View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Wednesday 18 January

Good sunny spells and equally good showers of rain, hail, snow, and kitchen sinks. The Hebrides at their best. Went out for lunch at An Lanntair, and watched the ferry come in - and depart again for its customary early afternoon call. Not much traffic on it, just a lot of lorries. Our freight boat, the Muirneag, is currently off due to high winds. Over at Eoropie, 25 miles to the north, it is blowing a storm, with winds close to hurricane force. That is a slightly distorted picture, as it is a very exposed location. Stornoway Airport reported winds fully at force 7, with speeds to 40 mph. As I type this, 11.30pm, the wind has died down. Tomorrow should bring snow to the mainland, and probably a few flurries up here as well.

There is a debate raging about the referendum on Scottish independence, and I'm heartily sick of it. The current topic of conversation is: who will be eligible to vote. Common sense would dictate all voters on the electoral register for elections to the Scottish Parliament. However, there is a train of thought that says all people who are Scottish born but living elsewhere in the UK should be enfranchised as well. Let's extrapolate this straight into the realms of discrimination and disenfranchise all people in Scotland who were not born in the country.

What put a grim smile on my face today was the news that Donald Trump is seeking to withdraw from the Balmedie golf resort plan. He has built his golf course at Balmedie (6 miles north of Aberdeen), and caused huge upset in Scotland a few years ago as he bullied Aberdeenshire County Council into accepting his outrageous plans, after their planning committee rejected them. I haven't forgotten the vituperation in the Press and Journal newspaper at the time, poured out over the Council who dared to oppose a scheme that would be the salvation of Aberdeenshire, if not Scotland itself. The First Minister, Alex Salmond, did some very odd moves to get the scheme through. And now it might all fall flat on its face. The reason that The Donald has given for his possible withdrawal is the proposed windfarm off the Aberdeenshire coast, which will be within sight of his scheme. Knowing that renewable energy is a keystone of the Scottish Government's policies on the environment and the economy, we can fairly safely assume that The Donald will be withdrawing from The Dunes of Scotland in the next couple of months.