Donald Trump: the Face of Greed

You’ve Been Trumped

Directed by Anthony Baxter (2012)

Film Review

You’ve Been Trumped is about a group of Scottish farmers battling Donald Trump’s bid to destroy one of Britain’s last pristine wilderness areas. Why? To build a golf course for jet-setting millionaires and billionaires.

The documentary, originally filmed in 2011, has been re-released in honor of Trump’s presidential ambitions. It’s been taken down from YouTube owing to its commercial re-launch. Maori TV, our best political documentary channel, showed it this past week.

In 2007, Aberdeenshire Council denied Trump planning permission for the gold course. Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond overruled them, as well as giving the go-head for compulsory purchase orders (which would force local residents to see their farms to Trump).

You’ve Been Trumped differs from Baxter’s 2015 sequel Dark Side of the Greens in its greater focus on the careful and sustained campaign of local citizens who opposed Trump’s development plans. Although the first golf course ultimately went ahead, activists successfully blocked the second. They also blocked the CPOs (compulsory purchase orders) and Trump’s bid to have an offshore wind farm dismantled. He claimed it ruined the view from his luxury time shares.

In addition to featuring more footage of Donald Trump Jr (who turns out to be every bit as obnoxious as his father), the first film also highlights Trumps criminal behavior behavior during the construction process. In addition to illegally annexing land belonging to local farmers, Trump construction crews also cut off the spring that supplied their water. Interfering with a household water service is illegal under British law.

A particular highlight of You’ve Been Trumped is a scene of the filmmakers beings assaulted, handcuffed and jailed for supporting the local residents’ cause.

The full film can’t be embedded but can be viewed at the Maori TV website for the next few weeks: Maori TV

Donald Trump: Making the World Safe for Golf

Dark Side of the Greens

Directed by Anthony Baxter (BBC 2015)

Film Review

Dark Side of the Greens is about lengthy citizen campaigns in Scotland and Croatia to halt Donald Trump’s efforts to replace pristine ecological heritage sites with golf courses.

The documentary is a sequel to the 2011 film You’ve Been Trumped. It relies heavily on commentary by environmental lawyer Robert F Kennedy Jr, president of the Waterkeeper Alliance. He reminds us that governmental protection of the commons dates back to the Magna Carta and can’t be usurped by wealthy elates. According to Kennedy, the commons is the main source of values, virtue and character of a people.

Aberdeen residents were unsuccessful in preventing Trump from destroying one of Europe’s rarest sand dune formations to build his golf course cum gated resort (the subject of You’ve Been Trumped). However a staunch local farmer led a successful multi-year campaign to prevent Trump from building a second golf course.

Local residents also successfully resisted Trump’s efforts to stop an offshore wind farm which presently supplies 40% of Aberdeen’s residential electricity needs.

Over in Dubrovnak, the citizens successfully organized Croatia’s first citizens referendum to prevent Trump from destroying a world heritage site for a golf course, resort and exclusive gated community.

After 85% of the population voted against the project, the mayor (who has since been indicted on corruption charges) ignored the referendum and signed contracts to proceed with the golf courses.

The film is full of classic Trumpisms, such as “What’s great for golf is good for Scotland.”