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Frank Gilfeather: Golf course sycophants who swung in for Trump

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Dear Mr President, as you will now forever be known. You have played a blinder in your role as the leader of the free world, with your finger on the pulse – not to say the red button – of global affairs.

From the moment you stepped on to the welcome carpet many north-east politicians rolled out for you when you bought “the great doons of Scaatland” at Balmedie, and delivered “the best golf course in the world”, it was clear you were the tourism expert you claimed to be.

And it was apparent too that you had all the attributes required to enter the murky world of politics – you made promises you knew wouldn’t be kept.

Oh, how you showed those who wouldn’t submit to your bidding, the residents who refused to bow under pressure and vacate the houses which stood too close to your golf course.

You built a wall – well, a mound of earth (but good practice for your Mexico border project) – and you cut off the water supply to the home of an elderly woman who would not buckle. A master stroke, Mr President.

An over-zealous policeman handcuffed and arrested a film-maker charting the problems faced by those residents.

Yes, the sycophants were always ready to do your bidding as they rubbed their hands at the thought there could be business to be done with you.

After all, there were 1,500 homes to be built, a five-star hotel, not one but two golf courses, and an accommodation block for 600 workers, just some of the “thousands of jobs” you told us you’d create.

You have been a busy man since you made those pledges all those years ago, but we are confident that, in time, you will come good on them.

We trust too that your solitary golf course near downtown Balmedie will eventually stop losing millions of pounds and turn a profit; maybe when the Americans come in their droves, as you predicted.

I was sorry when I could not join the long queue of politicians, business leaders and even journalists eager to shake your hand when the Trump jet touched down at Aberdeen. I think I was washing my hair on each occasion and therefore missed the opportunity to grab a closer look at your make-up.

Nobody could have foreseen your rise to political power nor your ability to brush off searching media questions. Insult journalists – that’s how you dealt with the problem.

But above all, Mr President, you have been comedy gold with jaw-dropping proclamations that had us saying: “I can’t believe he said that.” Long may that characteristic continue.

Bond spy didn’t love us for false teeth joke

In light of Sir Sean’s demise, I offer a James Bond story.

For some obscure reason, there was a Scottish premiere of The Spy Who Loved Me, which starred Roger Moore as 007, at the Odeon in Aberdeen, now a health club.

It was 1977 and, with Roger deployed elsewhere, Barbara Bach, who played Russian spy Anya Amasova, was tasked with publicity matters for the film north of the border – hence her visit to the North Tonight studio at Grampian Television.

Alan Cowie, GTV’s loveable arts correspondent and all-round flapper, was discovered in the make-up room ironing the future Mrs Ringo Starr’s frock.

She had assumed there would be a wardrobe mistress, but Alan did an excellent job, with only a couple of barely visible burns.

To his hands, not the dress.

Moments before the live interview took place, and with her attention elsewhere, I dropped a pair of joke false teeth I must have found lying around – it was a TV studio, after all – into her glass of water.

She was not amused when she went to take a sip, and fingers were pointed at scene-hand Bob, asleep on a chair in the corner.

Seconds later, the programme was on air, Alan’s heart held out and the beautiful Barbara told us all about The Spy Who Loved Me.

Connery’s rallying cry from distance

There is often a tendency when famous people die, for tributes to be excessive.

Alex Salmond’s effusive praise of Sir Sean Connery – “the world’s greatest Scot” and the “the last of the real Hollywood stars” – comes into that category.

The film star and the former first minister were buddies, with the fight for independence at the heart of their friendship, though Connery’s rallying calls generally came from one of his homes abroad.

Like many Scots shouting for “freedom” – some even have their online say in response to this column – they choose not to live here.

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This article originally appeared on the Evening Express website. For more information, read about our new combined website.