DONALD Trump’s legacy will be a deeply divided America, requiring years in intensive care to recover. The north-east of Scotland is only too familiar with Mr Trump’s overbearing and divisive modus operandi.

In 2012 he received permission for a links golf course in Aberdeenshire that seriously threatened a unique environment and a site of special scientific interest. The local committee that initially rejected his application was accused of illegality and threatened with the courts. Anything sound familiar?

However, other national and local politicians rolled over and competed to ingratiate themselves with “The Donald”. Red carpets were rolled out at Aberdeen Airport and Aberdeenshire Council HQ. First Minister Alex Salmond basked in the glow of being described as the finest wee first minister “on the planet”. He looked forward to his invitation to play the course with Donald, Bill Clinton and Sir Sean. It must have been lost in the post.

Under the smokescreen of 6,000 jobs, a luxury hotel and hundreds of new houses, the development got the green light.

Hard to believe, but Mr Trump might not have been entirely truthful when recently claiming Sir Sean was instrumental in obtaining permission. During construction, residents opposed to the project say they were relentlessly bullied and harassed. Their homes described as slums, their water supply “accidentally” severed and mounds of earth strategically sited to deprive them of their views.

Walkers on nearby dunes say they were subjected to heavy handed security and policing. The saga documented in Anthony Baxter’s award-winning film: You’ve Been Trumped. The course was duly built, but the jobs and other developments have proved elusive, perhaps concealed by the haar that rolls in off the North Sea.

The Aberdeenshire course has not proved particularly successful, running up losses. Nevertheless, Mr Trump has not been deterred, planning a second, environmentally-damaging course. Fortunately for Mr Trump, Aberdeenshire councillors are trusting country folk. It was no surprise therefore, when permission was granted, despite opposition from Scottish Natural Heritage.

Past experience should have alerted councillors that they would need the proverbial lang spoon to sup with Mr Trump. Serious doubts about economic viability, vulnerability to climate change and coastal erosion were glossed over.

They, touchingly, clung to the belief that there will be “significant social and economic benefits”. Aye, right, just like the last time. Anthony Baxter’s movie trailer might well offer the council a new motto, “Sometimes money and power is everything. Sometimes it costs the earth”.