Trump’s Scottish neighbours show Mexican colours
Residents who fought golf club show solidarity with those insulted by Trump
David Milne on top of his house near Donald Trump’s golf course in Aberdeen. Photograph: Michal Wachucik/AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the Mexican border to keep out migrants was met with criticism around the world. The latest opposition to the Republican presidential nominee’s controversial proposal has now appeared in an unlikely place: a pitching iron from his flagship Aberdeen golf course.
Residents living on the edge of Trump International Links have hoisted Mexican flags in advance of Trump’s visit to Scotland, which starts tomorrow. The green, white and red tricolour can be seen from the clubhouse at the Menie estate, a few miles north of Aberdeen.
Trump is in Scotland to reopen his Turnberry course following a £200 million restoration. The outspoken businessman turned realty TV star turned politician will give a post-Brexit press conference tomorrow before travelling north to Aberdeen on Saturday.
Two Mexican flags have been hoisted just a stone’s throw from Trump’s Aberdeen course. David Milne, who was active in a long-running campaign against the Menie estate development, says he wants to show the billionaire that “we are still here”.
“The idea is to show solidarity with the Mexican people and everyone else that Donald Trump has decried, insulted, marginalised and attempted to intimidate throughout his career,” Milne said, “because we have been here and we know exactly what it is like.”
A bid for planning permission was rejected by Aberdeenshire Council in 2008. But the Scottish government in Edinburgh stepped in to overturn the decision, using planning powers previously used only to block successful applications.
Residents near the course accused Trump of employing bullyboy tactics to force them from their homes, including planting pine trees to block their views of the sea and surrounding their homes with huge mounds of sand.
“Under no circumstances could I have imagined that Trump would be a presidential candidate,” says Milne. “He is quite smart, but he is dangerous with it. I can think of 12-year-old children I’d be happier to see as president.”
Patrick Harvie, co-convener of the Scottish Green party, clashed with Trump in 2012, when he was invited to address a Holyrood committee on wind farms.
“I found him bombastic and egotistical, much as I thought he would be,” Harvie said. “I expected he might have made some effort to make a reasoned argument on the issue at hand, but he hadn’t. He had no arguments.”
Trump’s appearance in the Scottish parliament followed a very public falling out with the Scottish National Party government.
Initially, Trump and then Scottish first minister Alex Salmond were on good terms, with the pair photographed together on a number of occasions.
The Apprentice star went on to take out adverts comparing the development of wind farms to the Lockerbie bombing, which killed 259 passengers on board Pan Am Flight 103 and 11 residents of the Scottish town in 1989.
In December, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that she was withdrawing the US mogul’s membership of GlobalScot, an international business network, after Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”.
In 2014, Trump added Turnberry to his Scottish portfolio for an undisclosed fee.
Thousands have signed petition urging Trump to visit a Scottish mosque during his visit after he repeated his call for Muslims to be banned from the US in the wake of the Orlando shootings.
“It is no surprise that the crass, self-serving response that we saw from Donald Trump to the tragedy in Orlando has inspired more people to back calls for him to meet with Muslims while he is in Scotland,” said Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.