Voice’s Old Susannah takes a look over the past week’s events in the ‘Deen and beyond. By Suzanne Kelly.
The winds howl; the rain falls and a sandstorm or two batter East Grampian; it must be spring. The biggest event of the past week was to be a ‘twilight’ visit to the Menie Estate.
When I heard of the ‘twilight’ visit to the Trump course, I’d initially expected that some sulky teenage movie stars would be coming for a photo shoot, but it was even more exciting than that: Mrs Sarah Malone ‘Face of Grampian’ Bates would be meeting councillors and the public not once, but twice in the Trump parking lot. Result!
Before I give too much away about this exciting event, some of the other developments first.
What a pleasant surprise I had on Wednesday last week; I ran into Power Ranger Ian Tallboys.
I was at a meeting of the East Grampian Coastal Partnership. I’d no idea Tallboys was interested in environmental issues, so it came as something of a surprise. He was with two women who were very friendly; so much so that they kept exchanging glances and giggling at each other when I approached their group.
I told Ian that Tullos Hill was a complete tip (I really should have said it looked like a war zone), and I asked him whether or not the waste recently left on the hill by the tree planters had been removed.
I guess a busy, important award-winning man like I.T. didn’t really have time to look into these minor details, so he avoided giving either a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ answer, and instead explained he’d been talking to the contractors who planted the trees, etc. etc… I translated his answer to be ‘no’. I was just flattered he seemed to recognise me.
If I weren’t so shy and retiring, I’d have asked for his autograph now that he’s won awards and been in the newspapers and all. I really must stop pestering such celebrities; he has after all met HR Princess Anne who presented the award to the Tullos Hill deer and habitat destruction scheme.
Rumours that HRH is hiring Tallboys and CJ Piper to landscape royal properties remain unconfirmed.
Other than this happy chance meeting, it’s been another colourful week. BrewDog have new additions this week– ‘there is ‘Fake’ larger and a lovely porter named after the original BrewDog dog, Bracken. Both are going down a storm.
Sadly, there were sandstorms in our area; sadly they could have had an effect on world’s greatest golf course, or worse – mess up Sarah Malone’s hair. It wouldn’t do to look untidy while representing Donald Trump.
Remember – if you want to have a foursome and play a round (as it were), for a mere £190 (resident discount), you too can enjoy sandstorms, high winds, driving rain and collapsing greens. But hurry – there are only three or four dozen places free every day, according to the online booking tool.
Media-wise we now have the Daily Record’s new Thursday publication
I’m sure that with the beautiful bed and breakfast facilities now up and running, the golf bookings will escalate even further – it’s no wonder they need a second course to cope with demand. The interior shots of the world’s greatest bed and breakfast, yours for £295 per night only, show lovely shades of mustard soft furnishings.
The last time Old Susannah saw anything in this tasteful shade was at the city council elections; Aileen HoMalone wore an adorable oversized mustard jacket, which didn’t make her look like a theatre usher or real estate sales person at all. Then there is the new fountain. It defies description, and all it needs are one or two gnomes.
Media-wise we now have the Daily Record’s new Thursday publication, ‘The Aberdonian’. Unfortunately it has seen fit to put on the cover of its first issue the wild claim that 2 out of 3 Aberdonians are against Trump when it comes to his wind farm position.
I don’t know why the Daily Record has bothered to come to our little area; after all we get all the news we need from the Press & Journal and its partner in impartiality, the Evening Express. I’m sure that after a few visits from ACSEF members, billionaires, millionaires and so on the Aberdonian will fall into line, and do as it’s told, just like Aberdeen Journals.
Back to the Twilight Saga. As I indicated, the real highlight of the past few days (if not the year) was the 23 April council visit to the Menie Estate. There should have been a 5.30 meeting followed by the hotly-anticipated Twilight session.
I arrived late to the 5.30 and was heartbroken: the visit was virtually finished. Our councillors must have been able to size up the issues in about 10 minutes flat. And Alas! Although Sarah Malone was at the first looking very fetching in high heels (I’m told), neither she nor anyone from Trump showed up for the twilight session, leaving councillors in the dark figuratively and literally. For some inexplicable, eerie, mysterious reason, and for the first time in residents’ memories, the parking lot lights hadn’t been turned on.
It was not going to be successful anyway if the intention was to look at lighting issues such as ‘light spill’ – they chose a night when the moon was nearly full. The werewolves would have loved it.
A giant white blob shimmered in the distance; it was hideous.
The night became spooky. A few bats flitted around, and an owl swooped over the trees past the full moon. The tentative start time of 9pm was greatly delayed by the Blackdog meeting concerning wind turbines which the councillors were at. It was now nearly 10pm.
You could have been forgiven for thinking vampires and werewolves would emerge, but all I saw was a few zombies, some ghouls and a witch or two, but not the one we were waiting for. No sign of Sarah; no sign of security. A giant white blob shimmered in the distance; it was hideous. I’d thought it was a ghost or daemon, but it was just the temporary marquee. Horrible.
Apparently some oil company or other will be hosting a event in this luxurious structure this very weekend! Expect celebrities in our area soon – maybe even politicians! The paparazzi will be out in force no doubt.
While I was by then quite scared, most of the councillors were in great spirits, having driven to the estate to stand around in a cold, windy, dark parking lot waiting for non-existent Trump people to appear. I know they were in great spirits because one of them said ‘This is *!(£%%~%*!! amusing, isn’t it?’’ and another ‘what a f*^&!!~%%!!! joke!’. And no sign of any Twilight actors, either.
Some unkind observers suggested the Trump people did this no-show deliberately to stall any planning decisions – but they’d never stoop to unfair tactics, I’m sure of it. It could have been a bit of completely uncharacteristic incompetence which made them look arrogant, disorganised and disdainful of local councillors, but surely not.
However, I have emailed Mrs Bates (copy George Sorial) and I’m sure she’ll write back with an explanation any moment. I only hope it wasn’t some serious accident like a broken high-heel or chipped nail polish that kept our former beauty queen from her appointment with the councillors.
I’m sure a strategic genius like Donald Trump has never made a bad decision in his life. Undoubtedly any bad decisions would have been someone else’s fault, kind of like the situation with the wee spot of financial trouble he has in Atlantic City. And with that, it is time for some definitions.
Bad Judgment Call: (mod Eng. compound phrase) – to make a decision or take an action with negative consequences.
Pity poor Euan Masterson, who was being charged with a count or two of threatening / abusive behaviour to his Ellon neighbours. Perhaps he didn’t get a very strategic legal advisor after his arrest. Some lawyers would recommend to their clients acting in an apologetic and contrite fashion. But this is what Euan did next.
Masterson decided the best thing to do was call a policeman a ‘paedophile’ the day after his arrest. Later, he decided to swear and lunge at a security guard in prison.
When it was time for his trial, he refused to leave his cell, then shouted religious abuse at a court clerk, and acted aggressively to the sheriff. It is safe to say Masterson made a few bad judgement calls. If there was any doubt that he’d get a custodial sentence, there’s no doubt now.
Further examples of bad judgment calls can be found many places, but thankfully not at the World’s Greatest Golf Course. Everything is done with the utmost taste and to the letter of the law. Whether choosing a lovely shade of gold duvet and beautiful decor for the reasonably priced (£295/night) bed and breakfast or designing a splendid concrete fountain with lions and cupids, decisions are well considered.
It is hard to believe, all things considered, that Sarah Malone had never designed a residential golf sports complex before now.
Deciding to go against the agreed plan and erect giant earth bunds and build a parking lot other than was specified could be construed either as bad judgment calls or as slaps in the face to residents, councillors and the planning process. I am sure however that there is a carefully managed strategic plan the Trump group adhere to in all things, and they don’t go in for egotistical, aggressive toys-out-of-pram reactionary hysterical arbitrary behaviour.
just a happy opportunity to stand around in the cold, wind and darkness, and enjoy a spot of leisure time together
Deciding not to show up for an important meeting with a dozen councillors who have power over your plans is probably just some kind of clever strategy. Missing this meeting could have simply been a one – off, but then again, the usually omniscient security guards were nowhere to be seen either.
Perhaps the Trump organisation thought doing a no-show was a great stalling tactic to buy more time and kick the (golf) ball into the long grass. Alas, the long grass is sand-covered, turning brown, and needs to be sprayed with blue dye.
Perhaps the hope was people at this meeting would think claims against security were exaggerated; it was certainly the first time I’d been there without seeing them driving around perpetually, looking for hardened criminals.
Whatever the reason for the Trump no-show and the lights not being put on, from the councillors and press point of view, this would not have been a bad judgment call – just a happy opportunity to stand around in the cold, wind and darkness, and enjoy a spot of leisure time together. As mentioned before, were able to see bats and owls – which demonstrated that there was wildlife in the area.
No doubt the sooner Trump is granted leave to keep these lovely, gigantic lights and erect more of them (I hope he doesn’t have any erection problems), this troublesome wildlife will be pushed out – another bonus. With people running down to the clubhouse for signs of life, and milling around the parking lot in the cold, it was a very dynamic night, even if it wasn’t in the least ‘vibrant’.
It will be a real treat for ladies in evening wear to negotiate the wind, dark and weather to the temporary marquee to eat their £20 hamburgers at the upcoming event. Tally ho!
Lying or Deception by Omission (Eng phrase) to deliberately mislead by excluding relevant information.
The Press & Journal is up for a well-deserved award! The Newspaper Association believes as we all do that this is one of the greatest local newspapers.
There might have been a wee bit of something that looked like lying by omission when they didn’t tell us about the love between editor Damian Bates and his beauty queen Sarah Malone, Trump VP; after all, on one or two occasions it seemed the paper may have shown some slight favouritism towards the Trump project.
I’m sure this accidental amnesia was not in any way meant to mislead readers. Let’s support their contention for this newspaper accolade.
Lying by omission might happen if a councillor were to not make full disclosures on their register of interest. Every councillor has to list what freebies, hospitality, gifts, favours from construction companies, drinks and meals at golf course temporary clubhouses and so on that they receive, otherwise the public would not know if there were any links between councillors and for instance rich American property tycoons.
Such councillors might be influenced by the receipt of such hospitality to favour the interests of their benefactors, and clearly that would be wrong.
A bad judgment call in such a situation would be to not fully complete their register of interest, to send harsh emails to the press, or perhaps to run around meetings with a photo of themselves with a developer, bragging about their relationship. Old Susannah is happy to confirm that none of our elected councillors would be that dumb. Obviously.
Now I’m off to put my modest little painting of Union Terrace Gardens into the Aberdeen Artists Society show. This annual event is great fun, and a great showcase for local talent. Until next time – Tally ho!
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