Wednesday, November 30, 2016

At Scotland golf course, Trump built a wall to block neighbors' sea view -- then sent them the bill.

You think Donald Trump is bluffing about building a wall on the Mexican border?    He has already built a wall . . . in Scotland.

Katrin Bennhold reported on the story in the New York Times on Nov. 26th.   It seems that, when Trump was building his exclusive golf course in northeast Scotland, he needed to buy up the land for the course.   Many were happy to sell to him, but some were not.   There were a few adamant hold-outs, so the fairways had to be adjusted a bit here and there.   And The Donald Did Not Like Being Thwarted.

People who loved their homes -- and especially their views of the sea -- found machinery constructing earthen berms, some as high as 15 feet, to block their seaside views.   On other properties, two rows of tall trees were planted to block views.   That's not all.

Mr. Trump sent them the bill.   In other cases, he threatened legal action.  But two can play the game.  One couple who felt Trump's wrath, now fly a Mexican flag from their hilltop house overlooking the golf course when Trump visits.

But petty retaliation was only part of the anti-Trump feeling left among many Scots.   There are also the unkept promises.   The $1.25 billion investment has shrunk, by some estimates, to $50 million.  The luxury hotel never got built, nor did the 950 time-share apartments.

Martin Ford, a local government representative, told the New York Times:  If America wants to know what is coming, it should study what happened here. . . . I have just seen him do in America, on a grander scale, precisely what he did here. He suckered the people and he suckered the politicians until he got what he wanted, and then he went back on pretty much everything he promised.”

A former first minister (Scotland's head of government), Alex Salmond, even suggested that Trump's business impact on Scotland might actually be negative.   His xenophobic comments have so appalled the country that it is unlikely any presitigious golf tournaments will be held at Trump courses anytime soon.  Mr. Salmond concluded:  "The problem, and it’s a big problem, is that Donald Trump didn’t do what he promised.”

Feelings toward Trump are not likely to soften.   The new First Minister, succeeding Mr. Salmond, is a woman, Nicola Sturgeon, who bitterly opposed Brexit and has been scathing in her comments about Donald Trump.


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