Sep 132013

By Suzanne Kelly. 

trump106featMenie Estate resident David Milne started a petition to ask for a public inquiry into the past, present and future events and issues arising from Donald Trump’s takeover of the Estate to build ‘the world’s greatest golf course.’

As per previous coverage of the problems faced by residents and visitors to the estate, there are many questions that have remained unanswered as events have unfolded. The Scottish Government called in and approved Trump’s plans – a move which was without precedent.

The actions of the police, local and central government, and Scottish Enterprise as well as the SNH since golf course construction began have included the arrests of two journalists on the charge of ‘breaching the peace’, as shown in Anthony Baxter’s award-winning documentary, You’ve Been Trumped.

Environmental monitoring which was to be robust, was patchy at best, and now seems non-existent. Residents have been stopped by Trump private security. Surely the SNP government, keen to show the benefits of an independent Scotland, would want to honour the request of 19,000 petition signatories, and shed light on its actions if they were above board?

The petitions committee members have decided otherwise.

The brief statement now on their website reads:-

“3 September 2013: The Committee agreed to close the petition, under Rule 15.7, on the basis that all of the organisations that responded state that they have made, and continue to make, details of their involvement with the Menie Development public, and that there is little to demonstrate that another inquiry is necessary or justified.”

Astonishingly, the method used by the committee when asked to consider investigating these five institutions was to ask them if they thought an investigation was needed. The outcome was inevitable, once the decision was made to rely on the word of the organisations to be investigated.

The committee’s statement refers to ‘another inquiry’. Whilst there was a report on the planning process in 2008, a great deal has happened since then.  The statement refers to ‘another inquiry’ – there has not been any inquiry remotely like what was requested by the thousands who signed Milne’s petition.

David Milne’s letter to the Petitions Committee has been heavily redacted. Future articles will look at why Milne’s final statement was cut in this way.

What did he plan to say that the committee did not want the public to see?

Were any of the people on the committee likely to want to prevent an investigation into how Alex Salmond wined and dined Trump, and then intervened in the live planning application? Why did the police arrest two journalists on the say-so of Trump’s site manager, yet decline to even look at potential evidence caught on video of property damage and theft from the Milne property?

Reactions are still coming in from residents, campaigners and politicians; these will be aired in due course as well. But for the time being it is clear that the wish of the people to have a proper, public examination of what is now a cause celebre does not matter to central government.

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  6 Responses to “Petitions Committee Snubs 19,000+ Citizens”

  1. Thank you for continuing to provide an informative and unbiased alternative to the insulting nonsense consistently peddled by Aberdeen Journals Ltd. The methodology used by the committee to establish whether an inquiry was warranted, that is to ask those who may potentially face criticism and condemnation as a result of any inquiry to state whether an inquiry would serve any purpose, is completely consistent with my own experience in which democratically elected representatives and the bodies, often quasi – judicial, set up to investigate any perceived misconduct by such representatives appear, in my opinion, to conspire to ensure that no one is ever held to account, thereby making a mockery of our claim to be a free and open democracy. It appears that the more evident and obvious the perceived wrong – doing the less chance there is of any inquiry or action.
    I was one of the 19,000 citizens who signed the petition you refer to and whilst I fully anticipated and expected a negative response from the committee, it is so disappointing, particularly for the long – suffering residents of Menie and those of us who would like to have heard the testimony of those directly involved.

    • “Thank you for continuing to provide an informative and unbiased alternative”

      lol, I presume your tongue was firmly in your cheek when writing this?

  2. Dear Bruce

    You’ve summed the situation up perfectly.

    There are about 19,500 people out there who wanted a just and fair response to the petition request; hopefully they will get in touch with their elected representatives to express their disappointment, to reaffirm they want a public inquiry, and to express how they feel about how the Petitions Committee proceeded.

    Just to let you know – and to let those in power know – this is far from the end of the road. There is scope elsewhere in government for calling for investigations. This sadly predictable outcome is not the end of the line for me and others who are investigating what has happened, and what is still is going on.

    Watch this space.

    • There are 45,301 people still waiting for the garden they voted for to be built, that is 45.301 real people as opposed to this petition where I’ve read people urging others to sign multiple times.

      • That’s quite a concept you have come up with George. Those you agree with are “real” whilst those you disagree with are not. Such sentiments are surely guaranteed to win friends and influence people.
        Of course those who voted for the Granite Web were not repeatedly urged to do so at all. Indeed apart from the gentle persuasion, information management, incessant propaganda and scaremongering of the Scottish Government, the City Council administration, the assortment of extremely expensive unelected incestous influential quangos and self interested businessmen, not to mention our beloved, but thankfully incompetent local press, there was barely a hint of encouragement. Hardly surprising, therefore, that they could only muster the approval of around 20% of those entitled to vote. Perhaps they will have to do a little more urging next time.

  3. I am an expat’ but a keen supporter of Scottish independence. However, having watched the events in Aberdeen/Menie Estate I must say that Scotland does not appear to be fit for independence. The corruption, incompetence and parochialism of those in positions of power are almost laughable and an albatross around the neck of the Scottish people.

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