Why is Donald Trump still a GlobalScot? asks Andy Wightman as he examines the Trumps’ current anti-wind energy stance and the aims and rules of GlobalScot status.
Donald Trump Jr arrived in Scotland on 28th February to further his father’s campaign against wind energy in Scotland.
His father has claimed in a letter to Alex Salmond that “foreign energy companies will destroy your country and economy” and that Mr Salmond “will single-handedly have done more damage to Scotland than virtually any event in Scottish history.”
He goes on to say:
“I have authorised my staff to allocate a substantial amount of money to launch an international campaign to fight your plan to surround Scotland’s coast with many thousands of wind turbines.”
One report suggests that he has allocated £10m to the campaign.
Mr Trump has also threatened to bring a lawsuit against the Scottish Government which would, he argues, delay the proposed European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre off the Aberdeenshire coast, and against which he has railed previously.
Now, renewable energy forms a major part of the Scottish Government’s economic strategy – as outlined in their Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland. Trump Sr has stated quite clearly that he intends to do all he can to frustrate this through an international multi-million pound campaign and by legal actions designed to delay an important experimental project. Trump Jr has arrived to carry out his father’s instructions and oversee the beginnings of this onslaught.
All of which is rather interesting in the context of a Scottish Government initiative to encourage international entrepreneurs’ support for Scotland’s economic future.
The GlobalScot network is a project of Scottish Development International (SDI) consisting of 746:
“successful executives located throughout the world. GlobalScots all have strong connections with Scotland. Each of them has a strong desire to see Scotland succeed in the global business arena”.
Currently, SDI is:
“not looking to grow the membership significantly – however we are currently looking to identify prospective members in the following sectors”.
This list includes Renewable Energy, Offshore Wind, and Marine Energy.
No prizes for guessing what Ian Wood, Donald Trump, Stewart Milne, Brian Soutar and George Sorial have in common. Correct. They are all GlobalScots.
In April 2006, First Minister Jack McConnell invited Donald Trump Sr to become a GlobalScot. Donald Trump accepted the personal invitation and Mr McConnell stated:
“Donald has shown me a real passion for Scotland. He is a globally recognised figure who can help us to promote Scotland. I am delighted that he has taken up my offer. This is a good bit of business for all concerned.”
Membership of GlobalScot is:
“by invitation only, personal and non-transferable.”
The published full list of members is interesting in that Trump Sr is not on the list. Has he resigned? However, Trump Jr is named. When was he invited? Surely he didn’t take over from his dad – as membership is non-transferable?
And where did George Sorial come from? Who invited him?
In Jack McConnell’s letter of invitation to Trump Sr, he wrote:
“I should welcome your participation in the GlobalScot programme because I believe that your experience, knowledge and skills can make a tangible impact on our economic development efforts.”
Which brings me to conclude with the title of this piece.
Why is Donald Trump still a GlobalScot?
Given that both Donald Trumps are funding an international campaign against Scotland’s economic interests and threatening lawsuits to frustrate important projects, it is surely inconceivable that Scottish Development International will now retain Trump as a member.
If they do not act, then the First Minister should, without delay, instruct SDI to withdraw Donald Trump’s and George Sorial’s membership of the GlobalScot network.