6 January 2016

Donald Trump achieves impossible, unites Scots


Thrawn is a terrific Scottish word. It means perverse or stubborn, only more so. If someone annoys you, suggesting you do something, you do the precise opposite even if you don’t want to do it. That’s thrawn. The word springs to mind in relation to Donald Trump and his difficult dealings with Scotland, his mother’s homeland.

I won’t go into all the details here. Life is too short. It’s something about golf courses and wind farms. Needless to say, where this Trump fellow was once fawned over by Alex Salmond, Scotland’s eccentric former First Minister, the political class in Scotland has now turned against the trainee President of the United States.

In the latest twist to the tale, Trump has finally managed to do something he has never managed before. He has brought people together; he has unified a nation; he has united the Scots, who have spent the last few years attacking each other relentlessly (boring the English) over the question of Scottish independence. Today, Nationalists and Unionists have finally found something they can agree on, namely, Donald Trump.

Now, the Trump Organisation (the Trump Organisation, don’t you love it? sounds better in an Al Pacino accent) has announced that it will consider withdrawing all of its investment from Scotland.  The amount to be invested in golf-related activities by the Trump Organisation seems to fluctuate depending on which story you read. Today it is reported to be £700m. That’s a lot of golf. Scotland already has a lot of golf. Does it need £700m more? I digress…

Usually, I would be saying that inward investment is essential, and hailing the dynamism and entrepreneurialism involved, but this is different. It’s Donald Trump.

Trump says that the investment will be pulled if he is banned from the UK, which is under discussion but unlikely to happen. As it happens, I am in theory against him being banned from the UK (which Scotland voted 55% to 45% to remain part of). It is dangerous to ban people because activists conclude that they are politically beyond the pale. Although I think Jeremy Corbyn is a menace whose ideas are even more dangerous than Trump’s ideas, I don’t want to ban Corbyn.

But if Trump is issuing threats to Scotland and the UK, it might be worth making an exception and banning him. With one voice, Nationalists and Unionists can then rise up and say to Trump: Stick your golf courses, and your  “Brasserie at the Clubhouse” serving “modern classics and familiar favourites including Fish and Chips, Burgers, Mac and Cheese – all served with a Trump twist of course – plus mouth-watering fish, salads and market specials to suit all tastes with our childrens menu perfectly suited for wee ones.” Take your shredded wheat haircut and your “Make America Great” (*) baseball cap and stick it up your…

That’s what I mean by thrawn.

*America is great already. Has been for ages. What we don’t need is Donald Trump ruining it.

Iain Martin is Editor of CapX.