Windfarm campaigner’s day with Donald Trump

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IT’s safe to say that although north east Fife man Graham Lang has crossed swords with a few people during his time battling windfarm applications in north east Fife, he hasn’t yet needed a police escort.

However, the blaze of media hysteria surrounding the appearance of a slightly more (in)famous witness than himself at the Scottish Parliament Inquiry into Renewable Energy last Wednesday, meant Mr Lang was kept under the watchful eye of the boys in blue until he was safelty ensconced within the inner sanctum of Holyrood.

Within these walls Mr Lang came face to face with the American businessman who has become an outspoken critic of Scottish Government policy on windfarms, not to mention a constant thorn in the side of First Minister Alex Salmond – Donald Trump.

Recalling the day’s events, Mr Lang said Mr Trump rose to greet him and his fellow CATS (Communities Against Turbines Scotland) witnesses Susan Crosswaite and Mark Gibson.

He said: “He introduced us to his son Donald Junior and George Sorial, his executive vice-president, and said what a great job we were doing for communities up and down Scotland.

“He was quietly spoken, warm and friendly, keen to hear our experiences, and a sympathetic listener.

“We discussed the Vattenfall application for 11 turbines 165 metres high and 1.5 miles off the coast at his Menie development in Aberdeenshire.

“I told him we supported his opposition and that obviously with that sort of threat further investment to build a hotel and houses was out of the question.

“He said: ‘I will not build anything at Menie. It’s on hold until the proposal is permanently dumped’.

“I said it was just the same all over Scotland in a smaller way, but just as important to the individuals.

“Who would buy or build a house opposite an application site for a turbine development?

“These proposals stifle development. Worse, of course, if it happens after you have built.”

Mr Lang went on: “When we came out of the Parliament there were hundreds of people waiting.

“Most were in support of Trump and made strong noises against wind turbines.

“They came from all over Scotland; from Shetland, Argyll, Fife, The Borders, East Renfrewshire and the south west of Scotland.

Summing up his day, Mr Lang added: “It is true to say CATS were overshadowed by the presence of Trump at Holyrood.

“I would have liked time to have been properly devoted to the the issues we and the communities we represent care about — the damaging visual impact wind turbines have on amenity and noise and of course, the cost.

“However, Mr Trump’s involvement in the Scottish windfarm war has raised our visibility and Members of the Scottish Parliament, not just members of the committee will be very aware of mounting opposition to the Government’s developer driven policy on wind.

“Our membership has grown very quickly in a very short time and new members sign up daily.

“I am confident our message is being heard and the flood of on shore wind will abate – but not before untold damage has been done to the environment.”