Environmental campaigners have expressed “serious concerns” that US property tycoon Donald Trump is set to fund a campaign in the 3 May 2012 Scottish council elections.

In an interview in Holyrood magazine, the chair of protest group Communities Against Turbines Scotland descibes plans to use substantial funding from the American billionaire to create a “massive campaign” during the local elections against council candidates who support wind power developments.

Trump Organisation executive vice-president George Sorial told the Sunday Times in February that Mr Trump was prepared to spend up to £10m on his campaign against wind power.  The campaign was launched after plans were put forward to construct 11 wind turbines offshore from the controversial £750m golf resort being built by the Trump Organisation at Menie in Aberdeenshire.  Mr Trump has shut down construction at the site in protest at the development.

Anti-wind power activists say they plan to make life uncomfortable for politicians, planners and wind power developers, in a national campaign that could see what Holyrood magazine dubbed “an unprecedented single-issue intervention in Scotland’s local elections.”

Even a fraction of the £10m pledged by Mr Trump would dwarf official party spending on 3 May local elections in Scotland.  The Scottish Green party has referred the matter to the Electoral Commission for investigation.

The Green party believes that the intervention from Mr Trump will backfire and alienate many people, but they have also expressed anger at what they see as a blatant overseas attempt to manipulate the Scottish election for a sectional interest, a large part of which is outside the country.

Leader of the Greens Patrick Harvie MSP commented:

“It’s bad enough that Mr Trump has thrown a hissy fit about the chance that he might be able to see turbines from his golf resort, and has threatened to abuse the planning and legal systems to undermine Scotland’s energy industry.  But the possibility that a foreign billionaire will seek to use his wealth to influence the local elections is outrageous.  This is not America, and our political process is not for sale at any price.”


Comments  

 
#
MajorBloodnok
2012-03-30 10:06

Brilliant. About time that someone (and I’m glad it’s the Greens) stands up to Trump.
 
 
#
J Wil
2012-03-30 10:08

We have almost got rid of one person who has had too much control over UK politics (Murdoch). We don’t need need any more external influences raising their heads. Trump’s plans must be nipped in the bud. What will Trump’s next move be ? Buying newspapers?
 
 
#
X_Sticks
2012-03-30 11:02

“This is not America, and our political process is not for sale at any price.”

Ah, so it was just our local planning process that was for sale.

I’ve said from the outset that Trump is not someone we want to entertain, he is a nasty piece of work. Perhaps Eck should have listened to the Trump objectors rather than be mesmerised by the fat wallet. The fact that Joke McConnell was equally mesmerised should have been a warning.
 
 
#
Briggs
2012-03-30 12:06

……….and yet according to all sources Trump detests Salmond.

Are you implying that Trump in some way ‘bought’ Salmond?

I think you ought to reconsider your wording?
 
 
#
X_Sticks
2012-03-30 12:35

Not Salmond particularly, but it certainly looked like the local planning committee was, at the very least, totally undermined by Edinburgh. Otherwise Trump would not have been given his planning permission.
 
 
#
clootie
2012-03-31 09:04

X_Sticks

The planning group was split 4 for, 4 against – the chair cast a vote against. The full council group supported the issue by a vast majority. The local support is probably greater than 90% for the development. This does not mean support for Trump outwith a golf course.

Supporting investment and jobs should not be confused with wider influence.
 
 
#
Embradon
2012-03-31 12:24

X stick – remember that the resort development was hugely popular in the N-e. It was passed by the planning committee and was only held up by the renegade casting vote on the “local infrastructure committee”.

This was NOT, as it is often portrayed, pushed through against local opinion.
It had to be called in because the local authority had no mechanism, under their standing orders, to recall the matter to either the full council or the planning committee.

Just because Trump is involved does not make the golf resort development a bad idea.
 
 
#
Early Ball
2012-03-31 12:38

Spot on.

Development is very popular up here.
 

 
#
Teri
2012-03-31 19:10

Trump himself said that he discussed his golf resort way back when there was a LibLab coalition in power at Holyrood and that Jack McConnell and party members assured him he would get planning permission and they also gave an assurance that there would be no wind turbines built anywhere near it. I think you need to look back to the Labour administration when talking about this one, X_Sticks
 
 
#
X_Sticks
2012-04-02 10:44

I am told there is “great support” for this development in the North-East. Strangely no-one, that is to say NOT ONE peson that I know in my large circle of friends in the North-East where I have lived for over 30 years are in support of this development. I can only assume that those that keep telling me how much support there is for this are getting their information from the Press & Journal, the local ACSEF publication. They would have us believe there is TOTAL support for all the dodgy projects taking place in the North East. It seems all that matters here nowadays is profit. Never mind the heritage that can never be restored. Fools.
 

 
#
John Lyons
2012-03-30 12:45

I just think it’s funny that he’s so opposed to WIND power when his name is synonomous with Farting.
 
 
#
Teri
2012-03-31 19:11

Aye, John and a lot of hot air comes out of his mouth when he speaks, too.
 

 
#
Islegard
2012-03-30 12:51

I don’t think people should dismiss this. An egotisitical, vindictive tycoon with unlimited funds can do a huge amount of damage.
 
 
#
X_Sticks
2012-03-30 13:04

As far as I am concerned, Islegard, he already has, and was aided and abetted by Scottish politicians.
 

 
#
J Wil
2012-03-30 20:23

Trump’s anti-wind power campaign seems like a contradiction.
 
 
#
alasdairmac
2012-03-30 20:24

There is always going to be a balance between conservation and development, and no matter which way the decision goes it will be good for some and bad for others. Just remember that in comparison to most countries, ours is underdeveloped and under populated and so we need to make room for development when the opportunities arise if we want to grow our economy and prosper. This particular development was one that the government wasn’t going to win either way.

Never mind, just close your eyes and conjure up an image of Trump tied spreadeagled to the blades of a giant wind turbine which starts to turn. It’s getting faster and faster, and faster still…….
 
 
#
Fungus
2012-03-31 00:45

Quoting alasdairmac:

There is always going to be a balance between conservation and development, and no matter which way the decision goes it will be good for some and bad for others.



Very true but remember that Trump was offered land removed from the Menie Dunes SSSI to build his golf course but refused to change his plans. When Aberdeen council planning department voted against the development as it stood, Alex Salmond had a meeting with Trump in a hotel the day before the planning application went before ministers then lo and behold the planning department’s decision was overturned and we lost a site which was deemed important enough to be given protected status to allow well off people to hit balls with sticks.

This is not development, it is vandalism of the worst sort and that decision was bad for everyone apart from Trump.

 
 
#
Independista
2012-03-31 18:46

Fungus. Whatever the rights or wrongs of this particular development, your anti golf prejudice is showing in your post above. Scots invented the game of golf. In fact it would be true to say that golf is our national game since about the 15th century, and still played by thousands of ordinary men and women in Scotland. Remember the home of golf –St Andrews is still a municipal course.
 
 
#
cynicalHighlander
2012-03-31 20:43

It has nothing to do about golf as that is the catalyst that Trump has used to get land for real estate development which is where he makes mega bucks. We have over 660 golf courses in Scotland equating to one for less than 7,900 residents so this development is about Trump and his own self inflated ego for pure financial greed.

The moving dunes which he has stabilised as in his ‘superior’ mind knows better than nature will change the natural cycle on which we all depend for our well being no matter how insignificant it might appear in the wider scope of things.
 

 
#
pmcrek
2012-03-31 12:24

People starving to death in the streets while mass extinction events and disasters smash the biosphere and all because you personally dont like the look of wind turbines…
 
 
#
Legerwood
2012-03-31 14:11

Apparently the electoral commission has no powers to investigate or stop Trump doing this.

news.stv.tv/…/…
 
 
#
J Wil
2012-03-31 15:07

“Apparently the electoral commission has no powers to investigate or stop Trump doing this.”

They must monitor Trump’s activities closely to ensure he does not step over the line of legality. Especially because he may confuse US law with UK law.
 
 
#
Legerwood
2012-03-31 21:01

You would think so but remember we are talking about the Electoral Commission which often finds it difficult to monitor our elections let alone the activities of people wantring to fund non-political groups to obtain a political end.

The article on STV had this quote:

Quote:

However, a spokeswoman for the commission said the complaint “falls outwith powers to regulate non-party campaigning at local government elections in Scotland.”

 

 
#
Angus
2012-04-01 00:27

Trumps, father and son, the spoilt brats & bullys of anything that gets in their way.
There is no such thing as global warming, meanwhile Donnie scoots about in his private 747 and jnr goes game hunting shooting everything that moves, using his best pals, his favourite guns, bet he has pet names for them!?!?
 
 
#
hiorta
2012-04-02 15:25

Has the insidious foreign interference over Lockerbie taught us nothing about such self-interest manipulation?
 

You must be logged-in in order to post a comment.