Donald Trump’s golf course in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland completed in 2012 recently came to light again. Various media channels are hell-bent on finding anything they can to disparage him, and they don’t have to look very hard. At the time he was accused of destroying the dunes and the natural habitat they provided for wildlife, and initiating Compulsory Purchase Orders on properties that stood in his way, sanctioned by Alex Salmond. Yet again Scots were betrayed by one of their own household! Trumps workers filled in a well that was a working water supply for 90 year old Molly Forbes, a resident who, to this day is still without a proper water system. He had a mud wall over 10 meters high piled in front of a working farm on the pretext that it was a slum and he didn’t want his visitors to see it. Furthermore, his bombastic and intrusive presence and the daily patrol of rather sinister henchmen under the guise of “security” in black four-by-fours ensured that the work went forward with unprecedented speed rendering the beautiful Balmedie coastline unrecognizable to those that knew it.
It is no surprise that the golf course has apparently made losses ever since it opened. There are different versions of these “play-parks” for the rich in popular resorts all over Europe and most end up as white elephants. With endless rows of luxury apartments standing empty, underused golf courses and ghosted hotels, one might think that the developers would have learned their lesson, but it is likely that they are designed specifically to generate losses against tax. It is probable that Trump just built it for himself because it became clear very quickly that this windswept, cold and cloudy peninsular near Aberdeen, would not be the place of choice for fun in the sun. Anyone with any sense would head for warmer climes!
So why didn’t Donald Trump insist that his workers immediately restore Molly Forbes’ water supply? Couldn’t he be bothered? How easy it would have been. And no adverse publicity. But he didn’t! Why not? Is he just plain mean?
And the farm that he called a slum, a pigsty. For once a breath of truth from this mythomaniac. It was a slum. Rusty junk everywhere. Broken buildings. But I think building a wall was going to far. What would it have cost this billionaire to put up a shiny new barn for the man and help put away all the restorable stuff and dispose of the rest. Make some repairs. Give the mans cloud a silver lining. But no. A wall! That doesn’t help or encourage good relations.
Now the golf course is finished it doesn’t look so bad. It’s not the ancient dunes that graced the shores of North East Scotland for a thousand years, but the wildlife returned. At least a golf course is green, it could have been a shopping plaza! Frankly, more untold damage is done by our own Forestry Commission than anyone. When it’s time to harvest their trees they systematically embark on a trail of destruction that is unconscionable, rendering the land baron, pitted, uninhabitable and broken, for decades to come, but that’s a story for another time.
There is no justification for a wealthy man to disrespect the indigenous people of a long-established community of a country in which he is alien. America is in for a rocky ride with Trump at the helm for the next four years. Roger the Dodger springs to mind, a fictional comic character whose basic remit was to avoid doing chores and homework which usually involves him concocting complex and ultimately disastrous plans. Or Dennis the Menace, a mischievous, schoolboy trouble-maker. In most children’s books a bad child gets made good but Dennis the Menace never got better! Nor, I suspect, will Trump!