You know, when I heard the other day that former president of the United States of America Bill Clinton had booked a round of golf at Dr Donald Trump's heavenly course at Menie I felt a comfortable glow flow through my veins -as if someone had poured warm milk into my ears. It was a lovely feeling of personal fulfillment, the likes of which I haven't experienced in many a long year. I even phoned up my beautiful young wife to tell her the great news but someone from British Telecom answered the phone saying that they had been asked to intercept nuisance calls to that number.
Anyway. I will definitely be making a trip over there next year. The news comes just 24 hours after Dr Donald Trump confirmed his intention to build a second international course at the Balmedie site. This must mean that he is confident of blocking the ludicrous plans to establish an enormous and ugly offshore wind farm in the sea just beside the glorious new facility.
Did you know that the course has attracted some 10,000 bookings since it opened in July from more than 20 countries, including Australia, Canada, Argentina, Ukraine, Japan and the US? Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce and Scottish tourism chiefs have hailed the impact of the new facility on tourism and welcomed news that a second course is to be built in the near future. It's a complete hole-in-one for Dr Trump and for a host of small businesses in the area - especially plumbers and plasterers - who will benefit from the trickle-down effect often hailed by economists and politicians as the only route towards riches for all. As I said before, plumbers will be round the u-bend with excitement while plasterers will be heading off to the supermarkets to buy gallons of Frosty Jack's Cider. Who knows, I might do the same!
Saturday, 17 November 2012
You know, a strange thing happened to me yesterday. I found myself reading Planning Magazine - that is the Journal of the London based Royal Town Planning Institute. No - I am not joking. Talking of jokes, did you know that the Scottish Chapter of the RTPI is in fact much older than the national body, having been established in 1690 - some 224 years before the Goons in London got going. I was told this by a friend of mine the other day but it seems unlikely to me. Let's see what my adoring readers think.
Anyway, the latest issue of this terrible rag has an editorial by a person called Richard Garlic (which I assume is a name made-up to conceal his real identity). He claims to be the Editor of the Goons journal. I was surprised to read what a development orientated young lad this is, with his sly smile and his unprofessional open necked shirt. He will go far! He has a lot to say about consultancy (an area close to my heart and a firm aspiration for my future). It seems obvious that gaming the planning system - the good guys using their tremendous experience to fight obstructive local councils - will create a far better society than one in which house builders are constantly restricted by local government skivers and ne'er-do-wells who read the Sun in the toilet for hours every morning.
Council planners of course are not all like that - I know many Scottish women planners working for Councils whose ideas about planning are as tumescent as the scones in their ovens. Indeed more fecund than the Swiss Rolls of many male planners! So perhaps, despite the clouds and recent disappointments of the failure of the Union Terrace Gardens projects and the uncertainty over Dundee's Banzai Museum which is being moved inland from the waterfront in a clever move to facilitate future use by Asda, there is hope. The trouble for Scotland is that this hope seems to be coming from London rather than Edinburgh. The RTPI in Scotland can't even get a planning firm to sponsor its laughable magazine! It's time for change here and someone like Richard Garlic might be just the person to put some lead in the corporate pencil of the McRTPI.
I was going to finish with a nice wee photie of our leader and Convenor Bob Reid from the most recent and ridiculous issue of the Scottish Planner but I couldn't bring myself to publish it. You know the one with him in a brown suit and the chain of office (from B&Q bathroom accessories, aisle 3 halfway along on the left). Well the boy defaced this by drawing a small black moustache on poor old Bob - you can picture what I mean. I burst out laughing when I saw it but I just can't bring myself to publish it. I've met Bob quite a few times and have the utmost respect for his pioneering, creative and socially motivated work in and around Scotland's dynamo - aka Aberdeen - so I am not about to besmirch his reputation in such a tawdry manner. Instead I urge him to energise the Scottish Chapter of the Goons by installing Richard Garlic as their new head man - or just wind it up before things get worse. It would be the honourable thing to do!