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A beefy guy in a kilt should kick Donald Trump out of Scotland

By Tim McDonald, Contributor

I happened to be golfing in Scotland recently at the same time as Donald Trump, though we didn't get a chance to break haggis or drink single malt together.

Donald Tump
Donald Trump: To hell with windmills.
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Donald Tump
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I was in some godforsaken part of the Highlands, working on stories about off-the-beaten-path golf courses. Trump had bigger sheep to shear: hobnobbing with local pols, holding cocktail parties with people whose land he intended to buy and grandly announcing his plans to build "the best golf course in the world." Forget Old Tom Morris; Donald Trump is the man.

Oh, and he found time to threaten a wind-farm project if the organizers dared to build their unsightly windmills where he and his buddies could see them from his new course.

"When I look across the ocean from the 18th hole, to be honest, what I want to see is the ocean," Trump told Scotland's Sunday Herald. "I don't want to see windmills."

Is ignorance as renewable as arrogance?

If I had the capacity to be embarrassed about being American, Donald Trump might be the one American who could make it happen. And I'm not even talking about his hairstyle, which should have its own reality show. (There's your obligatory Trump hair joke.)

Every Scot I talked to over there about Trump's $540 million plan either shook his head or muttered something I could barely understand. Probably some Scottish curse.

The project includes a 500-room Victorian-style hotel and golf academy, all of which will overlook the ocean and, if Trump has his way, no damned windmills.

Of course, business leaders in the area are salivating over what some are calling the biggest economic boon to the region since oil was discovered in the North Sea. Businessmen are the same the world over, save for the accent. Ditto Scottish politicians, who are falling all over themselves responding to Trump's attentions and his professed love for his ancestral homeland.

Trump's mother vacated the Western Isles during the Depression, and Trump has held a traditional Robert Burns supper in his lavish Fifth Avenue digs. I wonder if he is aware that Burns is the poet of the poor, or knows the following lines of "To a louse":

O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us
and foolish notion:
What airs in dress and gait would leave us
and even devotion!

The BBC is reporting that the Scottish government has made Trump an international ambassador for the country. Here in the States, that would be akin to making James Watt head of the Department of the Interior. Oh, right, they did that. Sorry, I forgot.

Trump wants to build his grand course on an 800-acre stretch of dunes north of Aberdeen. Some of the dunes are said to be 4,000 years old and there are rare plants amid the windswept terrain.

"There are clearly concerns the plan is on an important site for biodiversity," Gregor McCabery of Aberdeen Friends of the Earth told the Sunday Herald. "This could upset a nature area. Trump has absolutely no business interfering with the offshore wind project."

Then there's the freeway, or what the British call a dual carriageway. It's supposed to bypass the busy city of Aberdeen so Trump can whisk himself and his friends from the airport to the course without getting his hair mussed.

The problem is the road leads through what is now greenbelt. It was added to the development plan at the last minute by the government, without going through the public consultation supposedly required for all such projects.

Trump has been through this sort of thing before. His plans for a massive course in upstate New York were derailed in 2004 by residents who said it would pollute their water supply with the runoff fertilizer and pesticides.

Fortunately, Scottish conservation groups are getting similarly interested. They're banding together to oppose the project.

So now it's time for Trump to get kicked out of Scotland. They should get one of those big, beefy guys in a kilt to kick him in his broad butt on the way out, but that probably won't happen. The project is raising legal issues, but money has a way of solving the stickiest of those.

Already, there are signs money is winning. The Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group is scaling back its windmill project, though it denies that caving in to Trumpian pressure.

Is it possible to fire a country?

Tim McDonaldTim McDonald, Contributor

Veteran golf writer Tim McDonald keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation.


 
Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Trump in Scotland

    Tricia Blanton wrote on: May 24, 2009

    So: Donald Trump is now the new Idi Amine!!! But he has money - I loath the thought of him desicrating my country - I put a curse on him now - a good Scottish one!!!!!!

    Reply

  • Trump

    Richie Sim wrote on: Jun 28, 2006

    I have to disagree folks.
    I think Trump Golf Scotland would be a huge success. LEts face it, golf is loved all over the world and if the course would be as good as they say then the only thing restricting its success would be Aberdeen's terrible weather.
    It is rare to find a tee-time on the worlds best courses.
    A good idea in general and huge potential for Aberdeen and its surrounding communities.

    Reply

    • RE: Trump

      tucker dean hoffman wrote on: Sep 6, 2008

      you are right, it would be a huge success.but ur an idiot if you think its ok for some arrogant freak to buy so much of a beautiful country, i live in america and have never been to scotland, but when i go there had better not be a big fat trump course wrecking the land,i dont care about the money.if theres a trump course when i go there he'll have a lot of writing on his walls.
      im only thirteen so it will be a while till i can get there, but i will
      ps
      if he wrecks ireland ill be ten times as pissed. oi

      Reply

  • Trumpety Trump

    Sarah wrote on: Jun 9, 2006

    Thanks Tim for a great article. I would have to disagree with Jeremy - when Donald Trumps golf course fails it wont be just his loss it will be loss a beatiful estate and an area of natural habitat that would take years to recover. And even if the Trump golf course is a sucess it is likely to put another course out of business and just divert the misery elsewhere.
    Aberdeen needs some forward thinking business leaders ready to welcome new and sustainable developments to guarantee the future of the north-east. We need to look for the new ideas and technologies that can help save our natural environment rather than welcoming this nonsense. We dont need a new road - we need to embrace more efficient ways to move goods and people without relying on cars. We dont need a new golf course - we need to encourage visitors to delight in the treasures that the north-east coastline has to offer us already. We definitely dont need an idiotic rich American (sorry 'Global Scot') influencing planning decisions relating to a new windfarm - we need to embrace these developments and secure ourselves some renewable energy for our future.
    Grrrrr He makes me so angry and so does his silly wig.

    Reply

    • RE: Trumpety Trump

      Michael Foote wrote on: Sep 29, 2007

      Hi Sarah
      Have just caught up with Tim's article ( and your reply).One year plus and things are now reaching a peak Would apreciate any thing you might like to help with. I have been doing Prees for a local action group "Sustianable Aberdeenshire". Exploding the Myth's and removing as much of the smoke & mirrors Trump is using to conceal the fact that What he seek's isThe largest residetial developement on Protected Land ( SSSI sites ) in Scotland.Aren't all Trump's courses described as world class. We know its a teaser for selling high-end Properties
      Environmental vandalism. Donald say's "God made this landscape", but donald will make the money
      Sincerely
      Mickey Foote

      Reply

  • TRUMPTOWN IN SCOTLAND

    Martin Bennett wrote on: Jun 9, 2006

    Loved the article Tim. I am in fact a resident on the estate where the hairy dude is proposing to build 2 new golf courses. I am not huge but I do wear a kilt, practise karate and would love to kick Mr Trumps and a few of his colleagues butts out of Scotland.
    So far they have used various lies and bully boy tactics on the locals, bad news: Donald we are digging in for a battle and love a fight.
    Ashley Cooper stated when asked about killing of some of the rare bird species: "they used to kill 10,000 birds a year on this site, when they reared birds and shot them for sport." Does this justify killing off the local bird then? Do you have to break a few eggs to make an Omelette?

    Reply

  • Trump in Scotland

    Jeremy wrote on: Jun 7, 2006

    If TRump wants to blow US$540 on a golf course in Scotland then thats his problem, it will not work (Scotland has too many golf courses already) and he will lose his money, but the hell its his to lose.
    However it will benefit the many business in the area and employ lots of locals to construct the place. I do not think we should deny the area that curently depends on a dwindling resource (oil) to earn a few bucks.
    As for the flowers, they are not really that rare this is just conservationsist doing what they do best, making a mountain out of a molehill.
    Windfarm. This could go anywhere up that coastline. Move it 10 miles up the road and it will still produce the same benefits as the wind is fairly constant wherever you go.
    The road round Aberdeen. Have you ever tried to get round Aberdeen on the present ring road, its a nightmare both in terms of traffic and navigation. Aberdeen needs a new bypass/ringroad with or without Donald Trump
    Let the man do his stuff and build a course that few will play and fewer will buy houses near to. It's his loss

    Reply

    • RE: Trump in Scotland

      Brooke Greenleaf wrote on: Nov 23, 2007

      Jeremy,
      I have come across the Donald Trump Scotland Golf issue probably too late to put my 2 American cents into, but you are mistaken onthe fact that this golf course empire will bring in money for the locals in building the site. These developments by big-time people bring in their own equipment and people to do it, the townsfolk will only benefit a wee bit. I live in a poor state in the U.S., but one where people go to see the ocean, we have big wigs all the time wanting to come in and buy to build "the best world class such in so". The jobs are ONLY seasonal, they fizzle out quickly, then in the end you are left with a decaying site because the big, rich guy just moves on to another scheme. Please don't allow this to happen, it will ruin the landscape forever, you will n-e-v-e-r get it back!!! The entire U.K is loved for its wild, building free environment, not for decaying parking lots, timeshare homes and hotels with broken windows and birds flying in and out. It will not make money for the locals, please understand this!!!!

      Reply

    • RE: Trump in Scotland

      Michael Foote wrote on: Sep 29, 2007

      Hi Jeremy
      Just to update.No local unemployment here partiicularly Building trades
      Proposal now up to 1 billion
      2000 Homes 12 storey hotel 400 unit staff block (no local jobs there) etc etc. This is NOTHING to do with golf, merely a maketing devise to sell v. high end real estate.
      I won't bore you with environmentals, do you know what an SSSI is?
      My information is that air traffic controllers moved the wind farm not Mr Trump.
      You are correct on the transport infrastructure the number of championship courses in Scotland and the climate
      You may be right( and I revel in the thought ), he may be wrong headed here and lose a fortune
      We here in Aberdeenshire will be left to pick up the tab.It's his money but it's OUR country
      Obviously I don't know what you do, but I hope you do it well
      sincerely
      Mickey Foote

      Reply

      • RE: RE: Trump in Scotland

        Jennifer McDonald wrote on: Oct 12, 2007

        Trump has know idea what he is doing!!!! Ask him!! Ask him what species resides in the part of the lansdscape that he wants to take over. Then, ask him how they are important to the worlds ecosystem. I wish that I could build a golf course on the top of his little hat hair. I wonder how many species would be re-located after that. Lets shave it!! I wrote this message earlier but they wouldn't post it because of the language. Yeah!!!

        Reply

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