Countdown to World-Class Tantrum: Toldya So Edition
Staking out Donald Trump’s Twitter feed in wait for the almighty head explosion after the rejection of his objection to an experimental windfarm within bellowing distance of his Aberdeenshire golf development has so far proven an exercise in futility and frustration. But never fear—he found other outlets for his fury:
DONALD Trump sparked renewed outrage yesterday when he compared the development of wind farms in Scotland to the Lockerbie disaster.
On Tuesday, the billionaire tycoon announced that the Trump Organisation would be turning its back on Scotland and concentrating on developing a new course on the Republic of Ireland’s Atlantic coast.
But yesterday, Trump sparked an angry backlash after renewing his attack on green energy schemes in Scotland in an interview with the Irish Times.
He told the newspaper: “Wind farms are a disaster for Scotland, like Pan Am 103. They make people sick with the continuous noise.
I’ll pause there a moment to allow time for your brain to supply the obvious riposte. Done? OK.
They’re an abomination and are only sustained with government subsidy. Scotland is in the middle of a revolution against wind farms. People don’t want them near their homes, ruining property values.”
All 259 passengers and crew on board Pan Am Flight 103 and 11 residents of Lockerbie were killed when the Boeing 747 plunged from the skies over Dumfries and Galloway on 21 December, 1988, when the plane was destroyed by a terrorist bomb.
It can only be a matter of time before some scurrilous hyperbolic blogger somewhere compares whateverthehell that thing on Trump’s head is to 9/11, and I doubt you’ll read about it here first when it happens.
In Scotland, as well as among some of the relatives of the Lockerbie victims, this newest low low among Trumpbursts has gone down about as well as you’d expect. People might be more incensed, but it’s not the first time Trump’s invoked a comparison between the Lockerbie disaster and the Scottish government’s renewable energy strategy. Back in December 2012 Trump International Golf Links placed this advert in two Scottish newspapers.
This prompted 21 complaints to the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), not least from the Scottish Green Party, which Trump greeted in his usual diplomatic manner:
The Trump Organisation responded by labelling the Green Party “a complete joke” and insisting that it had wanted the advert, which has been approved by the Committee of Advertising Practice to be much stronger.
The Trump Organisation’s executive vice-president and counsel George A. Sorial added: “The Green Party’s policies should be challenged on every front because they have done nothing to protect the deliberate mutilation of their own environment, coastline and countryside. Members of “green” groups must be embarrassed.
“Those who lost a family member or a friend in the Lockerbie tragedy must be incredibly incensed with Alex Salmond for releasing a murderous criminal.”
(To allow Trump to sidetrack me for a moment, let me just point out from my experience as a native that people in Scotland are incredibly incensed about a number of things, not least the questionable Megrahi verdict, whose background I’ve covered in depth in past Rumproast posts, but not many seem to continue to hold this against Alex Salmond in particular.)
To de-digress again, the complaints about the ad had this result in April 2013, when the ASA banned it on two counts, concluding that the gratuitous offense of the Lockerbie reference was the least of its worries:
AN advertising campaign by Donald Trump, the US property tycoon, attacking Alex Salmond’s support for wind farms, will this week be condemned as “misleading” by the UK Government’s advertising watchdog.
The Sunday Herald has learned that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) will on Wednesday publish a damning ruling on adverts that appeared in Scottish newspapers last December. The adverts linked the First Minister’s backing for wind power to the Scottish Government’s decision to free the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi.
The adverts, which ran in the Aberdeen Press and Journal and the Dundee Courier on December 14, prompted 21 complaints to the ASA, claiming it was misleading and the reference to al-Megrahi offensive.
The ASA has concluded that the claim tourism would suffer “could not be substantiated”, while the picture of California wind farms was “misleading”, it said.
On both counts Trump has broken advertising rules, and the ASA has banned the adverts from appearing again. It told Trump “not to make claims unless they could be substantiated with robust evidence and not to use misleading imagery”.
According to online reports, the ASA ruled readers were likely to find the al-Megrahi reference “distasteful” but not offensive. Hence it didn’t breach advertising standards.
And Trump’s reaction, as ever, was to dish out his own retaliatory verdict:
The ruling, the second against Trump’s anti-wind farm campaign in Scotland, has been welcomed by environmental groups and wind lobbyists. But it has prompted the Trump Organisation, which confirmed the ruling against it, to berate the ASA for being “disorganised, inefficient and wasteful”.
Well, it did take the ASA the best part of four months to declare Trump a shameless lying fraud, so the Trump Organisation may have a point.
Eyes now turn to Ireland, where Trump’s just bought his latest toy, the Doonbeg Golf Course in County Clare, which somewhat ironically managed to go bankrupt despite recently successfully opposing a neighboring major windfarm proposal:
Property tycoon Donald Trump has snapped up the five-star Doonbeg golf resort on the west coast of Ireland just months after its operators scuppered plans for a nearby windfarm.
The New York-based billionaire completed the €15 million purchase on Saturday as a judge in Scotland was about to throw out his legal bid to halt plans for an offshore windfarm near his golf resort in Aberdeenshire.
And I would say very ironically:
The luxury Doonbeg golf resort and hotel complex is spread over 400 acres along 2-and-a-half miles of Atlantic coastline but the recent extreme storms left the Greg Norman-designed championship links course with a €1 million damage bill.
Those recent extreme storms, of course, have nothing at all to do with any long-term human activities.
The sale was greeted with enthusiasm in some quarters:
Luke Charleton of administrators Ernst & Young, commented: “There was a tremendous level of interest from domestic and international investors in this property.
“It is particularly pleasing to have sold this prestigious property to The Trump Organization who have the vision and resources to take what is an internationally renowned tourism resort to its next stage.”
That next stage, if past record is any guide, being inevitable rancorous bankruptcy, closely followed by the Mother of All Flounces.
If my Irish neighbors aren’t inclined to exercise a little caution by now, I’m afraid I have to conclude hell mend them and the media that informs them.
“We’re bringing the Trump factor to Ireland, ” Donald Trump snr said last night, announcing his firm’s “major investment” in the golf resort at Doonbeg, Co Clare.
They can’t say they weren’t warned.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr.‘s already lining up the next gaggle of marks for his daddy:
An investment by the Trump family in Ireland, he said, showed Ireland’s economy was recovering. “We are value investors and the numbers have to make sense,” he said. Mr Trump jnr said his business would also consider looking at other deals in Ireland and would consider opening a casino in Ireland if that was ever possible.
In my next post, I will bravely prophesy that the following morning the Sun will rise in the east. Watch this space.