Scottish Daily Mail 17 April 2012 (click image for full report)
George Sorial, Donald Trump’s legal counsel and spokesperson is quoted in the Daily Mail today as saying that,
“We will not allow a reckless First Minister to (sic) destroy Scotland’s tourism sector”.
I am not sure upon what authority Mr Sorial draws to claim to have any ability to do such a thing. If the Scottish Government wishes to “destroy Scotland’s tourism sector”, then it is free to do so. Last time I checked, neither Mr Sorial nor Mr Trump are UK citizens resident in Scotland and therefore have no business in “not allowing” any democratically elected government in Scotland to do what they wish to do.
The Trump Organisation has legitimate concerns over the impact of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre on its golf course development at Menie and has outlined these in a (rather confused) submission to the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee of the Scottish Parliament. No doubt the Committee will listen carefully to what he has to say next week.
But before anyone sheds a tear from poor Mr Trump, please note two points.
(1) Mr Trump claims in his submission that “If I had known about the current wind turbine proposals, I would never have built in Scotland” (pg 6 of his submission) But he knew full well that this project was in the planning stages before he bought the Menie Estate in May 2006. He described the proposal in February 2006 as a “deal killer” in discussions with Scottish Development International. Nevertheless, he went full speed ahead, knowing all the time that the offshore wind project was to subject to the same process of planning consent as his own golf course project. [NOTE Thur 19 April – this timeline not now the case – see subsequent blog post.]
(2) Contrary to what Mr Sorial is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail viz,
“Mr Sorial said there was no limit on the campaign and warned his boss was prepared to spend many millions to protect his investment – his £750 million golfing resort on the Menie Estate north of Aberdeen.”
and in his submission viz,
“In fact, my development in Scotland, despite an investment of tens of millions of pounds, is debt free” (pg 2 of submission)
the Trump Organisation acquired Menie Estate for around £6.7 million and have invested a total of £6.5 million since then (further details here).