Highland Clearances comparison ‘disrespectful’
Author hits out over actress’s Trump remark
Comparing the Highland Clearances with Donald Trump’s golf resort plans dishonours the memory of the Highlanders, according to a historian who has studied the event.
Tim Newark said Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton was “completely mad” to accuse Mr Trump of attempting a “21st-century clearance” on the development at the Menie Estate, near Balmedie.
Ms Swinton joined Tripping up Trump, the protest group against the property magnate’s plans, last week.
The actress made the accusation after Mr Trump’s company asked Aberdeenshire Council to use its powers of compulsory purchase over people who are unwilling to sell their land to make way for the development.
The Trump Organisation has since withdrawn the request in order to avoid the compulsory purchase process, and will enter into further discussions with the owners of four homes and two plots of land.
Mr Newark, whose book, Highlander, covers some of the history of the Highland Clearances from the 17th and 18th century, said to use the event in comparison to Mr Trump’s plans was “disrespectful”.
He said: “I was in Aberdeen last week and heard the comparison to the Highland Clearances in relation to Donald Trump’s development, and it struck me as being a ridiculous and terrible use of the past.
“The people I talked to seemed to be in favour of the development and how it will benefit the area.
“To compare that to the tragedy of the Highlanders shows huge disrespect to their memory.
“Ms Swinton is a very successful and highly intelligent person, but for her to draw that parallel is completely mad.”