The importance of roots

IMG_20140824_113145It is hard to understand what the impact of private jets and almost unlimited wealth would have on ordinary lives. Last night the BBC provided us with a bit of a snap shot into the visit to the Isle of Lewis by Donald Trump in 2008, who according to this piece spent 90 seconds inside the house his Mother grew up in and a mere three hours on the Island. The images shown on the film reminded me of the visit I made to Harris and Lewis in 2014 when our family spent an amazing week on the Island meeting some lovely people and investigating the production of Harris tweed for my son’s textile degree dissertation. Trump speaks on camera about the difficulty in finding the time in his busy life to visit the location, but how thanks to his private jet he was able to visit the place where his Mother came from. It is certainly true that travelling to the island is not a simple matter particularly if you cannot manage to spare more than a few hours. If a plane is one’s preferred mode of transport and you don’t own your own, you need to fly into Inverness and then catch a local plane to Stornaway airstrip. On the other hand the ferry route from Skye takes almost as long as Trump actually spent on the Island, but it is a wonderful experience from long before you leave the mainland to cross the bridge to Skye. Based on our trip three hours is not long enough to meet many people either, the pace of life and the hospitality we were shown, even though we had little more than curiosity to offer meant we spent almost as long as three hours with some of the people we met. We were on Harris and Lewis whilst the residents were preparing for the referendum and it was fascinating speaking to many of those we met who did not want separation from the rest of the UK, even though their lives seemed so different to the experience of our own down in Sussex. If the opportunity ever arises we would all love to return to the island, recognising that we would probably want to spend longer than we did in 2014. I feel very sorry for Donald Trump that despite his wealth and privilege has denied himself the chance to really understand where he comes from, but based on our visit there was no indication that the Island is any poorer for the fact that he is disconnected from his roots.


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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