21st August 2018
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Sustainable Shetland deny playing Trump card

18 comments, , by , in News

The American billionaire Donald Trump will wade into the legal battle over the proposed Viking Energy windfarm – if he gets permission at an Edinburgh hearing tomorrow.

Trump Organization and Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf course have jointly moved to become involved in Sustainable Shetland’s petition against the Viking Energy and Scottish Government appeal, which is due to begin at a procedural hearing in the inner Court of Session.

Mr Trump’s lawyers hope to target the generating licence aspect of the appeal that Sustainable Shetland has had to leave uncontested owing to a lack of money.

The move follows last week’s Court of Session hearing when Trump’s lawyers challenged approval of the 11-turbine offshore windfarm near his Menie golf course, north of Aberdeen. Earlier this year, Lord Woolman rejected a Trump bid to have the offshore windfarm case discharged until after the Viking Energy appeal. It is understood the entire Aberdeenshire windfarm case hinges on the outcome of the generating licence issue, which will not be known for some weeks yet.

Sustainable Shetland chairman Frank Hay distanced his group from Trump’s intervention, which today he said he “had only just learned of”. He added: “There has been absolutely no contact with Donald Trump and we have no plans to have any.”

He denied that there had been any collusion between Sustainable Shetland and Trump Organization or between their QCs, although he said that the legal teams had shared informal contact, which was “not initiated” by Sustainable Shetland.

“It just happened that the same issue has cropped up in his judicial review and the competency issue also applies to us,” he added. “Possibly he [Trump] sees this as the best way to do that.”

He said that Trump could attempt to intervene in the Sustainable Shetland case if he wanted, but that Sustainable Shetland had taken no position on Trump’s move. It was also a possibility, and the preferred option for Sustainable Shetland, that the court might choose a “contradictor”, apart from Donald Trump, to challenge the appeal.

A spokesman for Viking Energy said that the organisation “would not comment on an ongoing court case” – a position they “had maintained throughout the judicial review.”

The latest development comes after judge Lady Clark quashed planning permission for the Viking windfarm on account of its lack of an operating licence and its failure to take account of the EU birds directive. Sustainable Shetland will oppose the Viking and Scottish government appeal on grounds of the birds directive at a hearing in February.

About Peter Johnson

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as an employed and freelance reporter and editor for a variety of print and broadcast media outlets and as as a freelance photographer and film maker/cameraman. In addition to journalism, I have experience in construction, oil analysis, aquaculture, fisheries, the health service and oral history.

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18 comments

  1. Ian Tinkler

    “If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.” Winston Churchill. Go for it Trump, far preferable to have you as an ally, your money will at least even the playing field all the way to the Europe Court. Give us a few years grace at least. Rock on . (PS I am independent od SS, and would never kick a gift horse in the mouth! However un PC))

    Reply
  2. Robert Wishart

    Any enemy of Viking Energy is a friend; but one to keep at arm’s length.

    Reply
  3. Harry Dent

    The problem with lying down with dogs is that you’ll probably catch fleas.

    Trump’s motives have a very limited conjunction with those of Sustainable Shetland. I for one would be very worried about becoming allied with a man whose interests are solely centred upon his company’s profit.

    Reply
  4. David Spence

    ” I for one would be very worried about becoming allied with a man whose interests are solely centred upon his company’s profit. ”

    I could not agree more Harry. When it comes to capitalists (LCC – Large Corporate Companies) and this of the environment and nature, they care not about the damage they cause as long as they can make a profit from it. It is very much because of this mentality (profits at all costs (mainly LCC’s)) that has caused much of the environmental damage to the planet, and the destruction of life and extinction of species at a faster rate (with the exception of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago) than has ever been recorded.

    I find it highly hypocritical of anybody who preaches religion (not as a representative of the church, but good, want for a better description) but at the same time shows all the negative and darker side of the human nature to gain commercially no matter what destruction they may cause to the environment or life itself.

    Reply
  5. rosa steppanova

    I think I can put Harry Dent’s mind at ease. Sustainable Shetland wouldn’t touch Trump with a barge pole. Anybody who’s seen Anthony Baxter’s ‘You’ve been Trumped’, (shown at Mareel last year) was left in no doubt as to how this vile individual operates. He’s a dangerous combination of crass stupidity, extreme greed, and complete compassion bypass.
    Also interesting to see was the erosion of local democracy, the bulldozing of resident’s rights and the riding roughshot over environmental concerns so Trump could have his ‘Great Dunes of Scotland’ (SSSI) golf course at Menie. Ring any bells in the Shetland context?

    Reply
  6. Rachel Buchan

    I would be worried about Donald Trump getting involved, in case he decided that Shetland is his next “playground”. Also that he might try to tinker with local politics, in a way that would benefit only himself and nobody else.

    Reply
  7. David Spence

    It does not surprise me, Rosa. When it comes to money, greed and power, corruption rules the waves. It is quite sad that a system based on pure greed has so much control over so many people as to the extent people are totally 100% subservient too it………this of money, greed and profits.

    The Bible says ‘ For the want of money is the root of all Evils ‘……..never a truer word when it comes to Capitalism and those who are in control of it under the guise of ‘ so-called freedom and democracy ‘

    As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said

    ” None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. ”

    and that Statement says it all when it comes to capitalism and the control of the monetary system has upon us.

    Reply
  8. Johan Adamson

    It does even up the resources though doesnt it? Viking has the Scottish Government, Sustainable has the Trump empire? Strange that environmental debate and green energy has such strange bedfellows though.

    Reply
    • Allen Fraser

      In actual fact Johan,
      Sustainable Shetland has had no offer of funds from, nor do they wish to have any dealings with, Mr Trump – all Sustainable Shetland’s funds come from fundraising by its members the overwhelming generosity of the Shetland public.

      Viking Energy are not being fundedin this by the Scottish Government, they pay their own legal fees with money they got from Shetland Charitable Trust to develop a industrial scale windfarm for which they had not obtained a generating licence.

      Ofgem is the independent body which licences windfarms. Granting of a licence is not a ‘technicality’ or a ‘rubber stamping exercise’ by them, they have to ensure that the developer and the development are credible and in the consumers interest. Operating a windfarm without a generating licence may be a criminal offence. Shetland Charitable Trust should have checked that a licence had been applied for and been granted before handing over £6.3 million to Viking energy.

      Reply
      • Johan Adamson

        I can see why Sustainable Shetland does not want to be associated with Trump. But I dont think I was suggesting it was. I understand Trump is fighting a different fight, against the Scottish Government and another set of windfarm developers, on the back of the judicial review. And I know that Trump has not contributed to Sustainable funds.

  9. ian tinkler

    Strange bedfellows indeed. SS have Trump unwillingly on the rebound from Salmond. Only difference being, Trump dumped Salmond and SS are playing the reluctant virgin and keeping out of bed with Trump. Best way to avoid a contagion by association perhaps, figuratively speaking.

    Reply
    • Johan Adamson

      You missed out the LOL again, Ian

      Reply
  10. James Mackenzie

    I wish to make it clear that Sustainable Shetland is not a ‘bedfellow’ of Donald Trump, who is only seeking to intervene in the appeal for his own ends.
    Mr. Trump’s ends, and his means, are utterly contrary to Sustainable Shetland’s.
    Unfortunately the headline above has given the impression that we are “playing the Trump card”. This was vigorously denied by our chairperson, after repeated questioning by the reporter. It would appear that rumour or gossip had quickly been fed to him after the parties involved in the case had formally received the application to intervene.
    And so the gossip continues. It’s very sad.
    James Mackenzie, Vice-chair, Sustainable Shetland

    Reply
  11. Brian Smith

    I was shocked to see a representative of Viking Energy peddling this line on Facebook today. Viking Energy doesn’t say much in public; it’s a pity when they countenance this sort of thing.

    Reply
  12. john irvine

    Any support for sustainable Shetland is welcome as far as I`m concerned, the sooner the plug is pulled on the White Elephant the better.

    Reply
  13. rosa steppanova

    “Rich benefactor”, “colluding with Trump”, if that’s all the supporters’ camp and VE’s press and/or community liaison officer can dream up, it’s sad days indeed. There’s a lot of projection in these claims, as the shoe is actually on the other foot. VE has a “rich benefactor” in the form of SCT, and has, from day one, taken a good few leaves out of Trump’s book. The parallels between the Trump Corporation’s methods at Menie and those of VE are striking: lack of proper consultation, erosion of local democracy, ridiculous claims of environmental mitigation, ignoring the concerns and worries of the local population etc. Not only that, but the similarity of language used by both developers, is spine-chillingly similar.
    SuS is not only up against the combined financial might of Scottish ministers and VE, but also up against VE’s propaganda machine, now sunk to peddling slurs and trying to discredit SuS. Ends justifying the means, as John Irvine suggests, may be an option for VE and its supporters, but SuS does not do moral bankruptcy.

    Reply
    • Sandy McMillan

      As you all know Sustainable Shetland needs the money, It is being offered on a plate to fight the Scottish Government, Viking Energy, SIC, Scottish and Southern Energy, why all the fuss, Sustainable Shetland, Cannot refuse this offer if they want to sea the end of this Wind farms splattered over a huge area of Shetland, Destroying all that is in front, just sit back and think what Shetland will look like if these Monstrosities are permitted, so for gods sake take up the mans offer.

      Reply
      • Frank Hay

        Sustainable Shetland has never approached or been offered money by Donald Trump to fight anyone. Trump tried to join the legal action but this was opposed by Sustainable Shetland and his approach was rejected by the court.
        Trump is only interested in his own agenda and has no interest in what happens in Shetland.

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