Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Noses in the Trump trough

As British readers, and certainly Scottish ones, will know, Donald Trump is attempting to obtain permission for a huge golf course and an even huger gated residential community. he is trying to do this on a site at Balmedie, north of Aberdeen, which is (a) a Site of Special Scientific Interest on account of its wildlife, and also (b) one of only two examples in the UK of a special kind of sand-dune topography. The Planning Committee of Aberdeenshire Council threw out his application. (While it has been widely reported that it did so only on the casting vote of its Chair, I understand from a friend of mine who knows people on the committee that in fact it did so my about a 2:1 majority, with the casting vote being used only on one of the amendments, though I assume that would have permitted some kind of development.)

So far so good. you might think. After all, one thing Scotland really doesn't need more of is golf courses (and another is areas illegally sealed off from public access). Trump made spitting noises and thretaened to take his eyesore to Northern Ireland (and who am I to deny them the chance of environmetal despoliation?) However, after a couple of days the Scottish Executive decided to call in the planning application, which almost certainly means it will now go ahead. Much has been made of a meeting between Alex Salmond, the Scottish First Minister, and representatives of Donald Trump just the day before the bid was called in. I fully accept that as the MSP for the area concerned Salmond had to become involved; I also accept that as First Minister he takes no direct part in planning matters. I do not, however, believe for a second that his meeting was unconnected with the decision to call the application in.

As if all that isn't disgraceful enough, Aberdeenshire Council has now sacked the Chair of the Planning Committee from that job (he remains a councillor), simply because he had the honesty to do his job. The full council also unprecedentedly overturned the decision of its own planning committee; and when I call that decision unprecedented, last week there was considerable debate over whether such a decsion would even be legally permissible.

There is a well-known Scots song which decries the defeat of the Jacobite cause in these terms:

We were bought and sold for English gold;
Sic a parcel of rogues in a nation.


I cannot escape the feeling that Aberdeenshire Council has been bought and sold for American gold. Sic a parcel of c*nts in a county, perhaps.

If the Scottish Executive votes with its head instead of its paying-in book, I'll let you know the good news. Otherwise, see above (with country instead of county).

1 Comments:

At 13 December, 2007 15:35, Blogger Chip said...

I don't like Donald Trump. But that's not why I'm opposed to his "buying" Scottish politicians. In 1707, 4 men received the largest payout in the history of the UK (the record still holds) to ensure a bill before the Scottish Parliament would pass and said Parliament would dissolve truly creating the Union we know today.

Now, many say the Union actually makes both countries stronger, and in the US the Union of the States is a powerful force. BUT - if it was such a good thing, couldn't it have been achieved by words and not gold?

This seems to me to be just one more example when the rich think they can do what ever they like because there will always be those willing to sell out their fellows, the land or their country for the shiny stuff.

 

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