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Evening Express 14 December 2012

Yesterday’s Aberdeen Evening Express carried this full page advertisement (apologies for the quality of the scan).

Yes, your man Trump’s at it again. The world-class intellect and tourism giant who challenged Barack Obama to produce his full birth certificate and prove he was born in the USA now sharpens the focus of his attention on terrorist-loving first minister of Scotland Alex Salmond – the man  who’s going to cover – yes, I mean cover – Scotland in wind turbines and eight-lane highways.

You can tell he’s a man up to no good –  the receding hair line, the curled lip, the cruel expression, the dodgy hand gesture. Oops, sorry, wrong guy…

Donald Trump

I nearly wrote this two days ago when Donald Trump issued his latest statement about the offshore wind turbines he believes will blight his new golf course at Menie in Aberdeenshire.

The not-always sensible gene in my brain told me ‘Wait a day or two otherwise you’ll write something you regret.’ It also saved me getting confused with another news story that day, headlined by The Scotsman as

Man who arrived in Scotland with rare fever transferred to London hospital.

Sadly, it wasn’t about the noisy Trump-et but a poor man who has since died of the rare disease he had.

It’s best to let Trump speak for himself. Here’s some of what he said.

  • Their [the RSPB’s] name should be changed to RSKB – “Royal Society for the Killing of Birds” to reflect their pro-wind turbine position
  • Military radar will be totally affected by these massive, ugly and inefficient turbines…..wind turbines compromise national security
  • They are doing it strictly because Alex Salmond wants them to, and Alex Salmond has a death wish for Scotland
  • The golf course I have built is already considered, perhaps, the best in the world
  • The hotel I am planning would likewise be far superior to any hotel in Scotland, England, Ireland and, hopefully, anywhere in Europe
  • Restaurants, hotels and stores are packed to the rafters because of the success of our great golf development
  • Alex Salmond, whose greatest contribution has been to let a Libyan terrorist go home to his friends after bombing Pan Am flight 103
  • Almost as importantly as the destruction of the Scottish environment and landscape, taxes will be raised massively for Scottish taxpayers to pay for Alex’s folly.

It’s difficult to know where to start in analysing this meretricious nonsense. Put at its simplest it re-tells the old, old story of Trump’s superiority in every way to anyone who might threaten his business.

So, the RSPB don’t exist to protect birds but the Donald does. He knows better than the UK military about radar and national security. His golf course and hotel will be the best in Scotland, the UK, Europe…the world. Restaurants, hotels and ‘stores’ in the North east are packed to the rafters already a few months after his golf course opened [They’re not]. Alex Salmond – who I hold no brief for – not only has a death wish for the country he so clearly loves above all else but his greatest achievement has been releasing a Libyan terrorist. And to pay for the one wind farm off Aberdeen that is the cause of Trump’s ill-temper, taxes [that the Scottish Parliament currently has no power to raise] will have to increase massively.

Perhaps the only other thing you need to know about Donald Trump is what I heard the director of the excellent documentary You’ve Been Trumped say when the film was premiered in Aberdeen

In three years [following Trump for the movie] I didn’t hear him say ‘Thank you’ once.

I blogged recently on the Disney-esque signs that had appeared at the entrance to Donald Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf course.  My spies passed the said entrance yesterday and lo and behold report they’ve disappeared.    Something about the fact that they were in breach of the planning permission perhaps, being a mere 83% larger than they should have been.  I hope so.

Incidentally, wonderful as the climate of North East Scotland can be (it’s a sort of contrary thing – when the weather elsewhere in the UK is rubbish it’s often good here, and vice versa) we are shrouded in intense low-lying cloud today.

I do hope the punters who’ve coughed up between £120, locals, and £150, visitors, for a weekday round today at introductory offer prices (code for it’ll cost more later) can see their balls, if you get my meaning.

I’ve resisted the temptation to blog about the big issues pro-and-con raised by Donald Trump’s Menie Links golf course in Aberdeenshire. Others have done it bigger (which is appropriate for a larger-than-life character like The Donald) and better than I can.

I did have a pop a while ago at Trump’s environmental concerns about an offshore wind farm that, if it’s ever built,  just might be visible (with binoculars) from the higher points of his golf course.

Now I see he’s in trouble with the local council planners over the sign you see here (I’ve taken it from the Aberdeen Evening Express web site without asking, naughty boy that I am.  I’ll remove it if they object, and trek out to take one of my own if necessary – I hope for his sake he’s not using G4S for his security staff these days).

The sign is instructive for a number of reasons.

First, although he was given planning permission for a sign 3.27 metres long it’s actually 6 metres in length. But what’s an 83% disparity between friends?  After all it’s only as if The Shard in London was 132 habitable floors high instead of 72.

Then there’s the question of the design, which presumably conforms to some corporate house style knocked up in Manhattan, or more likely Florida.

It’s in shiny black stuff with gold lettering and trim. Of course it is, that spells ‘class’ doesn’t it?

The material might be granite or it might be that waterproof plastic stuff they line shower cubicles with. Never mind that the North East of Scotland does a nice line in granite of its own, with some wonderful grey and pink stone easily available.

Local material might also have dictated a more genuinely classier shape than the rectangle-with-curly-bits-on-the-top that I lack the technical vocabulary to describe.

The curly bits allow space for a presumably faux coat of arms in gold to be inserted above the legend ‘Trump International Golf Links.’ Again, more class. Perhaps the Lord Lyon King of Arms could confirm whether the design has been registered.

Not being a typographer, I don’t know what the typeface used on the sign is. Like the shape of the sign it’s also curly. If it’s choice was ever brainstormed in some design studio I assume their flip chart would have been full of words like ‘hand-written’, ‘quill’, ‘bygone age’, ‘upscale’ and, oh yes, ‘classy.’

Underneath the name of the course is written the word ‘SCOTLAND’ just in case you thought you were in downtown Buenos Aires or Disney World. It’s in capitals of course so you GET THE POINT.

The whole thing is mounted on two rectangular poles, again shiny black. Other mountings are available, like the vernacular dry stane dykes (dry stone walls) that are traditional in the area and are used to great effect in many local signs.

But maybe Trump’s people think a vernacular is some kind of railway you build up the side of a world heritage mountain, improving it no end of course.

I could have taken Mr T to several undertakers in the area that have very similar signs, and to the same effect.

PS Glancing at the photo I’ve just realised that superficially the sign looks like a grand piano dumped down in the middle of nowhere. Seems appropriate.

Renowned environmentalist and protector of the Scottish coastline Donald Trump was reported yesterday to be funding an anti-wind turbine campaign called Communities Against Turbines Scotland (CATS).  He’s upset that offshore turbines may be built within sight (rather distant sight it has to be said) of his new golf course on the Aberdeenshire coast in Scotland.

Speaking from New York to the BBC Mr Trump said

There’s a whole lot of hoop-la about windmills.  They’re horrible looking structures…yadda yadda yadda…

Speaking from Indianapolis about Communities Against Turbines Scotland, George Soriel of the Trump Organisation added

We were very impressed by them…yadda yadda yadda…

Memo to CATS – remember the proverb about the employment of a long spoon should you wish to sup with the old gentleman downstairs.

PS – at the time of writing it’s not clear from their web site if CATS have accepted Trump’s funding or indeed whether he has formally offered it and if so how far his munificence extends