Donald Where’s Yer Turbines?

Tony Boaks Despairing NotesScottish Roundup’s normally strict avoidance policy regarding Tony Boaks’ Despairing Notes is hereby challenged by virtue of the fact that I’m Tony Boaks and I’m sitting in the biggest chair. Fasten your seatbelts.

The news, and hence the Scottish blogosphere, has been dominated by two main stories this week: ‘What are we going to do about Donald?’ and the other one. Many bloggers have chosen to deal with both in the same post, with varying degrees of how much both are entirely Alex Salmond’s fault.

It began innocently enough when a Holyrood committee wanted to question a range of experts on renewable energy and naturally called in Donald Trump. Billionaire ba’ heid Trump put himself in charge of Scotland’s energy policy some time ago and blew into town promising Scotland would become “a third world wasteland that global investors will avoid.” I didn’t think it sounded so bad if it meant he’d get back on the plane.

Donald Trump's Sixth Sense

In Ten Lies of Donald Trump, Andy Wightman offers some of heid-the-ba’s most recent untruths. This is by no means a comprehensive list but will up your creativity in the swearing stakes. Of this mere tip of the iceberg number 6, “We’ve had tremendous support from environmental groups”, would have to be my personal favourite.

A Sair Fecht also questions Trump’s distant relationship with the truth (apparently Al Megrahi was seen jogging in the park last week). At one point he resorts to personal insults, something I would never do, but such is the strength of feeling regarding combover-boy. Rupert Murdoch is thrown into the mix and in the process A Sair Fecht offers a new word to the English language – the Murdump – describing what the First Minister has had to contend with in trying to coax jobs out of Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

Rupert never asked for favours

Peter A. Bell focuses on the Leveson enquiry and how Salmond was or wasn’t involved in the BskyB deal. I have no idea what Chiels That Winna Ding means (and I’m technically Dundonian) but his argument is very clear and anyone who read the four innocuous emails in question would have to agree that they’re probably the dullest scandalous material ever released.

That didn’t stop Lallands Peat Worrier accusing Salmond of “astonishing naïveté,” something that doesn’t get said very often of the high heid yin, and herein lies the thrust of much of the debate that has followed. That is, is the First Minister a bit keen to court powerful businessmen? Wings Over Scotland discusses Labour’s policy in Labour’s Long Spoon and concludes their handling of the issue would have been no different. My own view is that it’s okay for successive Prime Ministers and opposition leaders to seek favourable press coverage and inward investment to their country but it’s simply not on for Alex Salmond to do the same.

Jeremy Hunt Makes Amends

Elsewhere, historian David Starkey has been up to his roguish tricks again. Starkers, or Tool Britannia as he is known in Scotland, called Alex Salmond a “Caledonian Hitler” who thinks “the English, like the Jews, are everywhere.” I thought this was nothing that a good skelp wouldn’t sort but when I said as much on Twitter, I was told I would have to join a long and disorderly queue waiting to administer it. Bella Caledonia takes a more rational view of this twisted little ego-ball in Starkey.

Turning from one horror to another, it’s important to remember that not all Scottish bloggers are dealing with news and current affairs. One of my favourite escapees is Edinburgh’s only supernatural crime fighter Rose Garnett. In The Ghost Formerly Known As…, Rose is confronted by the spectre of a murder past and is plunged into the start of a new case. A little dark relief for those in need.

In The Hands on the Clock, ‘poet warrior’ John W. Macdonald shows us the two terms are not necessarily incompatible and reminds us that poetry is alive and well in Scotland.

Marianne Wheelaghan quotes Mark Twain in You have to write for a long time, to write like yourself …: “My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. Fortunately everybody drinks water.” I suppose my own writing is more like lemonade in that it’s not so good for you but is a bit more fun.

My latest post at Tony Boaks’ Despairing Notes: Easily Mistaken For A Funny Blog was inspired by the Daily Record. It might be unusual for the Record to inspire anything other than despair but I should explain that it was Muriel Gray’s description of the paper which was responsible. In Muriel Gray’s Parrot, I encounter a most discerning reader who is vocal in his criticism of Scottish print journalism.

Tony Boaks is the main character in my blog. Everywhere else I’m known as @gregmoodie.

I like a good roundup on a Sunday but this one will have to do.


  1. Thank you for the kind words. May I just point out that, following Donald Trump’s performance at Holyrood, there is now a petition to have his status as part of the GlobalScot network revoked by Scottish Enterprise.

  2. With regard to the comments on Lord Leveson, where is the justice in this:-

    Chris Carter
    On Monday 16th January, 2012 the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland certified that it was satisfied that there are no points of law of general importance involved in the decision given on 14th February, 2011 and refused leave for Mr. Carter to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
    Mr. Carter was imprisoned in Magheraberry High Security prison on 29th January 2012. He had faced a 47 day jail term for non payment of fines and costs, although he was released after just three days when his fine was paid following an Internet campaign.
    It has been noted that the three Lord Justices who heard Mr. Carter’s appeal were all members of the Privy Council. Furthermore, the legislative Instrument which imposed the Smoke Free Restrictions in Northern Ireland is The Smoking (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 No. 2957 (N.I.20). This Order was approved by the Privy Council held by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 14th November 2006. Counsellors present included The Lord President of the Council (Rt Hon Baroness Amos), Sir Brian Leveson (now Lord Leveson) and Elish Angiolini.
    In such circumstances a fair minded and informed member of the public would surely ask whether individuals who are members of a legislative body (Privy Council) should also be permitted to sit in judgement of transgressors of the legislation that body approves? For as Montesquieu pointed out:
    there is no liberty if the powers of judging is not separated from the legislative and executive.
    It should be noted that in July 2010, Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon announced Baroness Amos’ appointment to the role of Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.
    Sir Brian Leveson now Chairs the Phone-hacking inquiry where he sits alongside Sir alongside Sir David Bell, former Trustee of Common Purpose. In 2002 David Bell was a Global Compact Advisory Council Member at the United Nations.