Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Operation Take-Out Frank

Here is some information on the next round of local council elections in Scotland which are due to he held on Thursday 4th May 2017.

As regular readers know, one of my campaign ideas is to stand an independent 'Equal Pay' candidate in the Glasgow Shettleston ward of the current council leader, Councillor Frank McAveety.

The purpose of standing a candidate would be to remind local voters in the Council leader's backyard that Labour-run Glasgow has been dragging its feet over equal pay for years.

Glasgow City Council is now the only remaining council in Scotland not to have reached a settlement over its post-job evaluation (JE) pay arrangements introduced in 2006/07.



Council elections in Scotland (2017)

On this page, you will find guidance and resources that you need if you are a candidate or agent at council elections in Scotland held on 4 May 2017.
An overview document gives instructions on how to use this guidance and who does what at these elections. Read the Overview for candidates and agents (PDF);
Click here for the 2017 timetable for council elections in Scotland on 4 May 2017.
The Improvement Service has created a website for prospective candidateswhich provides a wealth of information about the role of a councillor, including what councillors do and what’s expected of a councillor. There are also videos and short stories of councillors from across Scotland detailing why they became a councillor, the difference they make and their advice if you are thinking of standing.
If you are standing at council elections in Scotland in 2016, view our guidance and resources for 2012 - 2016 elections.

Part 4

The campaign

This part covers:
  • Campaigning dos and don'ts
  • Using the electoral register and absent voters' lists
  • Using schools and rooms for public meetings
  • Imprints on campaign publicity materials
  • Polling day dos and don'ts
  • Reporting allegations of electoral malpractice

Part 6

After the declaration of results

This part covers:
  • Making the declaration of acceptance of office
  • Access to election paperwork
  • Submitting your spending returns and declarations
  • Questioning the result through an election petition

The Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court, has set the following dates to deal with the outstanding equal pay claims against Glasgow City Council.  

  • 25th to 27th April 2017 - a three day hearing on the pay protection and assimilation period
  • 2nd to 5th May 2017 - four days focusing on the City Council's job evaluation scheme, also known locally as the WPBR (Workforce Pay and Benefits Review)
Now the timing could not be better if you ask me with the elections to Glasgow City Council taking place on Thursday 4th May 2017.

My message to the Labour leaders of Glasgow City Council is to come clean and explain the pay arrangements that were put in place after the introduction of its local jib evaluation scheme (WPBR) in 2006/07.

So if Frank McAveety and his colleagues don't have the political will to resolve then issue, then step aside and make way for those who do. 


Operation Take-Out Frank? (29/01/17)

I've had a great response to the recent post setting out my plans for a big equal pay campaign in the run up to the council elections in May 2017. 

Some of these activities are already in hand and will be reported on the blog site as things take shape in the days ahead.

But there has been surprisingly strong support for the idea of fielding an 'Equal Pay' candidate in the Glasgow Shettleston seat where the Council's Labour leader, Frank McAveety, is standing again.

Now that would really set the cat amongst the pigeons if you ask me, as I doubt very much that Councillor McAveety can muster a credible defence to Glasgow's behaviour in relation to equal pay over the years.

As regular readers know, thousands of low paid City Council workers were 'bullied' and intimidated into accepting poor offers of settlement in the run-up to Christmas 2005 although those who threw their lot in with A4ES received a much better deal, of course.

So 'once bitten, twice shy' as they say and even though Frank was an MSP in the Scottish Parliament at the time, the responsibility for sorting things out lies with the Labour-run City Council which Councillor McAveety currently leads.  

A number of readers have asked if I would consider standing against Councillor McAveety, given my knowledge of the City Council and the long fight for equal pay. 

Now that's an intriguing proposition, but we have a long way to go because I'm told that  the relevant papers do not have to be registered until the end of March 2017.

But who knows, maybe I will throw down the gauntlet in Shettleston and challenge Frank McAveety in his own back yard.

Maybe it's time for Operation Take-Out Frank?


Glasgow and Equal Pay (06/01/17)

Readers in Glasgow are in touch regularly to ask what kind of equal pay campaign will get underway in the weeks ahead.

Well that's something I will give detailed thought to over the festive season, but here is a 'starter for ten' as the say ion University Challenge:

  • Issue a detailed public statement explaining the basis of the dispute
  • Highlight Glasgow's position as the only major council in Scotland not to have reached agreement with A4ES over its post-job evaluation pay arrangements.
  • Arrange to brief the Leader of the Opposition Group on Glasgow City Council and individual councillors who may have been kept in the dark by the current council leadership.
  • Arrange to brief all MSPs and MPs within the boundaries of Glasgow City Council who are all SNP politicians 
  • Organise a series of local meetings across the city to encourage the 5,500 A4ES clients in Glasgow to get involved in the campaign
  • Assist equal pay claimants in Glasgow to get their message across by lobbying local councillors, Holyrood MSPs and Westminster MPs
  • Organise case studies for the local media including The Herald, Evening Times, Daily Record etc
  • Organise a major advertising campaign across Glasgow in the run-up to the May 2017 council elections
  • Consider standing an 'Equal Pay' candidate in one or more key Glasgow constituencies
  • Seek a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon (First Minister) as a Glasgow MSP to discuss how she and the SNP Government can help hold Glasgow to account
If readers have any ideas or suggestions to make, then fire away by dropping me a line at: markirvine@compuserve.com markirvine@compuserve.com 

Remember, 'many hands make light work' and the more people who get involved in the campaign the sooner this will all be over.

North Lanarkshire Update

I've had a number of queries from readers in North Lanarkshire regarding the job evaluation (JE) review which can be summarised as follows:

1 Why have the JE grades of school clerical workers not gone up since the equal pay settlement in 2015?

2 The advice from our union is that we have to start all over again on an individual basis

3 The union says things are complicated and that we members don't understand the details of the equal pay settlement?

Well I don't think things are complicated at all and here's an explanation that should help people see the wood through the trees.
  • The original equal pay settlement with North Lanarkshire Council covered the period up to 31 March 2015.
  • The scores and grades awarded to three female dominated jobs (Home Support Worker, Playground Supervisor and School Crossing Patroller) were heavily criticised at the long-running Glasgow Employment Tribunal - as a result these three jobs were subject to a further JE review along with a number of male comparator jobs.
  • 1st Wave School Clerical Workers (SCW) represented by A4ES were not included in this settlement - nor were Sheltered Housing Warden (SHW) or Classroom Assistant (CA) represented by A4ES - because these former APT&C posts had not received an equal pay settlement first time around.
  • The reason for this is that A4ES was still disputing the JE scores and grades of these three job (SCW, SHW, CA) categories at the long-running case Employment Tribunal case in Glasgow.
  • The trade unions in North Lanarkshire had previously settled their claims on behalf of these three groups.
  • As a result the trade unions were not supporting A4ES in its argument that the JE scores and grades of SCW, SHW and CA were far too low.
  • In  2016 A4ES finally won the argument at the Employment Tribunal and the council was forced to concede that the scores and grades should be amended for the purpose of calculating much improved settlement offers.
  • The new settlements affected only A4ES clients and only went up to the date of the Employment Tribunal judgement.
  • The settlements reached previously by the trade unions were much poorer than those achieved by A4ES.
  • In one case an A4ES client achieved a settlement of £19,000 having previously been offered a settlement of £2,000 via her trade union (although the £19K was subject to further tax and NI deductions).
  • The settlements A4ES achieved for employees in these job groups varied depending on people's individual circumstances, but the highest settlements were between £30,000 - £50,000 which speaks for itself. 
  • Action 4 Equality Scotland also won a huge victory over the right of claimants to have their settlements paid on a pensionable basis. The trade unions were not part of this pensions dispute and had previously advised members that equal pay settlements could not be made pensionable.
  • Presumably the trade unions are none too keen on their members understanding that A4ES achieved these far better results which may explain why they would now like to sweep the whole business under the carpet.
As I've said on the blog site previously, while A4ES is not part of the JE review process the right thing for the Council and the trade unions to do would be to extend the scope of the JE review to all School Clerical Workers, Sheltered Housing Wardens and Classroom Assistants.

The evidence is all there from the Glasgow Employment Tribunal and this could easily be used by the Council and the trade unions to give these jobs a further examination and fairer deal - even though the trade unions would be left looking rather foolish.

In other words it is not really complicated at all and if you ask me, it's ludicrous to expect individual members of staff to do this on their own - that's what trade unions are for, or at least it was in my time. 

After all, why have a dog and bark yourself?


Putin's Russia

The Russian Parliament (Duma) has passed a law watering down the country's domestic violence laws on the basis that 'the state interferes too much in family life'.

According to Russian government statistics from the Interior Ministry, 40% of all violent crimes are committed within the family which equates to 36,000 women being beaten by their partners every day and 26,000 children being assaulted by their parents every year.

Women's rights lawyer Mari Davtyan told The Moscow Times that the legislative moves are dangerous and "send a message that the state doesn’t consider familial battery fundamentally wrong anymore.”

Sounds crazy, but there is a widespread 'macho' culture in Russia which reflects the ugly, twisted logic of the old Russian proverb: “If he beats you it means he loves you.”

If you ask me, no one in an loving relationship should be resort to physical violence and anyone who says this is part of normal family life needs their head examined. 


Putin's Russia (14/01/17)

The BBC reports on the controversial steps being taken in Russia to water down the country's domestic violence laws. 

If the new law is approved, as seems likely, first offences or assaults which cause 'less serious' injuries will not be regarded as criminal offences.

In the words of the woman MP behind the bill, Yelena Mizulna, Russian citizens should not be labelled as criminals "for a slap". 

Domestic violence's taken much seriously these days in most western countries, so if you ask me this is a big backward step. 


Russia: Anger at move to soften domestic violence law

BBC Europe
A bill to decriminalise some forms of domestic violence has passed its first reading in Russia's Duma, sparking anger among women's rights advocates.

The legislation would define first assaults which cause less serious injuries as administrative - rather than criminal - offences.

MP Yelena Mizulina, who introduced the bill, says people should not be jailed and labelled a criminal "for a slap".

But critics say it will set back efforts to tackle an endemic problem.

The silent nightmare of domestic violence in Russia

On Wednesday, some 368 lawmakers voted in favour of what has been dubbed the "slapping law" by some Russian media outlets. One deputy voted against the plans, another abstained.

'Authority of parents' power'

The proposed legislation concerns both parents' treatment of their children, and husbands and wives treatment of each other.

It applies to violent actions causing injuries which do not require hospital treatment or cause the victim to require sick leave from work, according to Olga Batalina, one of its authors.

Under the proposal, the first offence would not be considered criminal, and punishment would be limited to a fine or community service, but subsequent incidents could still be considered criminal and carry potential jail terms.

Ms Mizulina, a highly conservative lawmaker, began promoting the bill in July, in the wake of amendments to the criminal code which made beating a family member a criminal offence.

'Living hell'

Penalties for offences should not "contradict the system of social values that society holds on to", the Moscow Times quoted her as saying.

"In Russian traditional family culture parent-child relationships are built on the authority of the parents' power... The laws should support that family tradition."

However, critics, like Olga Bobrova, a journalist at Novaya Gazeta, argue that in many cases violence that does not leave marks on the victim's body still "transforms her life into a living hell".

In November she wrote that "domestic violence is a normal way of life" in Russia.

Activists handed out flyers outside the Duma with the stories of abuse victims.

Some 175,000 people have signed a petition launched by campaigner Alena Popova calling for full new legislation on domestic violence and improved provision for victims.

Olga Yurkova, executive director of sexual assault referral centre "Sisters" told Novaya Gazeta the planned legal change would "set loose" people who are used to dealing with problems in a violent way.

"A huge number of women tolerate domestic violence but do not bring it out to the public. The decriminalisation will worsen the situation.," she said.

Official data on domestic violence in Russia is very limited.

Estimates based on regional studies suggest some 600,000 women in Russia face physical and verbal abuse at home and 14,000 die from injuries inflicted by husbands or partners each year - almost 40 a day.

According to the ANNA National Centre for the Prevention of Violence, in 2008, a representative of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs said that violence, in one form or another, takes place in one in four families, and two-thirds of homicides are attributable to household or domestic motives.

Alcohol is widely considered to be a major contributory factor.

Gonnae Nae Dae That!

A protester in Glasgow's George Square has a message for Donald Trump.


Trump's Achilles Heel (29/01/17)

The map above and the countries coloured in red come under Donald Trump's new refugee ban.

Below and also highlighted in red are countries where the new American President has either tried to do 'deals' or where Trump Enterprises has existing business interests.

The notable 'absentee' from the banned list is Saudi Arabia which is one of the most repressive Islamic countries in the world with with a long track record of exporting Islamist terrorists - including those behind 9/11. 

Since the President's announcement is not linked to any security threat and his new policy makes no sense. 


Trump's Achilles Heel ((19/01/17)

I said in a recent Twitter post that Donald Trump's business interests could prove to be his Achilles heel because the President-elect seems unwilling to divest himself of his many business interests around the world.

Handing things over to his sons or other family members is a bit of a joke if you ask me, since who would believe that Daddy Trump is really capable of keeping his hands off the tiller, so to speak.

Everyone knows Trump can't keep his paws off Twitter for more than 10 minutes, so this may all end in tears.

The BBC has come up with a list of the potential conflicts that Donald Trump will face as he assumes the office of President on Friday, and there is still time for him to wise up and the right thing.



Donald Trump: A list of potential conflicts of interest

BBC US & Canada

Image copyright - REUTERS

Donald Trump's extensive, international business holdings mean he will have to make decisions as leader of the US that also affect his businesses. Here's a look at some of his potential conflicts of interest.

The Trump Organization is an umbrella company for Donald Trump's hundreds of investments in real estate, brands and other businesses.

As head of the executive branch and a business owner, he would have the ability to influence both US policy and government agencies to benefit his bottom line.

Presidents are not subject to the same conflict of interest rules as other government employees, and previous commanders-in-chief have placed their investments into a blind trust to prevent any question of corruption.

Mr Trump has said his adult sons will run the Trump Organization during his presidency, but they are also members of his transition team and have sat in on meetings with foreign leaders.

The president-elect has also said he will "be leaving my great business in total," but has not specified what this means in practice nor announced any major changes.

Ethics experts have urged Trump to liquidate his business holdings so that he can avoid any appearance of a conflict.
Read more here about how the Trump Organization's business works and what it means for the presidency.

Below is a list of known conflicts of interest for Mr Trump, both foreign and domestic. Because his business is private, the full extent of his holdings - and the potential for conflicts - is not known.

Many of these conflicts were reported before Mr Trump won the election, but have become more pressing as his transition team begins to make decisions about his presidency.

American conflicts of interest

40 Wall Street

Image copyright - GETTY IMAGES

The Trump Organization owns the right to lease the space in this office building in Manhattan - and makes money from the rent paid to the building.

According to Bloomberg News, there are five ongoing federal investigations into current or former tenants of 40 Wall Street, mostly for securities fraud.

Those investigations are headed up by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and Mr Trump will appoint a new SEC chair once he takes office.

Dakota Access Pipeline
Image copyright - GETTY IMAGES

Sioux tribes and allies have been protesting for months to prevent the Dakota Access pipeline from being built under water supplies near the Standing Rock reservation.

Trump had a partial investment - somewhere between $500,000 and $1m - in the parent company of the firm building Dakota Access pipeline, Energy Transfers Partners.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks says Mr Trump has sold his stock in Energy Transfer Partners. But another one of Trump's stock holdings, Phillips 66, owns a 25% share in the project.

It's unclear if the president-elect has also sold his stock in Phillips 66, as his last financial disclosure was in May.

The US Army Corps of Engineers and the interior department have delayed a decision on the future of the pipeline until they can consult further with other local communities.

Mr Trump's political appointee to head the interior department could ultimately be responsible for the decision.

Deutsche Bank

One of Trump's major lenders on his real estate projects is Deutsche Bank.

The bank is currently in negotiations with the US justice department to settle a case involving misleading buyers when it sold mortgage bonds backed by risky loans.

If Deutsche Bank does not settle by inauguration day, Mr Trump's administration would be in charge of the negotiations.


The president-elect will have another job title beyond "commander-in-chief": executive producer. He will continue to have a "big stake" in The Celebrity Apprentice, which airs on NBC, linking Mr Trump's business interests with the network.

NBC and its parent company, Comcast, is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Mr Trump will need to appoint two commissioners to the agency.

General Service Administration
Image copyright - GETTY IMAGES - Image caption Donald Trump (C) and his family prepare to cut the ribbon at the new Trump International Hotel in October 2016

The Trump Organization leases the Old Post Office Building from US government's General Services Administration (GSA) for the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC.Trump as president is both "landlord and tenant" of this building, says Steven Schooner, who along with Daniel Gordon, has called on Trump to end the lease.

The 60-year lease will likely involve renegotiations - and the person responsible for setting the rent prices would ultimately report to the head of the GSA, a Trump appointee.In addition, the lease bars any federal employee, including elected officials, from benefitting from contracts with the government.

Meanwhile. the hotel has already been pitched to foreign diplomatsas a place to stay while in Washington, raising concerns that foreign governments could see booking expensive rooms at the Trump International as a way to gain favour with the Trump administration.

National Labor Relations Board

On 3 November, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that Trump International Hotel Las Vegas - which Trump co-owns - broke the law by refusing to negotiate with a hotel workers' union.

The hotel appealed the case to a higher court. But eight other labour disputes involving the Las Vegas hotel are currently before the board.

Trump will appoint two empty seats on the five-person board after he becomes president, and the NLRB is facing an unprecedented situation on how to rule on disputes that will affect the president's business.

Secret Service
Image copyright - REUTERS

During the campaign, Trump's airplane company, TAG Air, billed the Secret Service for flying on Trump's Boeing 757 while protecting the candidate. It is standard for Secret Service to pay their own way on private aircraft, and during the campaign, this was tracked by the Federal Election Commission through campaign finance reports.

While Mr Trump will fly on Air Force One and other US aircraft as president, if Trump or Pence family members are assigned protective detail and decide to fly on Trump planes, the Secret Service would need to reimburse TAG Air - and ultimately Mr Trump - for the flights.

In addition, Secret Service will reportedly pay the Trump Organization for the space they use in Trump Tower while protecting Melania and Barron Trump as they stay in New York for part of this year.

Such amounts are part of Secret Service's normal budget and are unlikely to be disclosed.


Jason Miller, the transition team's spokesman, has said the president-elect sold all his stocks in June, a month after the required financial disclosure, but the campaign has furnished no proof.

Since his election, Mr Trump has singled out specific companies for criticism on Twitter, causing price swings on the stock market. If Mr Trump still owns these stocks, he could make money off of selling and buying before and after such tweets.
Foreign holdings

According to Trump's financial disclosure, he has investments in or owns companies in at least 20 countries. Unlike his domestic business, Mr Trump could run afoul of a clause in the US constitution by continuing to profit from these deals.

The emoluments clause specifically prevents anyone who holds a US "office of trust or profit" from accepting gifts, payments or any benefit from a foreign nation.

Even routine business benefits like tax breaks would likely violate the emoluments clause once Mr Trump becomes president.

One former White House ethics lawyer has argued Mr Trump would be violation of the constitution "on day one", if he keeps his business.

In addition to emoluments, Mr Trump's foreign policy decisions could be called into question in any country in which the Trump Organization does business, especially when his policies would benefit the firm's holdings overseas.Here are some of Mr Trump's larger business deals that intersect with US foreign policy.

BBC Monitoring contributed to this report


An Argentine broadcaster reported that Mr Trump allegedly asked President Mauricio Macri for his support to build an office tower in Buenos Aires while on call during Mr Trump's transition period.

Mr Macri's office and the Trump campaign have denied the report.

However, several days later, the Buenos Aires firm building the tower announced construction of the project was going ahead after years of delays.

A waterfront property in Rio de Janeiro, branded with the Trump name through a licensing deal, is the subject of a federal inquiry after two small Brazilian pension funds invested heavily in the unfinished project, with allegations of bribery.

Update: The Trump Organization has reportedly cancelled their licensing deal with the developers in Rio. Trump lawyer Alan Garten told the AP in December this and a few other cancellations were "normal housekeeping" and not part of a strategy to reduce potential conflicts of interests.


The Trump Organization has licensing deals with two hotel towers in Canada - one in Toronto and one in Vancouver.

The Vancouver building will open in early January, but the Toronto tower is up for auction after the developer went bankrupt and was put into receivership by a Canadian judge in November.


The Bank of China is one of China's largest banks and also majority state-owned. It holds the title on a $950m loan for a New York Building in which Trump is a part owner. Mr Trump has previously labelled China a currency manipulator.

Another largely government-owned Chinese bank - the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China - has space in Trump Tower, paying rent to the Trump Organization.

The Trump Organization has also previously attempted to open a series of hotels in the country, and Trump Hotels chief executive Eric Danziger told a Hong Kong media outlet in October they wanted to open 20 to 30 hotels in the country in 2017.

Meanwhile, Trump's son-in-law and now senior adviser, Jared Kushner, is negotiating a deal with China's Anbang Insurance Group to redevelop 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Mr Kushner has been given a senior role inside the White House, and his lawyer told the New York Times he "would recuse from particular matters that would have a direct and predictable effect on his remaining financial interests" without giving specifics.


Trump has a licensing deal for buildings in Mumbai and Pune.

One of his deals is with the Lodha Group, whose founder, Mangal Lodha, is also a vice-president in the ruling government party, BJP.

Shortly after Mr Trump won the presidency, some of his Indian business partners flew to the US to congratulate Mr Trump, who took time out of transition meetings to discuss "US-India relations".


Two building projects with Trump licensing and management deals have not begun construction in earnest but the Trump Organization continues to be part of the venture.

Mr Trump's partner on the resort projects is Hary Tanoesoedibjo, who ran for vice-president and is well-connected politically in Indonesia. Mr Hary is forming a political party in anticipation of the 2019 elections, the New York Times reports.

In addition, one of Trump's advisers, Carl Icahn, is a major shareholder of Freeport, which is looking to extend a mining contract with the Indonesia government.


Ivanka Trump sat in with a meeting with her father and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Ms Trump is currently finalising a licensing deal with Japanese clothing company Sanei International.

The firm's largest shareholder is the Japanese government through the Development Bank of Japan. Ms Trump's company says the deal has been in the works for a while, and the terms were agreed before the election.

Philippines' newest trade envoy to the United States is the same man who is building Trump Tower Manila. Like many of Trump's branding projects, Mr Trump does not own the building himself, but licenses his name to the building in return for regular payments.

Trump family members have previously promoted the project, including a promotional video.

The trade envoy/business partner reportedly flew to US to hold a private meeting with Mr Trump after the election.

Saudi Arabia

During the course of the campaign, Trump created eight business ventures tied to a potential real estate deal in Saudi Arabia.

Mr Trump told Fox News earlier this year, he "would want to protect Saudi Arabia. But Saudi Arabia is going to have to help us economically".

Update: A Trump Organization lawyer has told the AP the eight firms have been dissolved or shut and that there is "no deal" in Saudi Arabia. However, the firm could easily re-establish business ties there.


In September, a woman claiming to be an envoy for the Trump Organization discussed potential real estate developments in Taiwan with the mayor of Taoyuan.

The Trump Organization has denied any plans for expansion there and said there were no "authorised visits" to discuss business in the country. The Taoyan mayor's office said the woman had "authorisation documents" but did not specify what kind, the New York Times reported.

A month after his election, Trump called the president of Taiwan directly, breaking decades of existing US foreign policy. It still unclear if the woman is connected with the Trump Organization

Image copyright - GETTY IMAGES

In 2008, Trump entered a licensing partnership with Turkish conglomerate Dogan Holdings, who were planning to build two residential and business towers in Istanbul's business district.

Relations between Dogan Holdings and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan have turned sour since the towers opened in 2012.

The Dogan family, also own a paper critical of Mr Erdogan.

An earlier story from Newsweek argues the poisoned relationship between Mr Erdogan and the Dogans means Mr Trump would have a direct conflict between his business interests and his relationship with a US ally.

Turkey's importance in the fight against IS and the Syrian civil war makes the stakes much higher.

UK golf courses
Image copyright - GETTY IMAGES - Image caption Trump visits the golf course he owns in Aberdeen, Scotland

Mr Trump owns two golf courses in Scotland and has recently asked Nigel Farage to oppose wind farms, not because he believed they were bad for the UK or contradicted US energy goals, but because a wind project would potentially lower the value of one of his golf courses.

"He did not say he hated wind farms as a concept; he just did not like them spoiling the views," Andy Wigmore, the Leave.EU communications director at the meeting told the New York Times and the Express.

The golf courses could also be affected as part of Brexit negotiations or a second Scottish independence referendum.