Friday, 12 November 2010

Smart Successful Scotland!

a wee guy doing some plumbing for Donald Trump
You know, I am guilty of concentrating on success stories on this blog - the work of Dr Donald Trump, the imperious Sir Ian Wood and lately, the brave Sir David Murray and his 1690 Village near Edinburgh called the Garden District. These will be the crown jewels of a smart successful Scotland - a risk taking culture shifting environment filled with generators of intensified economic activity, like Halfords, TK Maxx and of course B&Q - those elder statesmen of the retail park.

But what of the destitute towns of Central Scotland such as Kilsyth, Shotts and Bridge of Weir? What of the pauper villages of Aberdeenshire and the north east like Kemnay or Mintlaw where you can hardly hear yourself speak above the rattle of beggars' tin mugs?

Well, as we expert planners all know, the answer is through the trickle down of wealth from these three very rich people. Some guy in Mintlaw can do the plumbing in one of Trump's lavatories at Menie Estate - problem solved! Someone else can cut down the trees in Union Terrace Gardens for Sir Ian - that's more money in the local economy! There is even a job for a wee guy from Kilsyth hanging up the Union Jacks in Sir David's Garden District! Fantastic yes? So regenerating Scotland isn't rocket science now is it?

But when I think of the goons in London, the Royal Town Planning Institute, playing at their elections, it's hard to see some connection between them and the dynamic world of Scottish regeneration. Junior Vice President Colin Haystack and his band of place-men exhorting RTPI members to vote for who will be President in 2012. Humph - it's enough to give you the dry boak! Perhaps these guys would recommend a nice wee building facelift? Perhaps a new bench or a special tree in a public space? A bit of public art as a nice wee feature? Maybe give something planning permission? Turn the country around with a few advertisement hoardings? All these things come from the bumper fun book of planning ideas but for Scotland, they are irrelevant in the face of self-sustaining trickle down economic growth which will enliven our communities and bring riches beyond measure.

By the way, I tore up my ballot paper despite the chance to win a £5.00 book token for returning my vote. I will either resign from the Institute soon or stand for election to the Scottish Branch.

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