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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

“Your economy will become a third world wasteland that global investors will avoid.”

Said the Donald to the Salmon(d), erstwhile First Minister of Scotland, in a letter about the plans for windfarms off the Aberdeenshire coast, we know now from the Trump letters, obtained under the UK’s Freedom of Information Act.

A series of colourfully-written letters sent by Donald Trump to then-Scottish first minister Alex Salmond has been published in full for the first time.

The letters formed part of an intense lobbying campaign against plans for an offshore wind project near Mr Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf resort.

Some examples of Mr Trump’s forthright style:

On 12 March 2012 he asked Mr Salmond: “Do you want to be known for centuries to come as ‘Mad Alex – the man who destroyed Scotland’?”
He added: “If you pursue this craziness Scotland will go broke and forever lose whatever chance you currently have of making Scotland independent.”

he sent a one-sentence missive to the then first minister asking why Swedish energy firm Vattenfall was being allowed to “ruin” the Scottish coastline, adding: “Let them ruin the coastline of Sweden first.”

On 9 February 2012, Mr Trump told Mr Salmond: “With the reckless installation of these monsters, you will single-handedly have done more damage to Scotland than virtually any event in Scottish history.

I note that the letters indicate an appreciation of pragmatism by Mr Trump.

In one letter Mr Trump said: “History has proven conclusively that the world’s greatest leaders have always been those who have been able to change their minds for the good.”
He also said he would be “your greatest cheerleader if you can change or modify your stance on at least the inappropriately placed turbines.”

In the other letter he told Mr Salmond: “Your idea of independence is ‘Gone With the Wind’.”

Well, I am slightly puzzled by Mr Trump’s writings, if only by the use of the future tense in the reference to a third-world wasteland. And he surely meant to say ‘sh*thole’, which in Scots English I’m told is spelt ‘Cumbernauld‘.

I have to say that I am looking forward even more to 12 noon on 20th January 2017.

17 comments to “Your economy will become a third world wasteland that global investors will avoid.”

  • Julie near Chicago

    That’s probably a correct translation, Mr Ed, going by the photo anyway. Sort of reminds me of scenes from 1990…. :>(((

  • bobby b

    He’s certainly going to be fun to watch.

    I’m picturing a string of very proper government people looking as if someone had grabbed them in an overly familiar manner and squeezed just a bit.

  • Julie near Chicago


  • Sam Duncan

    “And he surely meant to say ‘sh*thole’, which in Scots English I’m told is spelt ‘Cumbernauld‘.”

    No, “Govanhill”.

  • the other rob

    I’ll just note that Trump is now POTUS Elect, while Salmond is, I dunno – working in a chip shop?

    Probably not, I should imagine that he trousered sufficient ill-gotten gains during his time in office to keep him in the style to which he has become accustomed.

    But Trump’s statements on the tax burden are well made. Historically, the upper classes have generally done more to support the working and middle classes than the managerial classes have.

    While Trump’s business motivation appears to be clear (if the likely slanted article is to be believed) I’m still cautiously optimistic about his Presidency.

    Plus, Hillary Clinton will never be president. Yay!

  • I’ll just note that Trump is now POTUS Elect, while Salmond is, I dunno – working in a chip shop?

    Surely you should know the nature of the likes of Wee Eck by now, these fuckers never quit leaching off the public purse while they still have the opportunity.

    Alex Salmond MP is now the Member of Parliament for the Gordon constituency (North East Scotland), although I suspect that when he is finally ousted from one of the various Parliaments that he has sat in he will be raised to the Lords as these bastards usually are to continue their leaching…

    Although to be quite honest I would swap Nicola Sturgeon for Alex Salmond any day of the week.

  • PeterT

    Quite. Alex at least seems like someone you could have a pint with, rather than pour a pint on, which would be my natural instinct with somebody like Sturgeon.

  • AndrewZ


    Like most of the Nats, Salmond has spent his career blaming all of Scotland’s problems on the English. So it would be interesting to find out how he treats English people in a social setting. Does he always behave as if the English are the enemy, or does he change his face to suit the occasion? I suspect it’s the latter.

  • “he told Mr Salmond: “Your idea of independence is ‘Gone With the Wind’.”


    Both the wit and the historical relevance of that impress me. Donald is witty; who knew?

  • Watchman


    Second hand account I have is that Salmond is a perfectly nice guy in person – he has no particular anti-English bias (and from time when I lived in Scotland, he was always clear that the English who lived there were welcome to stay in an independent Scotland). I think he genuinely is a nationalist on the basis of who lives there, rather than of ethnicity (probably fits with his socialism better).

    And he does seem the sort of guy you could have a few drinks with. We’re lacking that with current political leaders (Farron is apparently nice, but not a real drinker; May and Corbyn are May and Corbyn; and I need convincing Nuttall is not a psychopath).

  • Mr Ed

    The idea of drinking with politicians is appalling, except perhaps (given time travel) Churchill, and perhaps Reagan.

    I am reminded of the (now-retired) F1 racing driver Eddie Irvine being asked something about what racing drivers were like as friends and his comment was something to the effect of ‘Jesus, if you’ve got a racing driver for a friend, you’ve got problems.’.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Trump is a pragmatic (small “p” – I am not pointing at the philosophical school of Pragmatism) deal maker – he would be very good President if elected in 1956 and the main concern was to prevent military and highway contractors ripping off the taxpayers.

    However, it is not 1956 it is 2016 – the main concerns now are the Federal Reserve Credit Bubble and the out-of-control Welfare State (yes the American Welfare State that the international establishment pretends does not exist, but which is bankrupting both the economy and the culture).

    No one can do anything about the Federal Reserve Credit Bubble economy – it will burst and that is that. Mr Trump will get the blame – totally unjustly get the blame.

    As for the out of control government – seeking to take over all the functions of Civil Society, and thus undermining society and the culture (as well as the economy).

    Mr Trump did not run on rolling back government (he is not Ted Cruz) so he will try to roll back government – and, to be fair, neither has any other President in my lifetime.

    Bankruptcy (in fact if not in law) is inevitable – not just economic bankruptcy, but cultural (societal) bankruptcy as well.

    The voters?

    They may well respond by voting for socialist candidates for President and Congress (in fact if not in name) in 2020 – which will lead to starvation and total collapse by 2024.

    Such is life – and death.

  • Mr Ed

    Paul Marks, the Fifth Horseman…. 🙂

  • Paul Marks, the Fifth Horseman

    …but Mr. Ed, the Fifth Horseman is “Fear” (Czech: A pátý jezdec je strach)

    No. Paul Marks is more akin to Cassandra of Greek mythology, the daughter of Priam, King of Troy, in that he prophesied the truth, but nobody of significance paid heed to it.

    I suspect that he is right, though the timing may be off, but I am powerless to do anything about it as Paul is.

  • Watchman, December 22, 2016 at 12:47 pm: “Second hand account I have is that Salmond is a perfectly nice guy in person”

    I have reason to believe otherwise – also second-hand (which is how I prefer to get my knowledge of him 🙂 ). What I’ve heard suggests an ill-regulated capacity for complacent self-praise. When a newspaper article (quite some years ago, now) described him as “the first politician in Scotland”, Mr Salmond took a serious chunk of Holyrood time to tell the members about the article lest they should have missed it, quoting bits to them, etc. Even by the standards of politicians’ self-love, this and similar was (and was perceived to be) a bit odd.

    I have no doubt Salmond, like most politicians, can put on a good show when he meets a punter. Up to a point, the more phoney a politician is deep down, the better they can do that.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes John Galt – we are both powerless. Although I am not powerless to type the word “not” (for example in “he will not try and roll back the state”) – but I often leave it out. I should always check before pressing “post comment”.

    I hope you are in (or can find) a comfortable place to watch the end of our world – and I hope our world is not replaced by the domination of the People’s Republic of China.

    In the end it is those powers where things are actually made who have the wealth to rule (if they are large enough – and have the will). But, sadly contrary to the hopes of Classical Liberals, having lots of private industry does not make a power accept liberality of spirit – a grasp on moral principle.

  • The last Toryboy

    Drinking with Churchill? My word. That’s brave!