Once upon a time in my younger days, If somebody trumped, they had just passed wind rather loudly.
Today in Holyrood we saw the real thing in action. Donald Trump had come to town along with some friends from the NIMBY association called CATS (Communities against turbines)
Here are some of the gems to have come out of the proceedings.
Donald Trump makes his opening statement saying “it is one of the most serious problems Scotland will have or has had”.
Trump says he is in favour of wave renewable energy but he is against wind turbines.
Except later he contradicts this by saying that he is not against wind turbines provided they are in Industrial areas(where you don’t get wind)
Trump says he has spent a tremendous amount of money building what many are considering the greatest golf course in the world. He does not want that destroyed by 11 monstrosities just one mile out at sea.
Of course he is the sole judge on his courses greatness, and it is hard to say what real difference a mere 11 turbines would make to the aesthetic qualities of the view.
Scotland will lose its tourism to Ireland and other countries that are “laughing at what Scotland is doing”.
The figures for Scottish tourism have just increased, with some windfarms viewed as a tourist attraction, but somebody had best tell Donald that Ireland have wind farms too.
Mr Trump says tourist advertising always shows countryside without windmills. “Where are the windmills. It is false advertising.” During a clash with Mr Brodie, Mr Trump retorts: “I am the world class expert on tourism – I am the evidence, I am the expert.”
So there you go…Donald submitting himself as a tourist attraction.
SNP MSP Michael MacKenzie talked about Orkney, which is part of his Highlands and Islands constituency. He said Orkney has already met government targets for renewables without any impact on tourism. Mr Trump in reply said, Orkney has a “tiny population” and it is easier to site the odd “wind mill” appropriately.
One would have thought that In the relatively flat Islands that turbines would be as visible as those proposed in Aberdeen bay. but it would seem that these matter little to Trump as they are not near his golf course.
Trump tells the committee he spoke to a woman who has had a turbine built behind her house. She can’t sleep because of the noise of the turbine and no one wants to buy her property.
Well I can tell Trump that the Dark Island Hotel in Benbecula has had a large turbine for a good number of years, and it is relatively silent, the only time that the blades turn is when there is wind, and the wind is louder than any motor noise it might make.
Green MSP Patrick Harvie showed a picture of Royal St Georges in Kent which shows a coal-fired power station and a wind turbine. He says it has attracted a string of international tournaments over many years.
So there ya go Donald, stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
Committee chair Murdo Fraser turned to Mr Trump and asked about his claim that “promises” were made to him by the Scottish government.
Trump says he spoke to Jack McConnell, then first minister, about plans for a wind farm planned for near his proposed golf course in Aberdeenshire. Mr Trump said he was prepared to move to Ireland but he was given assurances that the wind farm would not be built because of shipping lane problems and Ministry of Defence issues. Mr Trump says Alex Salmond’s government said the same things. Mr Trump says he has now had a letter from Alex Salmond which says: “The policies of one government do not bind its successor.”
Trump says he did not get his assurances put in writing because he did not think it was necessary. He was told the Ministry of Defence was against the Vattenfall wind farm off the Aberdeenshire coast, near his wind farm. He said the MoD is still against the wind farm.
Now I wonder if he really is trying to tell us he is an idiot?
He builds a ten million development, but sees no reason to get written assurance of what he claims has been promised to him? Yup, Donald pull the other one.
Committee convener Murdo Fraser says former first minister Jack McConnell and Alex Salmond deny Mr Trump was ever given the assurances that the wind farm would not be built.
Mr Trump says they are denying a lot of things. He adds that Mr Salmond appears today on the front pages of newspapers denying different things.
Trump trying to conflate Murdoch allegations to himself, but It doesn’t wash without evidence Donald.
SNP MSP Maureen Watt says the wind farm off the Aberdeenshire coast was first proposed in 2002. George Sorial repeats that assurances were given by the first minister (Jack McConnell) that the offshore wind farm would not be built.
Labour MSP John Park asks how to meet renewable targets without wind power. Mr Trump says Co2 targets are ridiculous when China is “decimating” the atmosphere. Mr Trump says China is doing so much damage to the atmosphere it is “foolhardy” of Scotland to ruin its economy by setting its targets. Mr Trump says Scotland is 20 years behind the times. He says wind farms are being abandoned all over the world. He says as soon as subsidies are removed they do not work.
Funny how he is picking on China when the States are notorious in their opposition to setting emissions levels.
Trump is quoted that the polls show 79% of Scots in favour of renewable energy..But Donald doesn’t believe these polls, he is an expert on polls and they all talk rubbish if they disagree with him. He took a poll and 100% were against the turbines…admittedly he only polled himself(OK that last bit is untrue, but the gist of what he was saying).
Mr MacDonald says the “over-whelming” vote for the SNP at the last election shows public support for the policy. Mr Trump says people have not been given the facts. He goes off the point and says it is the same type of thinking which led to Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi being returned to Libya because he was about to die. “He has been seen running about the park”, Mr Trump claims.
So there you have it…Mr Megrahi not on his deathbed but actually jogging in parks all over Tripoli. Donald is a witness to this.
Admittedly not all of the weird comments came from Donald, but one of the CATS representatives who said that the 80% who were in favour of turbines were not the ones we should be listening to, but rather the 20% who were against were the important ones!
He also stated that a majority Scottish government did not have a mandate to decide policy as they were not representative of the majority Scottish view!
A truly barking session of hot air in Holyrood today.