. KPW : To answer your question about previous links developments, I'd need to know if they were generally built on land that was as environmentally sensitive as the Menie Estate. I freely admit I don't know whether they were or not, but I think that's an important question, along with the fact that presumably in most cases big housing developments didn't come as part of the package. In any case there's no going back once the construction has taken place. But that's another point about Trump - if he is now casting around for an excuse to abandon the development, then he really is guilty of vandalism to no good purpose. There'll be no golf course, and no reversal to the site's previous state either. But admittedly that might still be preferable to the tasteless buildings he had in mind.

    I was amused to see on the development's website the words "HONORING SCOTTISH TRADITION" - so he honours our tradition by using the American spelling? That's rather fitting, somehow.

  5. I personally think Trump is a laughable fool but since the balance of opinion in the north east was very strongly in favour of the project I thought it's up to them. I'd have campaigned against it if it had been in my neck of the woods but it wasn't and I don't believe I have the right to tell other people in another part of Scotland what they ought to think. And Alex Salmond is certainly not stupid enough to go against what the mass of his own constituents wanted.

    So I didn't really have a problem with it going ahead and I don't see how Trump can get out of it now without incurring huge losses. So he will just have to accept the windfarm and also accept that he is dealing with people who are a damn sight cannier than he is, not country bumpkins.