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During last Summer I found myself working up in Edinburgh training some journalists from The  Times (of London).

On the trip I met up with the Scottish photographer Alicia Bruce. She’s been covering Donald Trump’s  infamous creation of a golf course by destroying a precious sand dune system in Scotland. In particular how families were holding out against the possibility of being forced to sell their homes whilst coping with the destruction  of a landscape so beloved to them (John has written about this on duckrabbit here).

I was pretty disturbed by the instances of harassment the families were facing for holding out against Trump, and how photographers and filmmakers trying to tell their story were also getting harassed.  I invited Alicia to share her experiences with duckrabbit’s readers.

Alicia Bruce:

I’ve been working on an ongoing photographic project at Menie, the site of the controversial Trump International Golf Links Scotland since 2010.  In spite of working in a respectful manner throughout I have been constantly followed and harassed by Trump’s security force and stopped on numerous occasions by Grampian Police whilst visiting or photographing the residents on their own properties.  I have been assertive but co-operative throughout my time in Menie.   I include a case study of a recent incident in this article to highlight the ongoing problems faced by image-makers in this area.

 

Project overview:

(C) Alicia Bruce

‘Susan Munro: Leyton Cottage’ from series ‘Menie: a portrait of a North East community in conflict’

Photo © Alicia Bruce 2010 All Rights Reserved

 ‘Menie: a portrait of a North East community in conflict’          

I grew up in Aberdeen in the North East of Scotland.  I spent my childhood summers playing on that beach.  This area of outstanding natural beauty and SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) on Scotland’s North East coast has become a site of conflict. Local’s have been harassed, bullied and belittled. The Trump organisation declared plans to re-name Menie ‘The Great Dunes of Scotland’ and the resident’s homes were under threat of Compulsory Purchase Order. It concerned me that our heritage could be sold off so easily and short sightedly.

My focus began with the people of Menie and the place, not the Trump development. I wanted to present a humane story of people and place.

The residents have chosen not to be complacent but to stand up for our heritage.  These extraordinary people appeared as reluctant celebrities who had been thrust into the media spotlight in a PR spin to gain attention for the commerce which was about to encroach the area.  I was especially struck by the way local farmer Michael Forbes had been portrayed in the media as ‘living in a slum’. It was a story of the Scottish David vs. The American Goliath with more than a hint of Local Hero.  If compulsory purchase order had gone ahead in Menie no home in Scotland would be safe. It’s a human rights issue.

(C) Alicia Bruce

 

Susan Munro shows me a photo the day film-maker Anthony Baxter was arrested on her doorstep.

Photo © Alicia Bruce 2010 All Rights Reserved

Filmmaker Anthony Baxter was making his documentary ‘You’ve Been Trumped’ at the same time I made this work.  We very much worked in parallel.  It allowed me more artistic freedom as it shifted the responsibility I had felt to tell the whole story.  I could operate differently and target a new audience.  I was aware the local press wouldn’t print a positive article about the residents but what if it was an art exhibition?  My guess was correct.  When the images were revealed in early 2011 we gained positive press not only in culture sections of newspapers but also in news sections.  This was the first time the residents of Menie had positive press in this way.  Within a week of the exhibition opening at Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen, Trump International released a statement saying they were no longer pursuing compulsory purchase orders.  In February 2011 the portraits of Mike, Sheila & Molly Forbes were acquired by the National Galleries of Scotland securing their place more firmly in our National and cultural imagination.

(C) Alicia Bruce

Incident: Sunday 3 June 2012

My boyfriend and I had planned to visit Menie resident Susan Munro for a coffee earlier that afternoon but re-arranged to arrive at 6.  Susan wasn’t home yet so I photographed outside her home.  On the way back to the car, still on Susan and John’s land, I stopped to photograph the view from end of her garden.  This view, once a dynamic dune system was becoming Trump International Golf Links Scotland’s car park with the temporary clubhouse in sight.

It should also be noted that the scene I was about to photograph can be seen from the window of the Munro’s.  I was not trespassing (would I have been anyway if I crossed the line?  There’s a right to roam in Scotland in most circumstances).

(C) Alicia Bruce

 

A scraped back sand dune at the end of Munro Family’s garden at Leyton Cottage to make way for Trump’s car park and temporary club house, from series ‘Please don’t pretend to care about my country’s scenery in order to make yourself even richer’

Photo © Alicia Bruce 2012 All Rights Reserved

I lined up my shot then came face to face with an angry aggressive security guard.  Trump security again! He blocked my view and started screaming:

“Who the hell are you? What do you want?  I’m going to seize your camera”

“I’ve called for back-up.  My boss is coming.  We’ll seize that camera”

“You’re in trouble. Just you wait.”

I politely said that I was in a friend’s garden and didn’t need permission.

He repeated that I had no right to be there or photograph & that he would seize my camera & that back up was coming.

 

(C) Alicia Bruce

 

 

View from Leyton Cottage blocked by Trump’s angry security gaurd.  3 June 2012

Photo © Alicia Bruce 2012

All Rights Reserved

(C) Alicia Bruce

 

 

Angry security guard now on The Munro Family’s private property at Leyton Cottage blocking our route out & screaming “I’m going to smash your camera”  3 June 2012

Please note the bank of sand topped with trees to block Susan’s property from the view of the golfers.  Evidence of intimidation.

Photo © Alicia Bruce 2012

All Rights Reserved

My partner & I decided to go and walked a few footsteps back to our car.   He then drove a few yards from the construction site onto Susan’s private road blocking our way out.  The only way we could have got out at this point would have been to reverse the entire way up the steep private road which is damaged due to the construction going on.   We asked him to move back and he refused again stating that he would ‘’seize & smash the cameras’’

(C) Alicia Bruce

Close up: Angry security guard now on The Munro Family’s private property at Leyton Cottage blocking our route out & screaming “I’m going to smash your camera”  3 June 2012

Photo © Alicia Bruce 2012 All Rights Reserved

 

This was when I started to get frightened, as he was so aggressive and angry.  I’m usually quite assertive, I know my rights and have the ability to take the emotion out of these situations reminding myself that these guys are just doing their job.  Unfortunately we couldn’t calm this guy down.  I was worried for my safety but also for the safety of my cameras. I asked my boyfriend to call the police.

The man continued to shout and was about to make a launch for me.  My partner stepped in and told him not to go near me pointing out we had every right to be on Susan & John’s land.   He again said I had no right to take photographs and that back up was coming.   I always carry a print out of photographers rights.

 

(C) Alicia Bruce

 

The security guard’s boss talks him into reversing back onto Trump property allowing us to drive away.  We drive to Hermit Point the home of David & Moira Milne to wait for Grampian Police

Leyton Cottage 3 June 2012, Photo © Alicia Bruce 2012, All Rights Reserved

 

His boss, a man in a golf buggy with a young boy came from the direction of the golf course.  He asked what was going on.  The security guard barked that he’d “caught these people taking pictures” “we are going to seize their cameras”

I responded that I was frightened; I was on a friend’s property and wanted to call the Police.  The boss, who had an Irish accent, said everyone needed to calm down & that we could sort this ourselves.  The security guy kept shouting and I asked my partner for his phone.  I asked the boss to get the security guy to let us out.  He obliged.

I called 999 and waited for the Police at Hermit Point, the home of David & Moira Milne.  I chose to go there as I was also worried how the police may respond in light of what happened with filmmaker Anthony Baxter in the same garden in 2010.  Anthony & Richard Phiney were arrested, held for four hours and had DNA samples taken.  They hadn’t broken the law. I was worried a similar thing may happen to Andrew and I.

(C) Alicia Bruce

 

‘Moira and David Milne: Hermit Point’

From series ‘Menie: a portrait of a North East community in conflict’, Photo © Alicia Bruce 2010.  All Rights Reserved

 

Two Grampian Police officers arrived at Hermit Point.  They were re-assuring but continually asked  “Are you sure you want to press charges?  This man could lose his job.”  “This could go to court.” “There could be a lot of press.” I decided to press charges, as I was frightened, my human rights and my rights as a photographer had been infringed.  I pointed out my concerns about this happening to the residents of Menie who just want to be left in peace.  What if this man treated 88 year old Molly Forbes in this way?

Menie resident David Milne says:

 “The day that Alicia and Andrew were threatened by the security at Menie will stay with me for a long time. It was a new security company the last one having just been fired by the Trump Organisation and to see just how shaken and scared Alicia was shocked me. She had always dealt with these situations politely but assertively, this was clearly an extreme incident.  I had seen this type of behaviour so often, not so much against myself as I think they knew better but against other visitors to the site that I become immune to it, it no longer bothered me and to see others so clearly shaken and scared made me realise just how much effect it had on innocent people who had never been exposed to this level of aggression or ignorance and I felt responsible for my friends being exposed to this, I still do

 

The bullying and harassment needs to stop.  That same weekend:

  • Fin Munro was stopped and questioned by the same security guard on Friday 1 June
  • The new councillor for the Formartine area was stopped, questioned, harassed and asked for ID by the same security guard on Sunday 3 June

Outcome:

The security guard in question has been given a ‘formal Police Warning’ and no longer works for the Trump organisation.

Since this incident I have been followed at least ten times by Trump security.  I have always been on public land or on the of the Menie residents land whilst being followed.   I ‘ve been chased along the beach and was most recently followed on Sunday 14 October.

A letter from Grampian Police.  8 June 2012

Paul Holleran, National Organiser for NUJ Scotland states

“Anyone watching the documentary ‘You’ve Been Trumped’ can’t fail to be shocked at the way these two journalists were treated. The NUJ exists to defend journalists and stand up for journalism and this is a classic case on our own doorstep. We will not stand idly by and accept threats and intimidation as ways of silencing our members, who are simply doing their job in holding people in power to account.”

Links:

 Menie: a portrait of a North East Community in conflict

http://www.aliciabruce.co.uk/projects/menie-a-portrait-of-a-north-east-community-in-conflict/

Menie: Before Trump International Golf Links Scotland

http://www.aliciabruce.co.uk/projects/menie-posts/

Scottish Parliament Exhibition

http://www.aliciabruce.co.uk/news/the-scottish-parliament-exhibition/

The Times

‘Aberdeen Gothic: opponents of Trump pitch in with fork’ Mike Wade

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/scotland/article2875915.ece

National Galleries of Scotland

http://www.nationalgalleries.org/collection/artists-a-z/B/26386/artist_name/Alicia%20Bruce/record_id/22534

STV News

Feature about ‘Menie: a portrait of a North East community in conflict’

 

BBC ‘In Pictures’ “Two Photographers Focus on Menie

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-18832738

Axis: Artist of the Month

http://www.axisweb.org/atSelection.aspx?SELECTIONID=170303

David Milne’s Website:

http://www.menielinks.com/

Artist David McCue has included a comprehensive list of links:

http://www.davidmccue.co.uk/

I’m a photographer not a terrorist

http://photographernotaterrorist.org/bust-card/

 

duckrabbit is a production company formed by radio producer/journalist Benjamin Chesterton and photographer David White. We specialize in digital storytelling.

More articles from duckrabbit

  • http://www.john.macpherson.btinternet.co.uk/about.html John Macpherson

    Thanks Alicia. Adds the personal details I couldn’t. Keep up the good work.

    The irony last week as Hurricane Sandy hit the USA: Michael Winerip writing in the NYT:

    “In beach communities, dunes are held holy, and for the 30 years we’ve lived here, through numerous hurricanes and northeasters, the dune had held back the sea.

    “To the dune,” we toasted.

    Minutes later, four feet of ocean water came rushing down our street and two of those feet streamed into our first floor.”

    Meanwhile in Scotland, American money destroys the very same thing wilfully, and Trump’s folly comes crashing down on the residents, and destroys the heritage of the people of Scotland.

    Shameful.

  • http://facebook robert maguire

    Mr. Salmond and others made a decision that has endangered an area crucial to our enviornment. I believe we should press for an enquiry into the Holyrood involvment. The residents are being put through mental torture,this mess needs sorting out quickly. What steps are being taken by Holyrood, if any, to rectify this mess?

    • http://www.duckrabbit.info/members/duckrabbit/ duckrabbit

      Totally agree. Salmond sold the concerns of his constituents down the swanny. It stinks.

  • antoniojaen

    What can you expect from someone like Trump?

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/comment/ticket/trump-election-meltdown-twitter-obama-march-washington-054449245–election.html

    It is insane how wealth is distributed and how those who hold it don’t give a shit about anything else but their money.

    Good luck to the fighters.

    PS: check this out: http://www.youvebeentrumped.com/youvebeentrumped.com/THE_MOVIE.html

  • http://www.tonyhayesimages.com tonemeister

    Thanks for this Duck. Great work Alicia. Completely agree with Robert Maquire’s comment.

    • http://www.duckrabbit.info/members/duckrabbit/ duckrabbit

      Thank you Tony for always taking the time.

  • Bruce

    Trump is half-Scots. His mum grew up near Stornoway. Yes he is American by birth. Being half-Scots does not grant him any special privileges.

    I suggest that every photographer carry a small GoPro type camera with them or any small device like a Sony Action camera that you can turn on immediately and record the harassment you experience.

    If it happens enough times and makes it social media circles with large numbers of view, it will help press the case for Trump to change his plans or create a stronger public response to his goals.

    His is well known in the U.S. for his antics and degrading the environment as he improves his properties. See the link below for how he changed a golf course near Washington DC.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/12/AR2010081206471.html

    Trump’s organization removed hundred of trees lining the Potomac River. The Potomac is a major river in the Chesapeake Bay
    watershed and protecting it from pollutants and soil run-off is a priority to that region.

  • http://www.aberdeenvoice.com Suzanne Kelly

    Thank you Alicia for this important and indicting blog. Hard to believe this is going on in 21st Century Scotland, so thanks for going on record. Very glad you stuck to your guns and presesd charges. All the best to you and the Menie residents (bar the toupeed American one)

  • Paul Cochrane

    Keep up the good fight guys!

  • Duncan

    As a native Highlander can I point out the title of this piece is dishonest and offensive. The Highland’s have been known for centuries as that part of Scotland that lies to the North of the Great Glen, this part of Aberdeen shire is neither. The Highlands and the native’s there of have a reputation of being amongst the most hospitable and friendly people in the UK at least. You are guilty of lazy journalism and demonstrating appalling ignorance. It seems you suffer from the same metropolitan disease that sees so many of your type create instant hostility in Scotland wherever you appear. The Edinburgh festival is full of it. Which is why I would sooner eat ground glass than be in Edinburgh at that time. August seems to be a great time to vacate Scotland as the grouse moors echo to the yahs and yahoos that prance around patronising everything in sight.

    The security individual you encountered is quiet clearly of African origin, not Highland, unless I have been away to long. And has as much to do with the Highlands as you do.

    With regard to Menie, the development has the full backing of the local trades and business organisations, who regard it as an essential economic stimulus in an otherwise sterile area. The destruction you wax the lyrical about is just guff. The golf course sits beautifully amongst the dunes which have not been flattened or destroyed. I have walked the course and it is stunning in design and concept. The business it will attract will be essential in these dark economic times. Scotland needs business and commercial investment, it does not need more grouse moors and lodges which are used once every August to house rich patronising metropolitan twits, who have disfigured Scotland for far to long.

    No doubt the local issues have not been well handled, however some locals have not handled them selves very well, notably the farmer you portray standing with his pitchfork. His place is a tip there is no other way to describe it. This development has been used as a political football to try and undermine Alex Salmond and the SNP, as are all major Scottish developments. Pylons, bridges,wind farms, on and on it goes. What you metropolitan types need to get your heads around is this, the days of London telling Scotland what to do and think are gone forever. Sort your own mess out.

    • http://www.duckrabbit.info/members/duckrabbit/ duckrabbit

      Hi Duncan,

      I think you’ll find the title is tongue in cheek.

      Not surprised that escaped you though.

      And by the way is ‘I’m going to smash your camera’ a usual Highland welcome? If not then the as well as being tongue in cheek the title is accurate.

      Benjamin

    • http://www.john.macpherson.btinternet.co.uk/about.html John Macpherson

      As a ‘proper’ highlander born north of your ‘Mason/Dixon’ line may I respond. Politely though.

      Given that you preface your vitriolic piece with some claim to be a highlander, with “a reputation of being amongst the most hospitable and friendly people in the UK” – I find the tone and content of your piece slightly at odds with that claim. “Twits” “yahs and yahoos” are not exactly terms designed to endear you to anyone.

      But I take the greatest exception to the racist comment at the heart of your piece: “The security individual you encountered is quiet clearly of African origin, not Highland, unless I have been away to long. And has as much to do with the Highlands as you do.”

      I went to school with first and second generation African and Indian children, was proud to call them friends, worked with them and count many amongst my friends. But according to you, black people can’t be real Scots? Utter nonsense.

      The narrow-minded attitude evident in your response is emphatically NOT representative of modern Scotland and Scottish people, any more than your claim that “the development has the full backing of the local trades and business organisations, who regard it as an essential economic stimulus in an otherwise sterile area.”

      Most modern Scots I know don’t care about people’s origins, what matters most is what they do when they get here. And in that respect Trump has failed miserably.

      Long ago I realised that there are two types of character when it come to Scottish politics – patriots and nationalists. Whats the difference?

      Patriots love their country. Nationalists hate everyone else’s country.

      You sir, on the evidence offered, appear to fall into the latter camp.

      Shame on you.

  • Jo Blake

    Seriously Duncan, if you believe for one minute that this golf course will bring in big revenue for Aberdeenshire then you are deluded. The backing coming from whom exactly?
    I doubt there is anywhere in Aberdeen where filthy rich American tourists will spend their money. I presume that you are among the minority in Aberdeen who can afford the huge fees to play a round or like everyone else who has waxed lyrical about this destruction, got your hands on a freeby PR ticket to play for an afternoon. An Irish company are building the course and buildings, the majority of the few staff actually working there are self employed part timers. Sarah gushes about how booked up it is but the clubhouse is now only open part time too and if you contact them to book you are pretty much given any time slot you want. If you like the few who are driven by the pound sign regardless of the costs believe that this course is anything more than a real estate scam that Trump will dump and sell off for big profits then you are blinkered beyond reason.

  • Half Islander, Half Highlander

    Perhaps someone will have pointed a few of these things out to Duncan before I get to – 1, the headline has presumably been added to the overall story by the website, as duckrabbit has written an introduction to the story. So you may want to decide whether your insults about being metropolitan yahs are directed at duckrabbit or Alicia, who you seem to have failed to notice begins by saying “I grew up in Aberdeen in the North East of Scotland.”.

    I also have issue with the following comment: “The security individual you encountered is quiet clearly of African origin, not Highland, unless I have been away to long. And has as much to do with the Highlands as you do.” I suppose it depends on how far back you wish to trace his origin, but given you have based your judgement on a photo of him, it reeks of racism. Do you really believe that every person who “has as much to do with the Highlands” as you do (yes, you, Duncan – not Alicia or indeed duckrabbit) has white skin?? I am ashamed to be connected to you in any way (which, if you have happened to miss my tag name here, is through the nature of one of my parents having been born & bred in the Highlands).

    Finally (much as I would love to go on but frankly I can’t be bothered wasting my time) – “The golf course sits beautifully amongst the dunes which have not been flattened or destroyed.” ????!!! You clearly haven’t seen “You’ve Been Trumped”. Your statement here is completely and utterly incorrect.

    PS I would be delighted if you were to go and learn the correct usage of the apostrophe.

    • http://www.duckrabbit.info/members/duckrabbit/ duckrabbit

      Yep,

      the headline is all duckrabbit’s doing.

      Nothing to do with Alicia.

      Fortunately I have spent enough time in the Highlands and Islands to know that Duncan is not indicative of the lovely, warm, generous people you are likely to encounter in Scotland. And I say that having made radio documentaries for Radio 4 in Glen Coe (2), Applecross, Mull, Iona, and being very lucky to have attended the mother of all parties on the Isle of Gigha the day they paid off their loan.

  • Samantha

    Ermmm… folks! It’s quite obvious that some like to attention seek by “trolling”. A favourite pass time of those who lacked parental love perhaps. This can make some bitter and twisted in their world view. “Trolls” enjoy the perceived cover of darkness (internet) in which to have a bilious attack. “The bile makes it better..” There.. there.. Some really enjoy chucking kittens in wheely bins as well..

    Oh.. and what everyone else said too, in reply to that particular outburst. Put the toothbrush moustache straight in the wheely bin, trolly person. Not kitty.

    Well done everyone, for helping the residents. You are heros… as the people of the land are.

    • http://www.john.macpherson.btinternet.co.uk/about.html John Macpherson

      Of course its trolling. But even trolls need reminding they are a minority.

      And the lovely irony, given his racist remark, is that Duncan…….

      Duncan \d(u)-ncan, dun-can\ as a boy’s name is pronounced DUN-kin. It is of Scottish and Gaelic origin, and the meaning of Duncan is “dark warrior; brown fighter”.

      Dark warrior eh! Scotland has produced many of them, and not all have been white.

  • http://energy4all.co.uk Clibe

    What a shame, this lovely man wants to make the area a better place and some spoil sports want to keep it like it is, we need more golf facillities to cope with projected demand from China, we need airports, blocks of flats, a theme park with pretend fibreglass sand dunes that have built in slides and light up at night – much nicer then real dunes that don’t, and an outlet for ‘mementoes of Scotland’ imported from a factory in Calcutta – well it’s a good use of all those kids plucked off the street. Not surprised the man is fed up, as for that wind farm, who wants to look at windmills when a nuke plant could be standing there instead…. ;)

  • Duncan

    oooh the little darlings are all upset. If I was in Nigeria and someone pointed out that I did not look like a native Nigerian would they also be racist? The over used bigot, racist, tag so beloved by the metropolitan luvvies is hilarious. I am really shocked you never managed a homophobic in there also. (Checking for stray apostrophes) I stand by my point about your stupid and ignorant conflation of the Highlands with Aberdeenshire.
    So we can trot out glib little patronising articles like this, but when someone takes umbrage at the ignorance and stereotype therein he is trolling. How easily you slip in to the very character you invent and seek to dismiss. If no one can understand that the simple physical existence of a golf course that attracts people to the region and the forthcoming hotel and housing cannot some how generate local demand for goods and service and commerce, then they must live on Uranus. Aaah but then the contractors are Irish. Excuse me are you a racist? I suppose the hotel staff will be Australian or even New Zelanders when the hotel opens, oops racist racist, caught again. I bet there are one or two Polish there also. Oooh what am I like? How dare Trump dilute our ethnicity like this, and him bred from pure blond Viking Hebridean stock to? The golf course is an actual fact it exists, despite the politicising of it and the windbaggery and bawbaggery that has given it great publicity, it is a success. The dunes are still there and they have been complimented by the golf course. As has Gleneagles, Turnberry, Loch Lomond, St Andrews, Muirfield, Dornoch, Nairn and all the other Scottish towns and villages that thrive on Golf. The courses do not damage the environment or the wild life they protect it and nurture it. Scotland is open for business not preserved in some Victorian time warp for the twits, yahs and yahoos Get over your selves. ”””””””””””’

    • http://www.duckrabbit.info/members/duckrabbit/ duckrabbit

      ‘If I was in Nigeria and someone pointed out that I did not look like a native Nigerian would they also be racist?’

      No. But you didn’t do that Duncan. You said

      ‘The security individual you encountered is quiet (sic) clearly of African origin, not Highland, unless I have been away to long. And has as much to do with the Highlands as you do.’

      Which quite clearly is a racist way of thinking (you can’t be from the Highlands and be black).

  • http://reciprocity-failure.blogspot.com Stan B.

    Duncan, you don’t want the English butting into Scottish affairs- well done!

    Then why do you curtsy and swoon at the sight of an overstuffed, blowhard American with a bad comb over and a spray on tan who is the absolute living embodiment of every negative virtue you yourself would describe as… “metropolitan?”

    • Duncan

      Scotland gets to choose who makes our government, our government then chooses who they allow to invest here, if we don’t like it we vote the government out, not difficult is it.

      “overstuffed, blowhard American with a bad comb over and a spray on tan who is the absolute living embodiment of every negative virtue you yourself would describe as… “metropolitan?”

      No you said that not me stop making stuff up. I could not care less if he is a transvestite, if he wants to lavish his money in Scotland bring it on.

      Or will we have a committee of the Royal Society for People with Beards decide who shall be allowed to invest in our country. Opps there I go again a hirsuteophobic bigot racist!

      Will the same rigour be applied to London who,have just signed a big arms order deal with Saudi, and who sell arms to some of the vilest regimes on earth and who condone torture? Get over your selves.

      • http://reciprocity-failure.blogspot.com Stan B.

        You can parse and obfuscate to your favor all you like, it obviously suites you. But for someone who is so pro Scottish, you certainly don’t care what the locals think- or how they’re affected. As long as whoever brings the money in. That’s how people, especially governments, sell out their own countries, their own citizens, their own souls.

  • Ian Platt

    Duncan, do you think you are making any points about the development which have not been made before, and in better English language ? Do you have anything original to say? The primary content of the article concerned the manners of one of Mr Trump’s employees, which appeared to be non-existent and whose attitude appeared to be intimidatory. Your grasp of relevance seems to equate with your use of grammar. It is difficult for you to be taken seriously. That is sad because you had typed a lot of letters. Perhaps you should try again or find another subject.

  • http://www.john.macpherson.btinternet.co.uk/about.html John Macpherson

    Here’s the simple bottom line:

    Do we want a Scotland thats in the image Duncan deems acceptable (A) or a country that more closely resembles (B) ?

    A

    1) Individual human rights are trampled in the pursuit of inwards investment by wealthy individuals with a demonstrably poor track record of investment.
    2) Private developers have security provided by the Police at citizens expense
    3) The Police infringe the legal rights of individuals requiring access for journalistic and other purposes
    4) The democratic vote against the development is overthrown in collusion between the local authority, government and developer.
    5) SSSI environmental designation given because of the NEED to protect the landscape for posterity is overturned to suit a developer’s needs. (Ignoring fact that sustainable environmental tourism is the fastest growing sector of world tourism)
    6) Compulsory Purchase Orders are pursued to forcibly remove individuals from their homes.
    7) Elderly people are deprived of water in what is nothing other than an intimidatory action designed to forcibly remove them.
    8) Eligibility for ‘Scottish’ status is dependent on skin colour, and place of birth.
    9) A country where people standing up for their rights and their homes are publicly defamed and criminalised.

    or B

    1) Individual human rights are respected. Period.
    2) Private developers are monitored by the Police to protect citizens.
    3) The Police uphold the legal rights of individuals requiring access for journalistic and other purposes.
    4) The democratic vote against damaging development is upheld in collaboration between the local authority, government against the developer.
    5) SSSI environmental designation given because of the NEED to protect the landscape for posterity is observed to suit the nation’s needs. (Observing the fact that sustainable environmental tourism is the fastest growing sector of world tourism)
    6) Compulsory Purchase Orders are never used to forcibly remove individuals from their homes.
    7) Elderly people are provided with the appropriate care and conditions in which to live safely and securely.
    8) Eligibility for ‘Scottish’ status is dependent on residing in Scotland and contributing to the nation’s wealth and development.
    9) A country where people standing up for their rights and their homes are publicly supported and assisted by the state.

    Hmm. This is a hard choice isn’t it.

  • Samantha

    No, Duncan, not upset. Just laughing at you. Which we shouldn’t do, I know.

  • Samantha
  • Melanie McKellar

    Very Interesting article from Alicia which again highlights the daily plight the remaining residents, their guests and indeed any member of the public visiting the area have to encounter, simply because they live on the edge of a golf course or perhaps want to see for themselves just what it’s all about.
    It is very easy to get sidetracked by ONE personal view, surrounding the rights and wrongs of referring to Aberdeenshire as being the Highlands, rather than looking at your/our/public RIGHTS and in particular the situation that Alicia, Fin Munro and the new Formartine councillor found themselves in.
    It is interesting that within 5 days of the incident Alicia received a letter from Grampian Police stating that the perpetrator had received a Formal Police Warning. I wonder if he was arrested under Section 14 of the Criminal Procedures Act (1995), his DNA and fingerprints taken and if he accepted the warning or appealed against it? This is what happened to Anthony Baxter and Richard Phinney and they didn’t make any threats…
    What about the new councillor, what does he/she think about how visitors or residents to the area are being treated, particularly as he/she has been subjected to the security checks which appear to be more synonymous with North Korea as opposed to a health & safety check on a construction site at Menie Estate, Aberdeenshire.
    Just exactly what was it that they were afraid Alicia, Fin and the councillor would see that weekend…..and why are they hellbent in following every visitor to the area around if it is not for the sake of harassment!
    For the casual visitor this harassment will be nothing more than an inconvenience but for people living close to the area it must be very stressful, your every movement monitored, every guest checked…..someone is giving the orders!
    The golf course has been built on the SSSI Dune system, stabilising the dunes that border the course and therefore losing the Scientific Interest from that block. Nature may well intervene and the sand formation may re-appear a little further along the coast or perhaps reclaim what has been lost…..golfers will come and use the course and pay their green fees …..the question should now be whether building a Hotel and all the proposed properties are going to be a benefit to all and to what is now a fragile area, or whether a Development ‘at any cost’ should now be stopped in its tracks and the ethics properly scrutinised through a public enquiry.