A very disturbing television programme

One of the most fundamentally disturbing programmes on the totalitarian reality of Scotland is becoming aired tonight, 21st October, at 10.00pm on BBC 2.

It is required viewing

You’ve been Trumped is a ninety minute documentary focusing on the residents living within the Menie estate in Aberdeenshire where Donald Trump has built the golf courses at the heart of what is planned to be a huge resort on the unique Site of Special Scientific Interest that was the dune system at Balmedie.

Quite apart from what it showed of the destructive reality of the building of the golf courses, it is the conduct of our own police force [Grampian Police] and the failure of our own public health authorities to protect the vulnerable that is of real and serious concern.

We think that words like ‘Stalinism’, ‘totalitarianism’ and ‘fascism’ always apply to ‘abroad’, to elsewhere – but never to here. We are offended that words like this might be applied to conditions in our own country.

What country ‘abroad’ or ‘elsewhere’ ever thought any differently from us as this sort of things happened in their place? It is only in retrospect that the accurate adjectives find room to be applied.

It is this blinkeredness that lets disease take root.

Just watch this programme on iplayer and ask yourself how content you are that what you see in the treatment of long standing residents is taking place in your country?

These are people who have been publicly maligned as profiteers and slum dwellers – but here you may see them for yourself and make up your own mind.

You will also see some treatment meted out to the mild mannered and legally compliant filmmakers which may give pause for thought.

This is not an issue of progress and change obstructed by troglodyte teuchters. This is about humanity, about core values, about place – and about nothing less than terrorism.

Put yourself in the position of the residents living in their homes during the events the documentary records.

What would you have felt? What would you have done? Where are you now? Is this OK by you?

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49 Responses to A very disturbing television programme

  1. Disturbing indeed. A little corner of Scotland transported to the realm of malign despotism we normally associate with China, not the United Kingdom. A chilling glance over the horizon to a Brave New Scotland; a police state where greed, corruption and cronyism ride roughshod over the vulnerable.

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  2. I cannot believe what this psychotic billionaire has done to this site, and its inhabitants.
    What a gross human being Mr Trump is, and how disgusting of the Scottish Parliament& Grampian Police Force to side with this meglomaniac against the people and countryside it should have been protecting. I was heart broken for them all, and for the landscape.

    This deluded man really should be stopped. Shame on you Alex Salmond

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  3. I totally agree with the other commentors – I watched this programme with increasing disbelief. I work for a local authority, which is highly protective of SSSIs within its boundaries, and that was the first thing that horrified me. How can a government ultimately make that status a nonsense by allowing this “development”? The blatant intimidation of the residents, the insults to their homes and their way of life – who DOES this man think he is? I couldn’t decide whether or not to laugh when the owner of the former lifeboat house was told that part of his home had been built on the Trump’s land. As the Trump has only very recently purchased this land, and the house was built in the 1950s, this was clearly a nonsense, too! The Trump openly said that he wanted this house gone, it was ugly and would spoil the views from his hotel (if it’s ever built). He openly stated that another resident lived in a “slum”, like a pig, in filth, and who wants to look at that? I say, who wants to look at his horrible hotel, apartments and golf course? The cutting off of the water supply was outrageous, and that contractor was the smuggest I’ve ever seen. Whatever answer he gave the filmmaker made it clearer and clearer that the supply would remain off as long as they could possibly leave it, in order to cause as much discomfort as possible. Anywhere else, huge effort would be made to reinstate it within 24 hours. The Trump is clearly OFF his trump – he seems to think he might possibly be God. He’s certainly no benefactor. It makes me feel very sad that money is probably the only reason this “project” was ever allowed. I might not be Scottish, but I love Scotland, my husband is Scottish, and this man should never have been allowed to touch it.

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  4. The salmon gallantly fights it’s way up stream, overcoming all obsticals to reach it’s spawning ground.
    But our big fish has been hooked by a crook in a combover in the final stages of the race.
    Once again history will reveal the true devastation caused by such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

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  5. What a display of petulance! A sandcastle built to hide a house and deliberate vandalism; destroying a electricity pole and creating an ugly moonscape apparently out of spite. Can we not collectively tell this ridiculous poltroon to take his stupid golf course and go back to whichever hole it was he crawled out of. Scotland has more golf courses than you can shake a stick at, we do not need another.

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  6. I cannot believe any professional member of the Scottish Parliament fell for this man and his utter disgusting money! Who the hell does he think he is after all he came into this world like us and certainly will go out like us. GREED should be his name you are a despicable person and do not belong with good human beings!

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  7. Trump knows how to ‘buy’ politicians, and one of many questions is whether Scotland benefits or suffers from these politicians being in positions of trust – even leadership?
    The planning convenor of Aberdeen County Council was voted out of office for doing his job – and that brought back memories of Tony Blair trying to have Gwyneth Dunwoody removed from chair of the Westminster Transport Committee for being too diligent in questioning how the privatised railways were being managed. Such charming people, Alex and Tony.

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  8. Alex Salmond should be asked whether this would be the type of Scotland independence would bring? One where local democracy is overshadowed by the national parliament, and where massive wealth dominates over the rights & livelihoods of ordinary people.

    I really cannot believe what I saw on last night’s television programme, especially the appalling behaviour of Trump’s henchmen and the Grampian Police.

    Welcome to Alex the Braveheart and the new Scotland under the SNP!

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  9. John, what a desperate, pathetic slur. Is this a vain attempt to extricate the SNP from the inevitable embarrassment and serious fall-out that will land on Salmond’s government now?

    Labour was in power for a matter of weeks when Trump first arrived to talk about this investment. Jack McConnell instigated nothing; rather he simply met with Trump – as he would with anyone who spoke of investing. All political leaders would offer that general courtesy.

    Primary responsibility for what has happened at the Menie Estate lies firmly with Trump and his organisation. But since you want to look for political scapegoats, you need look no further than words of the tenacious and decent fisherman Michael Forbes of Menie / Balmedie who said: “I’ve voted SNP for 35 years.. I’ll never vote for them again”.

    In fact, I have several friends who are members of the SNP who are now so incensed that they are giving up their membership. Seriously. Another member said of this debacle in Salmond’s own constituency to “get it sorted or NATO debate will seem like a Sunday picnic come spring conference”.

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  10. If your broadband isn’t fast enough for iplayer then set your recorder for 12:20am tonight – the programme’s repeated. Don’t miss it.

    Robert Wakeham draws an interesting parallel above. Alex Salmond & Tony Blair. Smooth talkers in sharp suits. Both looking to leave a legacy? They could be twins.

    Hopefully Alex Salmond won’t take us to war.

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  11. Mairi said “John, what a desperate, pathetic slur. Is this a vain attempt to extricate the SNP from the inevitable embarrassment and serious fall-out that will land on Salmond’s government now?”

    I have been involved with Tripping up Trump since there was talk of compulsory purchase of land when I put my name forward to be part of a mass ownership of land project. I have not just jumped into this debate, and I will stick to what I said, “this project was started by Jack McConnell”.

    “Mr Trump first mooted his plans for the resort, at Menie, as far back as 2006, when Labour politician Lord McConnell was Scottish first minister and Mr Salmond was SNP leader. Mr Salmond’s party went on to win the May 2007 Scottish election.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-17826561

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  12. Mairi said “In fact, I have several friends who are members of the SNP who are now so incensed that they are giving up their membership. Seriously. Another member said of this debacle in Salmond’s own constituency to “get it sorted or NATO debate will seem like a Sunday picnic come spring conference”.”
    Out of interest,with their views, which of the two mainstream groups are they going to join if any. Labour or the Condems.

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  13. http://aberdeenvoice.com/tag/jack-mcconnell/

    In April 2006, First Minister Jack McConnell invited Donald Trump Sr to become a GlobalScot. Donald Trump accepted the personal invitation and Mr McConnell stated:

    “Donald has shown me a real passion for Scotland. He is a globally recognised figure who can help us to promote Scotland. I am delighted that he has taken up my offer. This is a good bit of business for all concerned.”

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  14. Scotland might be a small country, but I’d like to think that it’s not heading for the status of ‘banana republic’.
    The behaviour of some MSPs, some Aberdeen County Councillors, some of the Grampian Police, and some of the Robert Gordon University academics, suggest that honesty and integrity count for less than loads of money dangling in front of their noses.
    And those with keen eyesight will have noticed that – in the film clip of Trump entering the honorary degree ceremony – he’s followed by Sir Ian Wood, who very nearly got the city of Aberdeen to spend a fortune on converting Union Terrace Gardens into a monument to those very same values.
    But that’s another story.

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      • “Hall Hamilton Harper: Trump’s reticence to progress the work at Menie may not be totally unrelated to my understanding that the association which governs golf (the PGA?) has recently changed the rules relating to major tournaments e.g. the Open, the Ryder Cup etc and has now decreed that they can only be played on courses which are 100% ecologically sound. This means that Trump’s course would be automatically disqualified as it’s built on a site of special scientific interest.”

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  15. Statement regarding Anthony Baxter’s documentary You’ve Been Trumped
    Date: 22.10.2012Last updated: 22.10.2012 at 16.09

    Category: Corporate

    The following statement has been issued by the BBC.

    You’ve Been Trumped is an award-winning film that has been screened at festivals around the world. During the making of the film, Donald Trump declined the opportunity to take part.

    We are confident that Donald Trump was offered sufficient right to reply in accordance with BBC Editorial Guidelines. Donald Trump chose not to participate but the film-maker took care to reflect his views on a number of different occasions in the film.

    BBC Press Office
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/statements/trump-doc.html

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  16. Firstly, credit to Newsroom for not making this a party political issue (unlike some posters) but focusing instead on the harassment and bullying of vulnerable citizens. I regularly disagree with Newsie’s take on many things, but will stand up and say when she has it absolutely spot on.

    The political ‘shame’ is spread across all parties – except perhaps the Greens, who called it as they saw it from the start, and pointed out that irrespective of the SSSI status of the site such a development could never be considered ‘sustainable’ – the principle which is supposed to underpin all development.

    Moreover, this shame is not confined to one class of politician (such as MSPs) but was mirrored in the actions of more local politicians and other ‘people of standing’ – including, most outrageously, the police.

    I knew something of the story before watching it, but was neverthless shocked.

    ‘Stalinism’, ‘totalitarianism’ and ‘fascism’ – absolutely right. Whatever we vote for in 2014, let’s pledge to never allow this sort of thing to happen in a future Scotland.

    In the meantime, some heads need to start rolling…….

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    • The chair of the Aberdeen County Infrastructure Services committee – Martin Ford – was ‘terminated with extreme prejudice’ (to hijack a transatlantic expression but skip the final act) by his fellow councillors for casting the deciding vote against the Trump development.
      His was deposed by fellow Lib Dems, and though I’m wary of introducing party political comment, this really did put a whole new meaning on the definition of ‘liberal’ and ‘democrat’. It’s good to see he’s now back on the council as a Green.

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  17. One of the most deeply disturbing programmes I have seen for a long time – probably because this is on our doorstep not some remote area of the world – yes I know we should all care wherever, but what is so shocking it’s happening in our country, and condoned bullying by our politicians and our police.

    I do hope that some of the wind factories’ glorious brigadeof fans watch this and realize that they, too, are bullying like Trump’s brigade.

    The SNP have permanently lost a vote now – was havering as I don’t like Salmond’s blethers on certain subjects but this man did nothing to support his constituents’ basic rights?

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  18. Just as an aside, for those people who (on another string) cast doubts on Andy Wightman’s right to comment on rural land ownership issues – and implied that he wasn’t even Scottish – his appearance in the film might put a few misguided notions to rest.

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  19. Of all that prolonged display of cringing, creeping, corruption and cowardice from the Scottish political, security and academic establishment in this eye-opening story, the worst for me was seeing those uniformed thugs from Grampian Police assault the journalists making the documentary. Snivelling arsewipes for the Trump Organisation.

    Welcome to our bright SNP future!

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  20. Newsroom: have a look at a program called “John Harris its an illusion”
    I find your comment about the police funny Do you really think we still have the old type policeman/woman they were cancelled years ago we have corporate officers now enforcing statute law/rules
    Our police and courts are corporations now (D&B Business solutions)in-fact every part of your life is ruled by corporate rules and regs

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  21. This opinion by the Scottish Government planning committee seems prophetic given recent goings on?

    242. Given a) the controversy already surrounding the proposal, b) the fact the First Minister had never acted in this way on any development in his public life before, c) the fact that the First Minister had no detailed knowledge of the planning process, d) the First Minister maintains he understood he was constrained in what he could discuss with the developer, it seems astonishing to accept that the First Minister did not perceive there might be a risk in his actions, that his actions might be open to question and that as a consequence the decision might be open to legal action. The Committee believes that, far from taking a precautionary approach, the First Minister was cavalier in his actions and displayed, at best, exceptionally poor judgement and a worrying lack of awareness about the consequence of his actions.

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  22. I haven’t seen this film, but my memory is that the people of Aberdeenshire were all in favour of this development, except for a few, shall we say, greenies.
    When I was an apprentice in Glasgow an old tradesman told me that I was not to believe anything I heard and only half of what I saw.
    If he was still around in this era of digital video, he would be reprimanding us that we should not believe anything we see either.

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    • Really? Do you contend that Trump isn’t a poltroon, a tipper truck wasn’t driven over the Forbes’ well, a digger didn’t bring down the electricity pole beside the Milnes’ house, criminal damage wasn’t done to the Forbes’ property? It was all carefully created in CGI to fool gullible folk like me?

      Next you’ll be telling me the irish site manager washing his hands of the cut-off water supply problem was actually an actor hired to mislead viewers, and the Trump Organisation was really working tirelessly to reconnect the Forbes’ water supply and are a supreme benevolent force in Balmenie.

      Your opinion would be more compelling if you’d bothered to watch the programme, rather than just dismiss it from a position of ignorance. You’ve been Trumped is available to view here until 1am on the 30th October, no doubt it will appear on Youtube at some point afterwards.

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    • MM: You can catch this film on BBC iplayer, and I’d be interested in your comments if you did watch it.
      Your story of the old tradesman is a familiar one – but an extreme example is the holocaust deniers.

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      • I’m afraid I don’t spend very much time watching TV, especially the BBC.
        My first point was that my recollection was that the people of Aberdeenshire wanted this development.

        My other point was to remind folk that what is shown on the BBC is not necessarily what is happening. We’ve had WTC 7, Libya, Syria and Jimmy Saville. This week we have them being accused of turning down the microphone of Nicola Sturgeon so that Brewer could talk over her. Recently we had Craig Murray given the same treatment by Gavin Estler in an interview about Julian Assange. They don’t report news, they make and spread propaganda and use any available means to curtail free speech.

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        • MM If you comment on a film that you can’t be bothered to watch then your opinion of it is worthless.
          If the people of Aberdeenshire are prepared to see people dispossessed so that someone can build a golf course then there’s a very sick society at work.
          You give the impression that you want the facts to fit your preconceptions, which is rather sad for someone that accuses the BBC of ‘using any available means to curtail free speech’.

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  23. I have never commented on the film. I commented on the backing of the development by the people of Aberdeenshire.

    The BBC are well known to use any means to put down the Scottish Independence movement and would do anything to blacken the SNP. Liesure developments are built all over the country and people always end up being “dispossessed” but offered compensation.

    If there had not been an SNP government, they would have been 100% behind the project.

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    • Perhaps if the likes of Murdoch Mackenzie can be bothered to read this – with their blinkers off – they might understand why blind support for any political party can be very unhealthy.
      ‘Pork barrel’ politics surely has to be actively resisted, and this isn’t just about one party – the smelly relationship with ‘fat cats’ in Aberdeen involving SNP and LibDem politicians is more than equalled by the various stinks around Glasgow city Labour politicians.
      Would these and other infections be carried through into an independent Scotland, or is there the opportunity for a bit of legislative reform, for example in the matter of holding misbehaving police to account?

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      • If you read my other comments made in the last few days you will see that I am certainly not blinkered in my view of the SNP.
        I am not under any obligation to watch any BBC programme or read any website message. I prefer to find out my own information and make up my own mind.
        Like I said previously, I was not commenting on the content of the film. Only on the article and the comments appended to it, none of which seemed to mention that the people had supported the development.

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        • The documentary was an independent production by a pair of journalists; if anything the BBC should be challenged over the length of time it has taken for them to show the film, it was first screened in an Aberdeen cinema in June 2011. If there is bias(and what news does not have bias?) it is not that of the BBC.

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  24. You’ve Been Trumped said via Facebook
    A LANDMARK EDITORIAL IN TODAY’S SUNDAY MAIL in SCOTLAND – ACCOMPANIED BY A DOUBLE PAGE FEATURE ‘WE WILL NOT GET TRUMPED AGAIN”

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