Donald Trump: less hysteria, more facts

2013 08 Trump

“We will appeal this decision and in the meantime we will be focusing all of our investment and energy towards our new acquisition on the Atlantic Ocean in Ireland.” These are the words of Donald Trump.

He uttered them this week after he lost his court battle against the Scottish Government to stop the approval of a wind farm he says will be an eyesore at his golf course in Aberdeen.

It seems, then, that unless the decision is overturned – and that seems highly unlikely – Donald Trump is going to take his investment and financial muscle to Ireland.

How anyone can see this as a positive for Scotland is clouded by their dislike of the American billionaire.

“Great news. Now get the bulldozers in and reinstate the land it was before,” said ‘BigBudgie’ in a post online. What was the land before? Does BigBudgie remember it fondly? Put it this way, there wasn’t exactly a queue of people eagerly waiting their turn to stroll along the dunes before it was a golf course.

Another post suggested he was only going to Ireland to “make more money”. Shock horror, folks; businessman attempts to turn investment into profit. Not exactly ground breaking stuff but it’s typical of the kind of nonsense that flies about when people bash Trump.

He’s “arrogant”. That’s another insult that gets thrown about. Of course he’s arrogant. That’s why he’s worth billions. But he’s also quite a charming fellow, and he knows his stuff. He doesn’t send his PR folk to do his dirty work. He does it himself. He doesn’t hide, unlike our politicians who, this week, have suddenly turned up to offer their ‘support’ to flood-hit victims in the south. Where were they a week ago?

He’s a “bully”. Perhaps. But there’s certainly no respect being shown to the people who currently work onsite everyday at Trump International. I have been to the Aberdeen resort and have seen the work of local ‘activists’ who silently threaten and disrupt the normal working day of Trump’s staff. There’s more that goes on that’s not reported in the news. But it should be.
I have been to the Aberdeen resort and have seen the work of local ‘activists’ who go out of their way to disrupt the normal working day of Donald Trump’s staff.

I have stood outside Michael Forbes’ home, which sits between the original course and the new McLeod course being built. It isn’t pretty. If my neighbour had old rusting tractors, cars and general rubbish lying in his garden, I’d not be happy either. Flipside? I’d probably have dealt with it better than Trump. Yes, Forbes appears to be an odd chap – I have never met him, just to clear that up – and I know plenty of people who have odd ways. Perhaps if there had been an arm round the shoulder from the start rather than a pointed finger, it might have been different.

And that’s the crux of the problem. A very well-respected course designer – who has worked around the world - told me that Trump should have got his planning permission first, ticked every box, then announced his intentions to build the ‘world’s greatest golf course’ after it had all been rubberstamped. Doing it the opposite way gave people the excuse to say he was stepping on their toes. But some things are never that easy.

Gleneagles has opposed a wind farm but nobody seems to be disgusted. That’s because Trump’s not involved, so anonymous online bampots don’t feel the need to hurl abuse.

bunkered has covered the Donald Trump story in Scotland from day one. We were the first golf magazine to speak to him on his plans. As a result, have been called “supporters” of Trump. Of course we are. He built a golf course in Scotland and it happens to be fairly incredible. We cover golf… it’s not hard to figure out.

We reported last year the “significant” effect his course had on local business. The Marcliffe Hotel told us its golf bookings were up 60% from 2012-2013 and they put it down to the 'Donald Trump effect'. We, however, were accused of “lying”.

Our reporter Michael McEwan was called a “sycophant” by an online troll for covering the story and was even threatened with being taken to the Press Complaints Commission.

We have been critical of him in the past and have been honest in our critique of the golf course, suggesting it was too hard for the ordinary golfer during its early guise as a ‘new course’. But nobody remembers that.

It’s well documented that Aberdeen needs new housing and more hotel rooms. If Trump follows through on his promise of focusing all his energies across the water in Ireland and reduce his investment in Aberdeen, Scotland’s loss would be Ireland’s gain. What a sorry tale.

The Donald Trump debate: your thoughts

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