Cara and I watched the documentary “You’ve Been Trumped” earlier, all about Donald Trump’s bid to build “the world’s best golfcourse” on the Aberdeenshire coast. I can’t remember a time when I felt quite affected by a program like that. My heart was actually racing at some parts! (particularly when Anthony Baxter was asking his questions directly to Trump towards the end of the film).
Alongside feeling exceptionally angry, I felt incredibly sad, mostly because during my time in Aberdeen I wasn’t aware half of what had been happening only a few miles away. I felt disappointed in the city that I had called home for four years. And even a little ashamed, both at myself for not participating in any positive way at the time and at the spineless, swithering councillers.
Although the film is clearly on the side of the residents, this doesn’t make what it documents any less true, no matter how many times Donald Trump and his team say so. This is what shocked me the most: how easily Donald Trump can outright LIE through his bleached teeth! I don’t know why I’m surprised really. But the sheer audacity left Cara and I screeching at the T.V. screen.
“Yes, we’ve had lot’s of support from various environmental agencies…”
Cut to Glasgow University lecturer reeling off a list of the major environmental bodies who have not shown a scrap of support for the project.
The worst parts were filmed at the local residents’ houses. One woman was treated to a daily show of cranes and diggers tearing the land apart right outside her kitchen window, usually followed by a swarm of Trump’s fluorescent-clad minions. Another resident had huge mounds of earth piled around his house (but on Trump’s land) for no other reason than to agitate him. A couple more had their water off for a week because the construction had included building a road over the well that supplied their houses. Complaining made no difference, even to the site manager. The filmmaker Anthony went to his (rather plush looking) offices to ask why the water had been off for a week and nothing done about it. The conversation ended with the manager telling Anthony to go and fix it. When he pointed out that he hadn’t broken the supply, the response was along the lines of “Oh well there you go then”. Obviously the man hadn’t been trained up in the Trump bullshitting-until-they-stop-asking-questions technique.
As if this all wasn’t bad enough, after visiting the site manager, the security team that regularly patrolled the entire area reported Baxter to the police, who had spotted him at another resident’s home. After a rather poor and quite honestly pathetic attempt at accosting him in some way, the police officers proceeded to arrest Baxter (rather aggressively) for apparent “breach of the peace at the Menie estate”. This was so disappointing – local policemen who’s loyalties should have lain with the residents but seemed to be mere puppets of the entire project.
I could quite easily talk about this for hours. The thing is, I don’t oppose the golf course, or even the hotel. Surely there could have been compromises in some aspects. It’s the blatant disregard for anything or anyone, destroying rare pieces of land, and most of all the driving of people out of the homes they have lived in for decades. And all of this happens because Trump is an intimidating bully who controls whatever pockets he stuffs with enough cash.