Michael Forbes (farmer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michael Forbes
Bornc. 1952
Known forrefusal to sell his land to Donald Trump

Michael Forbes (born circa 1952) is a farmer, part-time salmon fisherman and quarry worker from near Balmedie in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, who became known after his refusal to sell his land to Donald Trump for a golf course and resort.


Forbes rose to fame for refusing to sell his land to Donald Trump, who was planning to build an extensive luxury golf course complex in the area with assistance from the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond.[1][2][3] Forbes's farm, which is said by Trump to be in a state of disrepair,[4] has the words "NO GOLF COURSE" painted on a shed.[5]

Forbes refused Trump's offer of a one-time payment of £450,000 in addition to a yearly salary of £50,000 for an unspecified job.[6] The plans to build the golf complex were rejected in late November 2007 by Aberdeenshire Council but were later called in by the Scottish Government, which approved the project in November 2008.[7] Forbes has been compared to the beachcomber character in the film Local Hero.[6]

The Trump Organization at one point threatened to try to use a compulsory purchase order to forcibly remove him and his family from their land, as well as other nearby residents.[8] Trump claimed that Forbes' property was a slum that would spoil the view from his new hotel. Forbes retorted that Trump can "take his money and shove it up his arse."[9] The Tripping Up Trump Campaign was formed to challenge the Trump Organization on the issue. Hundreds of people bought small interests in Forbes' property and became co-owners, with the intention of making it more difficult to transfer the title to the land.[10]


In 2012, Forbes won the 'Top Scot' award at the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards,[11] provoking Trump to criticise Glenfiddich, calling it a "terrible embarrassment to Scotland".[12]

In popular culture[edit]

Forbes and his struggle with Trump featured in the 2011 documentary You've Been Trumped, directed by Anthony Baxter and produced by Richard Phinney.[13] His portrait by Alicia Bruce with his wife, Sheila, is held in the National Galleries of Scotland collection.[14]

Forbes was also featured on the HBO news magazine, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Baxter, Anthony (20 December 2015). "Why did it take Alex Salmond so long to turn on Donald Trump?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  2. ^ McLaughlin, Martyn; Urquhart, Frank (22 November 2007). "Man in the middle stays put to defy Trump's golf dream". The Scotsman. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011.
  3. ^ Woodifield, Peter (29 November 2007). "Trump's Billion-Pound Scottish Resort May Get Backing". Bloomberg.com. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012.
  4. ^ Carrell, Severin (29 December 2008). "Neighbourhood watch – Trump moves in next to 'local hero'". The Guardian.
  5. ^ "The Scottish fisherman who didn't want to play golf". Scenta.co.uk. 25 November 2007. Archived from the original on 29 November 2007.
  6. ^ a b Tumposky, Ellen; Siemaszko, Corky (21 November 2007). "Scotsman says he will not sell his land to Donald Trump for golf course". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on 24 December 2007.
  7. ^ "Trump's £1bn golf resort approved". BBC News. 3 November 2008.
  8. ^ Anthony, Baxter (5 May 2021). "Molly Forbes obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  9. ^ "Donald Trump's plea to homeowners on the Menie Estate". The Scotsman. Johnston Publishing Ltd. 12 November 2010. Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  10. ^ D'Antonio, Michael (22 June 2016). "Here's Why Donald Trump Should Expect a Chilly Reception in Scotland". Fortune. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  11. ^ "Donald Trump golf opponent Michael Forbes wins 'Top Scot' award". BBC News. 30 November 2012.
  12. ^ "Donald Trump criticised Glenfiddich over Michael Forbes award". BBC News. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  13. ^ Holden, Stephen (1 August 2012). "Movie Review: 'You've Been Trumped,' About Donald Trump". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  14. ^ "Artworks: Alicia Bruce". National Galleries of Scotland.
  15. ^ Porter, Kyle (20 April 2016). "Scottish residents frustrated with Trump construction on countryside". CBS Sports.com. Archived from the original on 1 June 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2016.