By Suzanne Kelly.
Menie 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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