Friday, 7 November 2008

Who Owns this Land?

Who owns this landscape? -
The millionaire who bought it or....?
............................................
False question, for
this landscape is
masterless
and intractable in any terms
that are human

(Norman MacCaig from An Assynt Man)

The billionaire property developer Donald Trump has won permission to build "the world's greatest golf course", complete with high-rise timeshare flats and eight-storey hotel, on a rare and ecologically sensitive stretch of dunes overlooking the North Sea. The opinions of locals and environmentalists were both ignored. You can read more about this in the Guardian newspaper here. You can read the Scottish Government's decision here.

The Scottish National Party, who currently lead the Scottish Government believe in an independent Scotland. How does selling off our land to billionaire foreigners help to make us independent?

22 comments:

Leatherdykeuk said...

That's disgusting.
Truly.

Scot said...

such a shame

The Weaver of Grass said...

I agree with what you say - I am appalled at the decision. I too love the poetry of Norman Macaig - particularly the one about comparison between a skeleton of a boat and one of a deer on the loch side - do you know it?

Tammie Lee said...

I am so sorry to hear this!

polona said...

there is no end to human greed and short term egocentrism...

Janice Thomson said...

How absolutely dreadful.

Annamari said...

It does upset me so.And not because I am
Scottish or against foreign investments...but these areas are so rare, especially in Europe that it makes it disgusting...

tumblewords said...

Much of our 'only' land has been confiscated in the name of capitalism and ownership by the wealthy. Our little town bustles with billionaires, clearcuts, starter castles and rudeness. Except for the small vacated stores which line the 'old town' blocks. Takes a long time for nature to reclaim paved areas. Argh. Excellent post!

YowlYY said...

Not too long ago, I remember seeing on TV the protests organised, and back then Trump received a NO from the local government. What made them change their mind, I wonder?
It is a shame. :(

Crafty Green Poet said...

Yowlyy- yes the local council rejected the plan by one vote then the Scottish Government decided that this was undemocratic and that the local area should be forced into accepting the plan. Money talks.

gingatao said...

And not just any foreign billionaire but that one in particular who has consistently demonstrated not only complete commitment to nothing but his own wealth but a complete absence of taste or sensibility. I would be furious. How do you stay so calm in your writing?

Annie said...

Give a person enough power and enough money and they can buy pretty much anything. Doesn't surprise me at all.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Now listen here ... you Scots foisted golf off onto us unknowing Yanks long ago! (Actually onto the whole world, eh?) Now OUR fine countryside is awash with such places.

Still, that situation is unbelievable. I hope it gets turned around somehow.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh, how I hate to see this dreadful man bring his horrors to Scotland. Is there no way to stop him?

Marvin said...

It both sad and infuriating that short-term economic gain (jobs) always seems to win out over the long-term best interests of the planet.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Weaver of Grass - i don't think I do know the poem you mentioned, I must read more MacCaig, I really like what I've read, but he wrote so much more that I haven't read...

Anamari - yes its the negative environmental impact I most deplore in this decision, but its the other aspects that are most inexplicable...

Gingatao - sometimes I write rants as first drafts,

Rabbits guy, lol! yes if you look at it like that!

Pamela and Edward - well, we've tried and will keep on trying, but the Scottish Nationalist Government seems to want this...

Alison Wiley said...

Trump's triumph (and the defeat of the dunes)infuriates me. I wish there were a viable, productive path of civil disobedience in situations like this. I've done CD once (at a nuclear test site in the Nevada desert) and consider it an excellent option when the democratic process does not yield social or environmental justice.

Lest UK residents get the impression all U.S. residents are conservative, greed-motivated capitalists, please see my report of our recent Election Night http://www.diamondcutlife.org/cartwheels-of-joy/

Bill said...

"No one owns the landscape." (Thoreau)

jack sender said...

i am sorry for you.

phoenix, arizona
has over 250 gold courses
and limited water

what a world
for the rich

think of our children

Crafty Green Poet said...

Jack - thinking of our children - that's why I'll never have any...

Art Durkee said...

Remember, developers make their money from building. After that, they don't really care what happens, even if the unnecessary new building sits empty. It's a worldwide problem.

Julie said...

This makes me want to scream!! I'm so glad you posted it. This has really hit straight at a nerve in the middle of my soul.

My dear friends and family on the coast where I grew up are having the same problems. Developers and politicians in the area are good buddies, so of course, crooked politics is the name of the game. The poor people who have owned and cared for the beautiful land are now being taxed at astronomical rates. Eventually, they get pushed out. A golf course or a condominium complex gets built within feet of the waves and next to sea turtles' habitats, which are greatly disturbed. It makes me sick. Sick to my stomach and sick in my heart!

Thankfully, many people are mobilizing to get involved to try to stop overdevelopment. Sometimes it feels like an uphill battle, but at least people are fighting against it.

Please excuse me for taking up so much space. This topic really gets me charged up! Thank you very much for posting it. It's so important, and something that everyone should care about.

I do not want my home to become another homogenized shopping mall. I want to keep the wild horses, the miles of woods, the snowy egrets, and the beautiful marshland. If fifty miles of concrete and shopping malls is "progressive," then I don't want any part of progress.

Oops...sorry...it's hard for me to stop...ha! Thanks so much for caring.