Thursday, December 06, 2007
"I see the Rev Ian Paisley is trying to persuade Donald Trump to give up trying to build something in Scotland and go to Northern Ireland (your report, 5 December). I never thought I would see the day when Mr Paisley would be seen as a sensible, constructive and moderate negotiator and the Lib Dems as ranting, destructive ideological extremists."
They edited to the extent putting in "to give up trying to build something in Scotland" instead of my original "to give up the Sisyphean task of being allowed to build something in Scotland" which I thought gave added meaning in light of the suggestion by councillor Ford that Mr Trump would be perfectly free to reapply. The idea that he is going to cool his heels & his £1 billion, waiting to see if he may, or may not be permitted to invest some time in the future is unlikely to appeal. This is the practical effect of our planning system plus all the public enquiries people inevitably call for, which, of course, is why they call for it.
"In Greek mythology, Sisyphus (Σίσυφος) (IPA: /ˈsɪsɨfəs/) was a king punished in the Tartarus by being cursed to roll a huge boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll down again, and repeat this throughout eternity.
Today, Sisyphean can be used as an adjective meaning that an activity is unending and/or repetitive. It could also be used to refer to tasks that are pointless and unrewarding."
Even the Scotsman don't expect their readers to recognise a classical allusion anymore. Perhaps it would have been better if I had referred to it as our Kafkaesque planning system.