Public Access at Menie - again

I have had reported to me three more incidents where people were stopped on the Menie Estate. References to previous incidents can be found here.

One incident I regard as very serious. I quote from part of an email from a young woman horse-rider
... so went for a ride down through the dunes beside the Trump area. Was outside the fences and on the path when they're (sic) security jeep drove down. Carried on back onto the beach and further down the the jeep with flashing orange lights comes powering out of the dunes and storming up the beach towards me - really motoring along, splashing through puddles, lights flashing - you can imagine how this went down with Lenny! .... Eventually 2 big fancy blacked out range rovers turn up and 4 Americans in suits jump out of each one and start accusing me of the vandalism that was in the papers a couple of weeks ago. There were really quite aggressive and if Lenny hadn't been freaking out and running round me in circles, it would have really been intimidating - they had to keep their distance because of him though.

A complaint has, I understand been made to the police.

There have been two further incidents in the past few days, one a pedestrian and one another horse rider.

This intimidation is not acceptable.

I shall be discussing the situation with the local police. Detaining me last March was one thing. Endangering people peaceably riding horses is serious.

Please do not be put off using the dunes. pedestraians, cyclists and horse riders are perfectly entitled to exercise their "responsible right to roam". I believe construction work has stopped - we are out of the marram grass planting season. Please be careful not to disturb the areas of planting and fencing.

I carry a mobile phone when I am on the dunes. I shouldn't have to but ... If I were stopped I would ask who was stopping me and why. If there was any effort to detain me, I would dial 999 immediately.

Hopefully this will be properly dealt with and we have no more in the long running series of incidents. I will be meeting the police on Friday.

Nature's Fecht for Union Terace Gardens

The craws war chattin ti the doos
Hiv ye heard the affa news
They’re destroyin oor gairdens at Union Terrace
Thae humans are a bliddy menace
The doos said are ye sure yer richt
We ken you craws are nae that bricht
Oh aye we heard it fae a wise aul owl
Fa wis doon the Toon’s Hoose for a prowl
Noo Jenny Wren wis hoppin aroond
Fin she heard the doos kickin up a soond
She flew up high ti see fit’s fit
Fit she heard she didna like ae bit
Oh michty me an gweedness gracious
Fillin in oor gairdens fit are richt precious
The trees and shrubbies far a hop aboot
Wull aa be for the chap nae doot
The tale wis telt ti the snails
They lit oot some affa wails
Iss surely it jist canna be
Destroy the gairdens an we’ll aa dee
Syne the news it reached the bugs
They hid heard it fae the slugs
The Toon’s Hoose wull be oor destination
There ti hae a wee bit infestation
We’ll crawl aa ower the Provost’s chair
An get in yon Sue Bruce’s hair
The wifie’ll hae ti hae a scratch
Serves her richt the silly vratch
The moles they noo heard the chatter
An said we’ll hae a wee bit natter
We can undermine St Nicholas Hoose
So’s the foondations are a bittie loose
Noo the robins war maist pit oot
As roon an roon they did scoot
Iss is news jist affa silly
As they passed it on ti a blue tit billie

The Blue Tits they warna overjoyed
In fact they were fair annoyed
We’ll hae ti flit ti Westburn Park
An that’ll nae be much o a lark
Syne a butterfly it flitted bye
On hearin aa the spik did cry
Fit aboot the bonnie flooers
Far a spent sic happy oors
The squirrels they cam oot o hidin
Fae holes in trees far they wis bidin
They canna chap doon oor hame
Fa thocht up iss silly game
The bees noo they war bummin
Wi frustration they wis hummin
We’ll hiv ti sting aa the bums
O Sir Ian Widd an his chums
The flooers, shrubs an the trees
War duncin wi anger in the breeze
Iss his been oor hame for yonks
Aa ti be trashed by stupid gonks
The aul aul trees hid some inspiration
We’re covered by an order o preservation
Jist aabody bide in oor leafy green tops
Agin the diggers we’ll pull oot aa the stops
Leave us aa aleen is nature’s plea
Nae hairm ti humanity did we ivver dee
Ye humans are jist bliddy feel
As oor gairdens ye try ti steal

Thanks and © Bob Smith 22/5/2010

Bunkerin Donald's Plans

Some times it's best to express yourself in verse
Thanks for permission to reproduce (and copyright) Bob Smith

Michael Forbes his decided ti sell
Some grun fit’s ca’ed The Bunker
Ti some fowk fa are affa keen
Ti stymie a Manhattan mumper

Trump ti buy iss plot o lan
Needs ti contact mair than a few
Fa hiv bocht iss bittie grun
An are part owners o it noo

There’s nae doot iss clivver ploy
Wull mak Trump nae verra happy
In fact I’ll gyang as far’s ti say
The chiel’ll be a grumpy chappie

Here’s ti Michael and his plotters
We aa hope iss dis some eese
So’s Trumpy’s plans are bunkered
An Menie fowk are left in peace

Ti aa ye gweed fowk oot there
Please tak in iss bittie verse
The best thing that could happen
Is Trump kicked up the erse

© copyright Bob Smith 2010

The Lunatic Fringe

On Wednesday, Aberdeen City Council voted to support the razing (not a misspelling!) of Union Terrace Gardens and the replacement of these with Sir Ian Wood's vision of a City Square.

I think this was a wrong decision for three reasons
  1. It has dished Peacock Visual Arts proposals for a new Northern Lights Arts Centre which had secured most of the required funding and would have delivered a £5m/year economic boost to the City as well as making the gardens more accessible and providing handy facilities such as cafe and toilets.
  2. No economic case for the City Square has been made.  This makes the proposed funding for the £90m+ that will not be given by Sir Ian Wood - Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) - dubious.  TIF depends on the infrastructure being developed actually delivering tax increases locally - and for central government agreeing that those extra taxes can be used to pay of the local debt.  Neither of these are certain.
  3. The gardens themselves are used and loved.   They are a important cultural, historic and enviornmental asset to the City.   55% of the people in the City Square consultation said No to the City Sqaure proposals.  As I have already said "Which bit of No, don't you understand?".  Ian Wood said he would withdraw the offer unless the proposals were supported.   But ASCEF wanted to pursue the issue and the City Council has agreed to this.  

It's hard for councillors to say No to £50m.  I am sure that the P&J and the Evening Express would have told us that councillors voting against City Squre were numpties and a danger to the economy of the north east of Scotland if the vote had gone the other way.  Those against the proposals have been labelled as the Lunatic Fringe.  This blog is called National Disgrace, Scroundrel and Extremist because those are labels that Donald Trump and his accolytes tried to attach to me and I am plainly none of those things.  So I am happy to add Lunatic Fringe to the list - along with the 55% of those who were consulted on City Square who also said No.

People are genuinely angry about this decision and desperate for someone to take a lead in stopping this awful  "development".  I think that the economic case does not exist and the funding mechanism is too dubious.  So the odds are that this willnot happen.  It hasn't happened for 20 years .....

So let's group together as friends of Union Terrace Gardens and do what we can to conserve and improve them. 

Meanwhile, thanks for this video of the Gardens on Saturday 22nd May 2010.


This Parliament does not represent us. We demand fair votes now. There must never again be an election under this broken system.

We need change -

Vote for policies

It always fascinates me how people decide who to support.  But actual real policies often seems to have little do do with it. 

So I have been watching with interest.

This is a screen shot of the current result for Gordon, broken down by policy area.  This needs to be treated with caution - just 75 users is hardly representative - but Green policies are popular, particularly in regard to Crime, Economy, Education, Europe, and the Environment - 5 of the nine policy areas.    For up to date results, click here.

Nationally the results are moe significant with over a quarter of a million users of the tool.  And there the Greens are well ahead with 24% support.  See for the detail.