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10th Jul 2012


Today, July 10th 2012, as the nation’s press and political dignitaries assemble for the official opening of the controversial Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire (minus Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, who has, apparently, been snubbed!), not everyone will be hoping for a cloud break in this most dreich of Scottish summers. 


I open my forthcoming new album Traces (released August 13th, 2012) with a song called Cover Your Eyes, a meditative and poignant "protest" of sorts against Trump's executive golf development. It imagines a kind of meteorological retribution where environmental justice, political sense and human decency have otherwise totally failed. And the (all too familiar these days) North Sea haar is the protagonist.


The tide still ebbs and flows where the Ythan meets the ocean

Not even God himself could stop the northerlies from blowing

You can tear these dunes asunder, pound this wonder into dust

With your cruel hands and crooked hearts,

Laden with list and expensive lies

But the haar will stumble in to cover your eyes

The haar will stumble in

                           Cover Your Eyes – Karine Polwart/Steven Polwart


I wrote Cover Your Eyes in response to You’ve Been Trumped, Anthony Baxter’s critically acclaimed documentary expose of the coastal golf course development, which screens this month at cinemas across Scotland and the wider UK to coincide with the official opening of the new Trump International course.


I was outraged by the film on so many levels. Trump’s claim to have preserved and improved the dynamic dune system on which the course is built by “stabilising” it is, to me, the worst kind of human disregard for our natural environment. Utter hubris.


The Trump International Development encompasses the Balmedie Dune System, which was hitherto a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and is now lost forever.


But it’s the personal stories of the local Menie Estate residents caught at the heart of the golf links development, told with respect and wit in Anthony Baxter's film, which inspired me most. I wanted to offer a gesture of support to the dignified local people who’ve refused to be intimidated or bought out by the Trump Corporation, and to make a statement that their stories, memories, and deep personal connections with the place they call home really do matter in twenty first century Scotland.


Cover Your Eyes struck such a chord with You’ve Been Trumped director Anthony Baxter that it’s now been incorporated into the end credits of the film itself.

You’ve Been Trumped screens this week in the home of golf itself, St Andrews (New Picture House) and today I'm hoping the mist and rain holds out on the exposed Aberdeenshire coast and the North Sea itself shows Mr Trump exactly who’s boss.

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