Friday, 30 November 2007

Aberdeen Sends Trump Packing

The Scottish have a bit of a reputation for having short arms and long pockets when it comes to money. Fair enough they also have a reputation for being drunk all the time and the men wearing skirts but having a scrooge like devotion to money is what we on the more sober side of Hadrian's wall mock them about.
That stereotype may be in danger now after Donald Trump came waving his wad about in the east of the country only for the locals to tell him to take his money and his dubiously coloured hair and sod off.
The billionaire planned to build a £1bn golf course on sand dunes in Aberdeen but salmon fisherman, Michael Forbes, refused to sell his 23 acres of land that sat slap bang in the centre of the proposed golf complex.
Seeing his dream swinging in the wind, Trump offered £450,000 for the land with a salary of £50,000 a year for some unspecified job thrown in. Forbes refused. All he wanted was to be left in peace and quiet he said.
Trump's business team then set about smearing Mr Forbes and it was this that seemed to seal the fate of the doomed development.
Complaints to the council surged as the city folk stood behind Forbes and yesterday's ruling that the application for the development had been refused, ensured Trump's vision would have to be carried out elsewhere.
Defending against accusations that the Trump team had lost the support of the Aberdeenions through arrogance and patronising the locals, a spokesman arrogantly said "We were not arrogant. We set certain standards. It may be incomprehensible to smaller minds, but we have always set high standards. We presented them with a plan and hoped they could open their minds, but it was too much for them" he sniffed.
Trump had conducted a charm offensive among local business leaders and politicians, but was the "architect of his own downfall" with his outspoken views on the locals as one windswept woman told Sky News: "When you move into a neighbourhood, you should seek to get on with your neighbours. He chose to ridicule the lifestyle of someone who was quietly getting on with his life. People around here don't like that."
Good for you Mr Forbes and the good people of Aberdeen. I would buy you a drink but it seems the pockets in my trousers are just too deep for my short arms.

Palm Beach Post


Cody Bones said...

I'm sure that all the local Scottish construction workers, laborers, and localstore owners are ecstatic about the lack of money, commerce, and jobs that aren't rolling through their fair city

Daniel said...

How typically American, Cody!

Money and profit aren't the one measure of everything as they are in your country.

Joe the Troll said...

Is the job still open?

Cody Bones said...

Given the option of employment versus unemployment, I'm sure most, but obviously not all, would chose employment. Thanks to one of my favorite Scotsman, Adam Smith, for that.

Lucyp said...

The great thing about this Cody is that one of the Worlds richest men couldn't buy whatever he wanted. Proof that not everyone has a price and that is very reassuring in this world where people like Trump can usually roll over anyone they want.

Cody Bones said...

I realize that Lucy, and to that I send my applause. It's just that there is a great deal of possible economic benefit for people who need it, that won't happen. As with anything, the shades of black and white become harder and harder to discern. I realize that Trump is a huge annoyance, but I try to look at the project as a whole, and see if it's completion benefits anyone else, and the answer would be yes.

Joe the Troll said...

Well, that doesn't mean that something else won't be done. The article was probably just focusing on Trump, not the development of the region. They'll probably punish themselves with a Super Wal-Mart or something.

O' Tim said...

Cody - Surely you can see that it's pretty black and white with regards to property rights. Maybe some think the guy's a wipe for his refusal, but at least his neighbors were backing him up, which would be the second most important thing to me if I owned the land.

Lucyp said...

As long as the super wal mart people hold open doors, say please and thank you the Aberdeenies will probably accept it Joe. It seemed he had it all stitched up until he began boudmouthing the guy and it was only then the tide turned against him.

Stephen said...

Whatever happened to the idea that maybe a community can create its own wealth, and that if they do that, the wealth might actually stay in the community?

The Fez Monkey said...

In re: Cody's comments. Where was it specified that either the Aberdeen locale in which Trump wanted to build, or the overall area in general, are suffering from any sort of economic distress that a temporary construction project would have cured?

Did I just miss it?

Ook ook

Anonymous said...

I think you all might be missing the point a little. Yes, economically the golf course would have been a good thing. But this was being weighed up against the environmental damage the plan would have done. One third of the proposed development covers sand dunes which are inhabited by rare birds. Donald Trump rejected reasonable proposals to alter his plans to leave the birds alone. He has also refused to go ahead unless a proposal for a nearby offshore wind farm is scrapped. It's his arrogance in thinking that because he's rich we'll just let him do what he wants, regardless of the damage to our environment, our vital renewable energy schemes, and frankly our pride, that is objectionable.
I am proud that Forbes has stood up to Trump, but disgusted with our government that they're (presumably) going to override the just and legal decision of rejection by Aberdeenshire Council.
PS it's Aberdonians, lucyp, not Aberdeenies!!!