I managed to catch part of the committee on renewable energy targets meeting with Donald Trump on television the other day. Donald isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I felt he handled himself rather well against the likes of Green MSP Patrick Harvie, who had perhaps hoped to shoot him down easily. SNP MSP Chic Brodie told how he had spoken to “many people from golf courses on the east and west coasts, all of whom supported wind turbines” while actually naming none. At the same time he demanded empirical evidence to support Mr Trumps views. “I am the evidence” scolded Trump. “I am the expert”. 1-0 Trump.
In recent months Unionist politicians have been stating that businesses have been telling them that the independence referendum is causing uncertainty, without naming these businesses. The SNP have been complaining (rightly so) about this, so why Chic Brodie thought that some anecdotal evidence from some unnamed golf course managers, and a well timed opinion poll from Visit Scotland should be acceptable is beyond me.
However none of them could beat Graham Lang of Communities Against Turbines Scotland, who was well spoken and very knowledgeable about wind turbine developments across the country. SNP MSP Mike MacKenzie from Orkney thought he could get one over on Mr Trump, stating that Orkney generated 100% of its electricity via wind turbines and that everybody was happy with the “dancing ladies”, when Mr Lang cut in to say that he knew the area, drank in the local pub from time to time, and that the latest wind farm proposal had 900 objections and rising!
Mr Trump made another very good point about the desirability of windfarms and their effect on tourism. He stated that he arrived in Aberdeen to see huge pictures showing Scatlands (his word, not mine!) beautiful scenery, cathedrals and fine buildings. “Where’s the windmills? You are selling a lie.”
The next time you are in some shop selling ‘tartan tat’ look for a box of shortbread with a wind turbine on the lid. If you find one, please, tell Donald.