Feb 142014

Voice’s Old Susannah takes a look over the past week’s events in the ‘Deen and beyond. By Suzanne Kelly.


Alas, the vibes don’t seem so vibrant and the dynamics seem less dynamic this week in Aberdeen city and shire, for Donald Trump is leaving us for Ireland, apparently.

Instead of security guards, bunds and dyed-green turf, we’re going to be fobbed off with renewable energy in the form of offshore wind farms near Blackdog. Much as a crucifix is said to frighten vampires, the mere thought of the wind turbines have sent Trump packing. What would his Scottish granny have said?

The once beautiful concrete fountain lovingly installed at Menie House (or is that MacLeod House now?) is just a forlorn reminder of all those Great Gatsbyesque events held there.

This was the Trump Effect, which brought in so many international tourists (well at least a few dozen people more, who went to stay at the Marcliffe) and billions of pounds and gave meaningful employment to thousands (or at least half a dozen waiting staff in the luxurious clubhouse restaurant and some self-employed caddies).

We can only hope that Damian Bates will be able to keep his bride Sarah Malone, Trump’s Scottish VP, in the style to which she’s accustomed until she lands her next post as real estate project manager/golf course supremo. Rumours that other golf courses up and down the country are trying to poach Malone-Bates for her expertise remain unconfirmed.

I for one assume Trump will fly her in to Ireland to manage the new course. Old Susannah will report on the Irish celebrations in due course.

When Turnip’s Scottish court bid to stop the wind farms failed, only the cruellest snide cynic would have found any poetic justice or karma in the sad decision; how can the same Scottish Government that got rid of two SSSIs for the course possibly go against him now?  The thing is that the Donald dared to dream, and dream big. Dreaming even featured in the court case (more on that later). Therefore, without further ado, here are some dream-related definitions.

Dream Big: (Modern American phrase) to be ambitious (if not megalomaniacal, deluded, overblown)

All you need to succeed in this life is a big dream. Of course, it’s more likely to come true if your family has a big, big bank account. Here is a delightful little excerpt as to Trump’s Dream Big philosophy:-

 “One of Trump’s motto [sic] – something that he’s lived by all his life – is to think big and dream big. The fact is that if you think small, you’ll only achieve small. But if you think big, dream big, you will achieve big things in life, and Trump’s whole life – including his rise to fame, the success that he’s had, and the things that he’s achieved – provides plenty of proof about that!

“People will probably ridicule you for being too ambitious, or being a dreamer when you think big. But if you’re not going to think big, you’re never going to get there. Dreaming big provides us with motivation to actually get there. Once we dream big, we start looking for ways and finding means to actually achieve our goal and get to our destination.

“For anyone reading this, I highly recommend picking up Donald Trump’s book ‘Think Big: Make It Happen in Business and Life’ (Amazon link here) as it makes for a really fascinating read.

“The book has been co-authored by Bill Zanker – a guy who started The Learning Annex with $5,000 and grew it into a $5 million a year company. That was before he met Donald Trump. Thirty months later, after Zanker learned to Think BIG himself, The Learning Annex is generating over $100 million a year in sales—and still growing.

“Amazon.com asks Trump is there ever was a time when he didn’t think big enough. He replies: ‘I don’t think so. I always had big plans, even when I was very young. I would build skyscrapers with my building blocks’.”

What can one say? First of all though, no sniggering at the name ‘Bill Zanker’ – I wonder if his friends call him ‘Willie’? But you see, it’s very easy – you too can rise to the heights of Manhattan’s real estate elite if you dream big dreams. Simples. I don’t understand the assertion in the above text about anyone ridiculing someone for being too ambitious; it’s hard for me to see what that has to do with humble Mr Trump.

But isn’t it absolutely amazing that the young Donald used to make skyscrapers out of building blocks? Perhaps if the rest of us had such an imagination in childhood, we would have wound up owning skyscrapers as well.

So there you have it. Great men have great big dreams that come true. Some people just have little dreams. The inhabitants of Leyton Cottage on the Trump estate dream of not having security guards spying on them night and day. They also dream of Trump’s giant earth bunds coming down so they can see the sea and coast again.

The residents of Hermit’s Point on the Trump estate dream of no longer looking out their windows on dead and dying trees planted by Trump to block his home, and Michael Forbes in his farm on the Trump estate may dream of being allowed to take his boat to the shore again to go salmon fishing. Who knows? Maybe someday little dreams will come true, too.

Cheese Reverie: (modern Scottish Legal term) – the condition of being so engrossed by food at a dinner, you can’t remember if anything of national importance or anything sensational was said.

The court case must have been very interesting – Donald versus Scotland over wind farms. It certainly seems that most of Scottish policy decisions are made over dinners here and in New York. But even when listening to the First Minister talking about the country’s future energy plans, sometimes your food is just more interesting.

The Scotsman reported on how a blogger was more fixated on his cheddar than on Alex Salmond:-

“… remarks allegedly made by Mr Salmond at the lunch in the sponsor’s tent at the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart in 2012…  were recalled in an affidavit by Kiel Christianson, a golf blogger, which claimed: ‘I heard  my colleague ask about whether the wind farm off the coast, near the Trump golf course would ever be built. I recall [Mr Salmond] saying ‘Absolutely’ and then the bit about not having ‘my energy policy’ dictated by Mr Trump.

Lord Doherty found… ‘Mr Christianson was focused on the food in front of him, he was, he says, in a ‘cheese reverie.’ He did not make any note of the relevant matters at the time.” – Scotsman 12 February 2014, Mike Wade

Perhaps if faced with the chance to talk to Alex Salmond about golf and energy policy, staring at the Stilton and going into a reverie might be a pretty good strategy at that.

Nightmare: (Eng. noun) An unpleasant and/or frightening dream.

All is lost; Donald will be making Ireland’s dreams come true, and all we’ll be left with is a nightmare. You can practically picture the beautiful, subtle clocks on the Trump course melting like Salvador Dali watches in a surrealist dream.  All those millions of pounds we’ve been enjoying will be going to the lucky Emerald Isle.

The Press & Journal reports:-

“The US businessman vowed to turn prestigious Doonbeg course in County Clare into an “unparalleled” attraction after a court setback in his effort to block a north-east offshore wind development”  http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/3573209

It’s already an existing course; perhaps it will be within Sarah Malone’s skills base to keep it running without parts of it falling into the sea.

As for Scotland, we’ll soon be inundated with unemployed if Donald does pull up stakes, as well as losing all the benefits you’ve been enjoying due to the ‘Trump Effect’ (c. Stewart Spence). Thankfully one of our councilors is going to beg Donald to stay here, too:-

“Last night Aberdeenshire Council leader Jim Gifford said he hoped both the Menie and Ireland resorts could be developed in ‘parallel'” (IBID)

Let’s hope so indeed. I’m sure our Irish cousins will welcome unmarked security patrols demanding to see identification at all hours of the day and night. I’m certain they’ll love paying £200 or so for a few holes of golf. Perhaps some sand could be imported, and the Great Dunes of Menie could be replicated?

As to jobs creation, I imagine that Scottish labourers will be imported to work on the Irish course, in a fair reversal of what largely seems to have happened here. No doubt the Garda will happily give Clan Trump an escort to and from the airport every time they visit just as Police Scotland gave this international VIP when he came to Aberdeen.

No doubt Irish President Michael Higgins is already promising not to build any wind farms. I guess it’s true – Scotland is closed for business. It will be interesting watching the Trump operation at work in Ireland.

But I wonder – is there a newspaper in County Clare where the editor’s wife is a beauty queen? There just might be one job loss when Trump leaves Scotland after all.

Next week:  reaction from a mourning nation as Trump departs Menie. A condolences book will be started, and councilors will be on hand.

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  20 Responses to “Old Susannah’s Journal No. 144 – Dream On”

  1. Would you even have an opinion on the Menie golf course if it wasn’t a rich well known person behind it? I respect how he’s turned some ugly scrubland into a World class course, I don’t play golf but fair play to the guy.

    Now a real crime is away to happen with the wind turbines being plonked on our coastline, imagine if Mr Trump wanted to build them, the local activists would be up in arms as would this publication, because he opposes it they say not a peep, that tells me all I need to know about their agendas, hypocrites going on about the environment when it comes to a golf course being built there but nothing said about this.

    I honestly despair at the mentality of some people, they’d rather cut of their nose to spite their own face.

    3 homes were slightly affected by the Trump course, we never heard the end of it from the local lefties, the WHOLE village of Blackdog opposes the windfarms and will be directly affected by it, not a peep.

    I’m not even going to start on the cost of these heavily subsidised eyesores, I’m not even going to mention the REAL damage they will do to the environment and marine life, I’m just pointing out how ugly some people and their personal agendas look in this whole affair.

    • While the AV welcomes all debate from both sides of the fence on any given subject. I feel I must point out 2 innacuracies in your comment.

      Firstly the whole of Blackdog village was not against the windfarm as such. They were against the building of the electicity substation on the grounds it presented a health hazard because of possible asbestos disturbance. The Aberdeenshire Council agreed with them and turned down the application to build the substation purely on these grounds. Nothing to do with whether or not the windfarms would have spoiled the Blackdog villagers view.

      Secondly “3 homes were slightly affected by the Trump Course.” Clearly you have NOT spoken to the families concerned otherwise you would have found out just how badly they have been affected by Trump and his cohorts..

      I also cannot understand how you can still show support for a man who in an interview with The Irish Times said that the development of windfarms was a disaster for Scotland like Lockerbie.However perhaps on this point I am willing to concede you might have not known about this as it was not reported in the Trumpophile local rags{what a surprise} yet when the article appeared in the Scotsman it caused anger among it’s readers who took to the web to condemn Trump for uttering what most people would describe as a crass and insensitive remark. I would point out that other
      stories about Trump have appeared in the Scotsman, the Herald and Sunday Herald and on the Internet which the “P&J” and the “EE” seemingly were unwilling to publish.

      • Bob,

        I can assure you the Blackdog village is united in its opposition to not only the sub station but the entire project, who in their right mind would want these damaging things scarring the coastline.

        I like many enjoy watching the marine life that comes near our coastline here, do you know the effect these uneconomic things have on the likes of Dolphins and Whales?

        I’m not sure about your fixation for the local press, I never buy them nor read them so can’t comment.

        Can I ask you Bob, if Mr Trump had never came to our area do you believe the stance towards the windfarms would be different from our local activists?

      • hello there Bill Stephen. Glad you enjoy watching the marine life that comes near our coastline. Kind of how I feel about Nigg Bay and the Torry coast. Cheerio

      • “The trouble with wind farms is that they have a very large spatial footprint for a piddling little bit of electricity. You would need 8oo turbines to produce the output of a coal-fired power station.”

        Sir Martin Holgate, Chief Scientist at the Department of the Environment of the British Government.

    • Bill,

      I meant to give a prime example in my previous comment of Trump’s hypocrisy and the local papers determination to protect Trump’s reputation at all costs.A few years ago the local papers were full of The Donald’s support for expansion at Aberdeen Airport yet failed to report that Trump was a vociferous opponent of the building of a second runway at Palm Beach International Airport on the grounds that the noise and pollution from the planes taking off from this new runway would affect his nearby Mar-a-lago estate and members- only beach club. Similar tactics to that which he has employed against windfarms which he claims shall spoil the view from his Menie development despite it being said that the turbines shall be close to one and a half miles offshore and not ON our coastline as you suggest.
      The myriad of offshore supply boats and other vessels anchored at any one time in the bay pose a far more visible intrusion in my opinion.

      • Bob,

        With the greatest of respect you didn’t answer my question.

    • Bill
      The WHOLE of blackdog is not against the wind turbines. i have friends who live in blackdog that would benefit from work for these turbines.
      If you think so much of marine life at blackdog why don’t you make yourself useful and go dig up all the oil thats polluting the area for the last 20 years.

      • Ps – some years ago someone wanted to give me info on the pollution and the politics behind the scenes. They abruptly changed their minds. I’d love to hear from anyone (in confidence if they wish) about the serious pollution issues there

      • Paul,

        What work?

        Once these eyesores are up and running not one local job will be created.

        I can’t believe that people really want these things scarring our coastline and damaging the marine life, the reason we don’t hear any opposition to them is down to one thing, Mr Trump doesn’t want them, I just find that a bizarre stance to take, the two things are not inclusive.

  2. I read on another forum someone saying he wouldn’t be surprised if Mr Trump was actually behind the wind farm, I’m not into conspiracy theories but would not be surprised at all, what chance of something like this happening here without it being hugely opposed, he would have played a blinder if true.

  3. Dearie me Suzanne, have you no compassion in your body? The poor man has invested millions (so we are told) and created thousands of jobs (or was it dozens?) and his little venture might cost him dear in the long term. Such a shame.

    Never mind, if the expansion of Aberdeen Harbour goes ahead we’ll have “real” jobs, with excellent wages that will actually benefit the area in real terms. Will kinda spoil my leisurely strolls along The Coastal Path but, hey ho, rather see folk in work contributing to a new, independent Scotland and the big windmills in The Bay will help keep the lights on to.

  4. Ron,

    Unfortunately she opposes the harbour expansion as well, rare newt or something, I forget.

    So no let up in the anti everything (but the really damaging, uneconomic turbines and brewdog) mantra.

  5. Thank you Suzanne for yet another entertaining reminder of how planning laws, local and national democracy, protected status of our most valuable and unique natural environment and the human rights of our fellow citizens were sacrificed for absolutely nothing. An under – used golf course, soon to be re-named Atlantis, will be all that will remain to remind us of the folly of the celebrity – struck politicians who bought the illusion and the fool’s gold offered by Trump.

    That Trump played at building skyscrapers during his childhood suggests that Messr’s Milne and Spence might have played similar games with houses and hotels during their formative years. I wouldn’t wish, however, to hazard a guess at what Willie Zanker, or even Willie Stephens for that matter, might have played with.

    • I’m guessing Willie Stephens was playing wth himself everytime he sees trumps name on here.

      • perhaps he was – a quick game of solitaire or similar – good observation, one which crossed my mind

      • Same old names week after week rounding on anyone with an opposing view, of course If I attempted to abuse others it would never be published, quite rightly so, seems the same rules don’t apply in reverse.

        Not one argument disputing me saying if it wasn’t for Trump opposition of the wind farm would be widespread, instead silly childish digs,it says a lot about this publication, Aberdeen voice indeed.

  6. I have no idea is the answer to your question Bill. Perhaps some would some wouldn’t. You had better ASK the people who you class as “local activists”. Are you speaking about all the people in the Aberdeen and NE. area. who are NOW against Trump because if you are then I think you shall have a helluva lot of people to ask. I personally know a number of people who were pro Trump at the beginning but have completely changed their mind not because of Trump’s stance against windfarms but because of his business ethics and his treatment of the Menie families. My fixation with the local press as you put it is purely down to the fact I used to work for them when they were still highly respected publications. It saddens me greatly to see what the “P& J” in particular has become-A mouthpiece for Trump and other big business concerns in the N.E. The AV tries to give the other side of the story.If you don’t like what people write fair enough-that’s your choice but whether it is your intention or not you come across as someone who sees those who are anti -Trump as some sort of left wing low life who are against Trump simply because he is rich. His financial situation is immaterial. It’s his actions and steamrolling tactics since he came to the NE which upset folk.

  7. I’m more than happy to dispute what you have to say Bill but you declined to engage with me last time, apparently because there was insufficient space between paragrahs for you, but I’ll try again.

    To begin with, your posts have been abusive, particularly toward the author, from the beginning, so you deserve everything you get and more. You have made a whole range of non evidence based assertions and allegations based, in my opinion, on a combination of ignorance, paranoia and inability to identify or understand the relevant issues.

    Your so called “argument” that there would be widespread opposition to the wind farm, were it not for the Trump opposition, is simply another of these wild assertions which include no logical basis with which to engage in rational debate. Your insistence on relying on a clearly prejudiced and warped instinct rather than any form of informed or intellegent opinion is symptomatic of your apparently incurable cerebral malaise. In short Bill, you’re just not very bright.

    Should you feel up to providing any logical, rational or evidence – based argument, at any time, please do not hesitate to share it with me and I will be pleased to help you out.

  8. Interesting that the man both withdrew and applied for a golf course in the shire in the week prior to the wind farm decision.

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