Wednesday, 9 November 2016

President-elect Trump and Lockerbie

[President-elect Donald Trump has featured on many occasions over the years on this blog. The relevant posts can be read here. What follows is a sample from 13 February 2014:]

Wind farms like Lockerbie disaster - Donald Trump

[This is the headline over a report in today’s edition of The Scotsman.  It reads in part:]

Donald Trump sparked renewed outrage yesterday when he compared the development of wind farms in Scotland to the Lockerbie disaster.

On Tuesday, the billionaire tycoon announced that the Trump Organisation would be turning its back on Scotland and concentrating on developing a new course on the Republic of Ireland’s Atlantic coast.

The announcement came after Trump lost his legal challenge against the Scottish Government’s decision to give the go-ahead to an offshore wind farm in Aberdeen Bay which he claims will blight the view from his luxury golf resort at Menie, on the Aberdeenshire coast.

But yesterday, Trump sparked an angry backlash after renewing his attack on green energy schemes in Scotland in an interview with The Irish Times.

He told the newspaper: “Wind farms are a disaster for Scotland, like Pan Am 103. They make people sick with the continuous noise. They’re an abomination and are only sustained with government subsidy. Scotland is in the middle of a revolution against wind farms. People don’t want them near their homes, ruining property values.” (...)

Trump’s outburst was condemned by MSPs and relatives of the victims.

Susan Cohen, a New Jersey pensioner whose daughter Theodora, an aspiring actress, was 20 when she was killed in the disaster, said: “Obviously, there is no call for that. Donald Trump says many, many things here in the United States and I am, of course, appreciative of anyone who takes a tough stand on Lockerbie which he did at times.

“But, at the same time, I think that is an unfortunate choice of words. I wish he had not made that comparison. Lockerbie was a ghastly tragedy that destroyed many lives and is beyond comparison. It is one of the great and terrible events of man’s inhumanity to man and therefore it’s of an order where it should not be likened to anything.”

Joan McAlpine, the SNP MSP for the South of Scotland, claimed: “Even by Donald Trump’s standards, these comments are unbelievably crass and show a complete lack of respect to the families affected by the Lockerbie bombing – in the US, Scotland and across the world. He should withdraw them as a matter of urgency and apologise for any offence he has caused.”

Alison Johnstone, a Green Party MSP for the Lothians and member of Holyrood’s economy, energy and tourism committee, also hit out at the tycoon’s remarks. She said: “It’s grossly offensive to link renewables with the Lockerbie bombing. Mr Trump has already been reprimanded by advertising authorities for making such distasteful statements and he should apologise for his continued crass behaviour.” Ms Johnstone added: “He didn’t have a shred of evidence that renewables are bad for tourism when he was quizzed in parliament. Twelve-thousand people are now employed in renewables in Scotland, proving that Mr Trump knows nothing about the Scottish economy.”

In December 2012, Trump was accused of “sinking to a new low” and being “sick” for publishing an advert in Scottish newspapers which linked the government’s support of wind farms with the decision to release Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing.

The Scottish Green Party lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority over the controversial advert, published in two regional newspapers and urging the public to protest against First Minister Alex Salmond’s support for renewable energy.

Under the banner “Is this the future for Scotland?” the advert featured a picture of a huge wind farm in California and a photograph of the First Minister.

It stated: “Tourism will suffer and the beauty of your country is in jeopardy! This is the same mind that backed the release of terrorist al-Megrahi ‘for humane reasons’ – after he ruthlessly killed 270 people on Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie.”

The advert was condemned as “misleading” by the Advertising Standards Authority. (...)

[David Milne, a long-standing opponent of the Trump resort:]

Words have been used by Mr Trump on many occasions to accuse others of impropriety and inappropriate behaviour, with little in the way of evidence to support his claims. Having read the Court of Session decision by Lord Doherty, he obviously came to a similar conclusion about the evidence supplied by Mr Trump in that situation.

Unfortunately, grandiose words seem to have failed Mr Trump this time and his use of the Lockerbie bombing in comparison to wind turbines is not acceptable.

To diminish the suffering of the families of that event by trying to compare an international terrorist event that killed people of several nationalities with an attempt to protect and extend the environment of our planet is insensitive and ill considered. I am certain even some of his own supporters back in the USA will be shocked.


  1. If you think this is bad, wait until he has his hands on the levers of power. We will be back in the days of the Chicago god-fathers. Those who cross Trump will find themselves under attack by all means possible, legal and illegal.

  2. @About us
    It may be so, but it remains to be seen. I can't even imagine a USA behaving worse than it does.
    And our fine democracy needs a serious revision. He might just be the catalyst to have this happening.

    The murder of Libya (I skip a list here), and Clinton's laughing "We came, we saw, he died" is more repulsive than any of the numerous stupid things Trump has said.