You’ve Been Trumped film draws attention to Donald Trump’s treatment of Scottish residents
The Guardian ran an interesting piece today about Anthony Baxter’s You’ve Been Trumped documentary. The film follows the fight of local residents in the village of Balmedie, eight miles north of Aberdeen against Trump’s proposed development.
As much as I’ve always considered Trump to be a flamboyant but largely harmless businessman, the footage in the You’ve Been Trumped trailer shows a rude and obnoxious side to the public figure. As the trailer tells it, Trump has secured planning approval to build a luxury golf resort in the area. And despite the planning application being turned down initially, the Scottish Executive seem to have made some deft manouvers to get the deal done for Trump.
However, Balmedie is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The development seems to be having an adverse economic impact, despite Trump’s claims that the area will be even more beautiful when he’s finished with it. More importantly, Paul Cheshire of the London School of Economics and Political Science dismisses Trumps claims about bringing jobs to the local economy as “wildly optimistic”:
He points out that constructing a golf course is not like building houses because very few specialist companies are capable of doing it. As it turns out, an Irish company is managing the construction of the resort, using mainly its own labour.
Initially, I was concerned that this was the video diary of some cantankerous locals who’d veto any kind of local development. But the more you look into it, the more it looks like Trump has decided to put his latest enterprise in the quaint Scottish countryside, despite what the residents think. And if they’ve got a problem with it, he’ll find a way to squash them. Certainly, The Guardian article and the You’ve Been Trumped trailer put across the point that local government and even the law enforcement seem to have been suitably dazzled by Trump’s celebrity that they’ve rolled over for the promise of big investment. Even if none of that investment will directly benefit the local community.
What’s particularly interesting here is that it may draw attention to the devolved Assembly and whether it was serving the needs of the public by servicing Donald Trump’s planning application. Had the decision been in the hands of central government, would they have been more likely to stand up to Trump and less likely to be impressed by the dollars flowing their way?
The Guardian article itself is well worth a read, and I suspect Anthony Baxter’s documentary will provide a lot more detail on what’s been happening up in Aberdeen.