Campaigns: September 2009 Archives

Trump trumped.

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TUTNYCb.jpgThings go from bad to worse for The Donald's would-be Scottish Empire. Tripping Up Trump took the battle to him, getting the eager New York public to sign petitions against his plans outside Trump Towers. They've got over 11,000 signatures online now, plus many more on paper. 

More seriously, the P&J today reports that Aberdeenshire Council will reject his Compulsory Purchase Orders. He's bullied people so hard that even his own former supporters have given up on him.

You can see how rattled he is, too. He rang Rob Edwards up to swear at him last week. He also sent out a properly bonkers statement last night (full statement as a Word doc) which describes his vanity project to fly Americans into a gated community as "one of the few projects of national significance in Scotland". Can the SNP really stomach the anti-Scottish sneer in that attitude? 

In it he also claims that Martin Ford's position was "unanimously rejected by the Local Council". Sure, I remember Martin voting against himself. That definitely happened.

He finally says that the campaigners are "the only ones speaking about compulsory purchase". Yet his agent on earth, the equally unpleasant Mr Sorial, told Reuters just a week ago that: "These additional acquisitions are necessary to deliver the quality project that we have spoken about in the past."

Presumably if he doesn't manage to force these people from their homes, which is looking almost inevitable, it's therefore all over. He could of course compromise. Similarly, the Pope might turn out to be a secret Zoroastrian, I suppose.

Greyfriars Trump.

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trumpbobby.jpgThe Menie Liberation Front have pulled off the most delicious anti-Trump stunt today - putting masks of the great man over the faces of statues across Scotland.

Photos of some of their locations are here. The Greyfriars Bobby one is outstanding, but shouldn't that one have an Alex Salmond mask on it? The wee dog is famously meant to have sat on his master's grave for fourteen years. When Trump's plan for Menie fails, as so many of his others have done, the First Minister will surely be found grieving at its graveside. 

The crucial vote on this comes next week. Will Aberdeenshire Councillors back the right of residents to stay in their own homes, or will they back Trump's latest clearances? Watch this space.

Poll tax on wheels.

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bikeprotest.jpgSo, cycling: are we generally in favour? Personally I'm more into walking - I don't feel safe listening to music on a bike, and I like not having to lock up when I get there. 

I'm passionately in favour of folk being helped to do it, though, and the provision of cycle lanes in Scotland is dire. Look elsewhere in Europe and see how dangerous it feels here, and how marginal cycling is to the planning process.

Scottish Ministers agree. Their Cycling Action Plan for Scotland (CAPS) includes the following warm words from Stewart Stevenson:

"CAPS is about everyone in Scotland who is able to, having the choice to cycle in their everyday life by creating safe, welcoming and inclusive communities."

Lovely. It's like we live in Holland already. I particularly like the fact that SNP Ministers won't be forcing cycling upon those who can't. But let's not sneer. There are plenty of good ideas in this document, in amongst the vague "promote x, promote y" stuff. There's even a long section on Encouragement and Incentives.

But check out question 10 on p48, right at the end.

"Should all road users pay road tax? If so, how much should it be for cyclists and how could it be enforced?"

Tax discs on bikes? Seriously? I know times are hard for Finance Ministers, but this is sub-Thick Of It material. The paper's subtitled "More People Cycling More Often", after all, not "How We Could Force Folk Off Their Bikes".

You might also say it's just one option, but is this something Ministers should even be considering? The front page of today's Scotland on Sunday shows that some consideration has been given to implementation, but the Government's spokesman's backpedalling hard. Incidentally, that's a curious metaphor: as I remember it, backpedalling does nothing at all.

The SoS editorial against it talks about a tax on smugness. I don't think it's cyclists who'd get the worst of that. The fact that they're even considering this is entirely symptomatic of the SNP's complacent attitude to transport, where all that matters is the car. 

They came into government with a list of tolls to remove and of bridges and motorways to build. The civil servants nodded, the building companies rubbed their hands, and the environment came last as usual.

It's enough to make one despair, it really is. And I doubt they'll ever do it. But think how much fun the protests would be. 

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Campaigns category from September 2009.

Campaigns: August 2009 is the previous archive.

Campaigns: October 2009 is the next archive.