Hollywood took on Holyrood today -- and Holyrood won. Donald Trump swept theatrically into the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh intent on halting construction of a pioneering offshore wind turbine test centre near his controversial golf course, north of Aberdeen. But faced with the polite, persistent questioning of Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), Trump visibly ran out of steam. It was no McKnockout– but the American billionaire certainly lost on points. Now it remains to be seen if his £750 million plans for a hotel, leisure complex and housing will ever go ahead and if the "best course in the world"– will open as planned on July 10th this year.
A dozen cross-party members of the Scottish Parliament's Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee had taken their seats before a capacity audience of press, public, photographers and cameramen when the distinctively coiffed Trump entered Committee Room One. Swaggering like a well-dressed prize fighter The Donald surveyed the room with a combative grin, flanked by dark-suited minders including son Donald Junior and Manager George Sorial.
After several provocative TV and radio interviews, the audience was waiting with baited breath for "new and extra" information about promises allegedly made to Trump by erstwhile supporter Alex Salmond. But though James Murdoch landed a blow on the SNP leader yesterday at the Levenson Enquiry, Trump's follow-up punch failed to materialise. There was a small ripple of laughter when the billionaire nodded his fellow American's testimony -- "Salmond's denying everything today." But so too was The Donald.