Whatever you might think of the controversy over Donald Trump’s golf course in Aberdeenshire (and I was and am firmly on the side of its opponents), surely you can’t help but be concerned about the appalling behaviour of the tycoon’s representatives.
The low point was threatening to make an 85 year old woman pay legal costs and branded her son’s home a slum. This week, when plans for a supremely ugly club house were approved by Aberdeenshire Council by some margin, George Sorial, Trump’s representative on earth, had the cheek to abuse Cllr Debra Storr, calliing her a “disgrace” and saying she’d be out of a job come May.
Now, whatever party she’s in, whether I agree with her or not, Debra Storr has been a friend of mine for a very long time. She’s a fundamentally good person who will always act in a principled way to do what she thinks is best for the people she represents. I will not stand by and hear her called names in public by anyone, let alone the arrogant representative of a rich tycoon who doesn’t have much respect for the democratic process or community engagement. There can be no doubt that Debra was extremely robust in her criticism of the plans for the clubhouse, as she has been about the entire development. but that doesn’t matter. Rich men should not be throwing their weight around like that, end of story.
And now it seems that, after all the disruption caused by Trump and his cohorts, he may be about to walk away from building his promised hotel and holiday homes because of a proposed wind farm in the waters off the coast. Clearly the benefits of renewable energy are lost on him.
All of this could have been avoided. All he had to do 4 years ago after the original rejection was to submit a slightly altered plan and this could all have been resolved easily. Instead, there’s been an almighty and ongoing dispute which has left its scars on the local community which may now not get the benefits it was promised.
It may well be acceptable in America to slag off political opponents for all sorts of spurious reasons, like the fact that they speak French, but we shouldn’t put up with it here. I am annoyed that the leader of Aberdeenshire Council was prepared to allow one of the councillors in her authority, regardless of who they are or what’s gone on in the past, to be publicly abused in this way.
We all end up poorer when rich men think that governments at any level are inconveniences to be bossed around.