Sugar coated fluff puffs and leaps of faith

It’s coming, you can feel it in the air and hear it in the conversations around you. Today at the hospital as I walked onto the ward four nurses were having an animated conversation about independence, three of them voting Yes, trying to persuade the fourth. In bus depots, factories, offices and schools, staff are talking, discussing, debating. And it’s overwhelmingly amicable and good natured. We political amateurs know how to disagree without being disagreeable, unlike the Jim Murphys who say they speak for us.

As the conversations continue, more decide to vote Yes. Positivity and hope are novel experiences in Scottish politics, and they’re infectious. It’s the virus of hope, not the virus of nationalism. It’s propagating itself in the rising tide of positivity, and sprouting from the pages of a wee blue book. It’s growing in the laughter of derision that greets each new No campaign poster or broadcast.

The latest in the multimillion pound campaign, the professional campaign designed and implemented by the clever-clever clones in ill fitting suits who determine our lives, is a series of posters with messages more vacuuous that any that has come before. “I love my family so I’m saying No Thanks.” “I love my kids so I’m saying No Thanks.” People were paid a lot of money to come up with these posters. Politicians previewed them, focus groups discussed them, advertising agencies designed them. And the product of our professionalised political class is inconsequential nothingness, airheaded fluff that even Simon Cowell would reject as too low-brow for his programmes. This is, allegedly, the positive case for the Union, a crass attempt to make us identify our love for our children and families with Jim Murphy and Alistair Darling’s careers.

Do you love the party leaders in Westminster? Do you love the House of Lords like you love your own children? David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage are not our family. They’re not our kids. They’re sure as hell not our country. The No campaign hopes you can’t tell the difference, it’s the only hope they have to offer you.

I don’t know the difference between my kids and the Westminster Parliament, so I won’t listen to the man off the telly. Heard it all before. Whateeeevahhh. Vote No and revel in ignorance, it’s the no knowledge economy with the zero hours contract. Celebrate your passivity, show how proud you are of your dependency. Love being stupid. Do what you’re told. Thinking for yourself is so hard. Eat your cereal. Save up the coupons from the packet and enter the Westminster devolution draw. Win a lifetime’s supply of sugar-coated fluff puffs, devoid of nutrients but they’ll still rot your teeth and your brain.

The Scottish electorate is wise enough to know the difference. That’s not granting the Scottish electorate a great amount of political literacy either, a pet poodle knows the difference. The only people those posters will appeal to are those with less insight than a poodle. That’s what the No campaign thinks of us. We’re intellectually challenged poodles. Sit up and beg for your cereal from the Westminster sugarpuffs daddy. There’s a good girl, there’s a good boy.

For Westminster, Scotland – just like the rest of the UK – is a province to be raided for resources, labour and capital. The people are just an inconvenience to be humoured, pat on the head, and given a bowl of cereal. They think nothing of us, and think we are capable of nothing without them. We’re just the batteries for the vibrator, they’re the ones who get the thrill as we are drained.

You don’t even have to scratch below the surface of the glossy publicity pics to find the condescension lurking beneath. It’s waved in your face like a trophy. Wee Dougie Alexander waved his Holy Wullie in the STV debate on Tuesday night. Two audience members asked what currency he’d advocate for an independent Scotland. Dougie didn’t answer, instead he ruled out every option except Scotland remaining a part of the UK. Everything Scotland could possibly do for herself would be a disaster. Scotland can’t manage any sort of currency at all. So vote No, vote for the Holy Wullie without a prayer, in a land with no hope and no chance.

The scare stories continue ramping up, the constant background to the referendum campaign. But they fade from the consciousness just as after a while you no longer notice the ticking of a clock in a quiet room. The clock is ticking on Westminster’s rule in Scotland. The scare stories no longer work, the positive case for the Union never existed. They have nothing left but more of the same. They’re pulling the same old strings, but we’re no longer their puppets.

People are talking, debating, changing minds. There’s an enthusiasm and interest which has never occurred before. The queues stretched out into the streets as people registered to vote before the deadline, queueing to make history, queueing to be part of a country where we can choose between our hopes not choose between our fears. The dusty and distant world of the politicians has been dragged kicking and screaming into the streets and the bars, the living rooms and bedrooms. That’s the carnage the No campaign fears, the carnage that occurs to their reputations as Scotland examines them clinically. We’re out of their control, and we scare them. Project Fear has eaten itself.

The clock is ticking. Take a deep breath. Tense your muscles. A cautious country is about to take a leap of faith in itself. And when we land our feet will be planted firmly on a path we choose for ourselves.

198 comments on “Sugar coated fluff puffs and leaps of faith

  1. diabloandco says:

    I liked that – after a depressing few months and an even more depressing last fortnight – I needed a pep talk.
    This will do admirably!

  2. Steve Bowers 74% win says:

    Wondefully written Paul, just so inspirational, I’m off to sweep some more chimneys, badge on boiler suit, Wee Blue Book in back pocket

    ” do you feel you have enough information Madam…………………… have a wee look through this, check the sources…. have a coffee morning with your chums to discuss it ”

    We’re kicking arse and taking names, the future’s bright, the futures Scottish.

  3. Dennis says:

    Great stuff. A bit long, though. How about: Ah love ma dug so am no votin’ No … 😉

    • hektorsmum says:

      Hey I love ma dug and I am voting YES. He is an independent sort, half Yank and a quarter German with the best bit of Northern England, County Durham and Sunderland in him. I very nearly let him meet the BT man at the door on Sunday to confirm the household was voting YES.

  4. Alastair Bishop says:

    Utterly fantastic article, Paul. One of your best, and that’s saying something.

  5. WTF is going on?

    It’s just past 8 in the morning & I’m standing up clapping my hands in applause!

    God I bloody love you Paul Kavanagh & your writing!

    The Union is in it’s last death throes & Scotland is rejoicing.

    Work still to do. So let’s all finish the job.

    Look out Falkirk, the 3ft rule is in operation today!

  6. macart763 says:

    Damn right.

    Yesterday on the finishing floor, people were bagging some campaign literature. They had got together and started having one of those animated debates. I could see one lad talking about how crap Scotland’s public infrastructure was right now, so how could we afford to upkeep it financing ourselves? The chap he was in discussion with, a well known undecided in the work, suddenly stopped him in his tracks and said, quite innocently and simply, because we wouldn’t be buying bombs. It was like watching a light switch on. 🙂

    I damn near cheered. Well he must have heard me at least stifle a laugh, because he turned round, saw me (fairly well known for me views) and smiled. He didn’t have to say another word, although he did, he simply shook his head and said ‘aye, ah’ll be votin’ YES’.

    The closer we get, the more we focus, even those who have taken a long time to come round. My view on the undecided has always been that they are YES waiting to happen. They already know what’s right, what’s in their head and their heart. They simply need time or a trigger to make the choice and overcome a lifetime of establishment conditioning. Make no mistake, that’s exactly what we have all overcome. A conditioning to make us accept the unacceptable, the banal, the grey, a conditioning of cynicism and apathy.

    Personally, I intend to grow old disgracefully and wear loud trousers. 🙂

    • hektorsmum says:

      All the best people are growing old disgracefully and okay, you can wear the loud trousers. I tend to go for tasteful and smart. It is good to hear your and Paul’s experiences, mine wasn’t as good, Dog minder has voted NO, ah well it was to be expected, the whole lot of the family are Tories as far as I can see.

      • macart763 says:

        No, it turns out I’m simply the only colour blind Macart(ist) I know. 😀

        Mrs M gets fair upset when I put on her slacks in the morning.

  7. larkandlily says:

    Great post 🙂 keep up the great work. I have become annoyed by the ignorant zombies that can’t see how independence will be the best thing for Scotland. So this post has got my morning off to a great start 😊

    I have been helping to canvas in Wick, mostly yes so far….we have Westminster on the edge of the cliff….💙

  8. Fairliered says:

    The political establishment are losing control and don’t know what to do about it.

  9. Red Squirrel says:

    A brilliant article, it really is happening.

    Scotland’s new Age of Enlightenment is shining brightly in every new voter, every person for whom hope has replaced fear, and in growing confidence with every union myth derided.

  10. I know this is obvious, but often a sense of perspective is crucial. If this whole campaign was only a matter of the ‘nationalist’ SNP politicians arguing for independence as at a Scottish parliament election, then what percentage of the votes would they hope to get? 25%, 30%, 35%? So how is it that this ‘campaign’ will receive over 50%? – That’s right. It’s about us. The Scottish people. That’s really what’s different. It’s not about the feckin politicians. Our time has come and we’ll take it.

  11. macart763 says:

    People this has just been released today and its worth a read. Spread it far as you can.

    • Jan Cowan says:

      Thanks, Mac. That does it! No wonder Cameron didn’t want to face AS.

      • gerry parker says:

        Jan, you’re right. If Alex got David Cameron in a national televised debate he’d make David admit this for everyone to know. As long as they control the MSN the people of Scotland will not know.

        Will drop this into conversations at business meeting breaks this morning.

      • macart763 says:

        Its a beezer isn’t it?

        We’re sitting on some of the world’s largest untapped deposits.

        “This is despite strong geological evidence for oil and gas reserves, including that the major basins in the area are filled with thick sedimentary successions – which helps produce and then reservoir oil and gas. These geological conditions support the formation of gigantic, or ‘supermassive’ oil reserves.”

        “The investigation also found that the industry had evidence of a large and significant oil field off the West coast of Lewis that could dwarf many of the larger finds around the world. Surveys have already proven that thick Permo-Triassic sandstones exist in the area, a key indicator that oil is present in large quantities.

        The investigation also found that oil companies over the next few years are planning to accelerate significantly the number of test drilling wells in the Atlantic Margin. Currently only 20 test wells have been drilled, which compares with more than 3000 that have been drilled in the North Sea.”

        Oh dang! 🙂

  12. mary vasey says:

    AYE were gonna dae it 😎
    Thank you Paul for anither great post

  13. Sorry, Paul I forgot to say. I have loved reading the wee ginger dug and all comments. a beautifully written antidote to the grey crap we are force fed by the lickspittle shite eaters. There – was that conciliatory enough in tone? The moderator of the Church of Scotland is a position that says exactly what it does on the tin. He’s a Churchian, not a Christian. So nuclear bombs are not an obscenity then? Why have only 30 ministers came out in favour of YES? (and half of them are retired) – it’s a disgrace. – sorry, that degenerated into a mini rant there.

  14. FergusMac says:

    See you, Wee Ginger Dug – you’re claimt. Ah’m Fergus’s auld Sheltie, an Ah lived wi a Poodle for years, and she wis awfy clever. Ah agree wi aw the independence stuff ye post, but Ah’ll no staun fur ony cheek aboot Poodles. She’s deid noo, or she’d come roon tae deal wi ye hersel, an that wid sort ye oot. Ah’ve seen her hunt they German Shephards.

    Ah huv dictatit this tae Fergus, an Ah’m sittin aside him, makin sure he gets this right.

    Ony mair snash aboot Poodles an Ah’ll be waitin ootside fur ye.

    That’s you telt!

    Fergus’s Sheltie (Ah’m no giein ma name, fur the polis is already lookin fur me)

  15. Marian says:

    Excellent piece yet again! Its just what we all need to keep our spirits up.

    It appears that Westminster has decided they don’t need to change their strategy of scaring voters because they have calculated that there isn’t enough Undecided/Don’t Know voters left for YES to win with as long as NO can continue to scare and hold on to those core NO voters that they have had all along.

    This is why Project Fear has tried to smear the YES campaign with their Big Lie about “intimidation”, and continued with their Big Lies over currency and the EU and pensions in recent days.

    The YES campaign know this which is why pushing forward Patrick Harvie and Elaine C Smith at last night’s debate in order to demonstrate that the YES campaign is a broad based church and not just AlicSammin and “Nationalists” was so important.

    It is also why it is imperative that YES supporters re-double their efforts to convert the soft NO vote at the edges of the NO core vote, to vote YES.

  16. Jan Cowan says:

    Thanks, Paul, yet again for a superb post. I like the idea of the “Westminster sugarpuffs daddy”. Your contribution to the referendum debate is immense and……..some good news, the young in Caithness are beginning to convert the old!

  17. mogabee says:

    We are positive, they are not…simple as that! Even in Campbeltown I feel it and that truly amazes me!
    Thanks Paul.

  18. arthur thomson says:

    Brilliant. Thank you. It is so important after the 18th to create at least one Scottish newspaper. We have wonderful writers and a much greater insight into the issues of our time. I would happily subscribe to setting up and enjoying a quality daily paper and I am sure enough others would too. How can we make it happen?

    • hektorsmum says:

      Arthur I agree, and we really need many of those who like Paul have contributed so much to the campaign. We need to set up a fund, to start it, mind I think the Scotsman might be obtained quite cheaply.

  19. MolliBlum says:

    Yet another brilliant article… any chance you might consider putting them all together after the referendum in a WeeGingerBook??? It would be a fantastic way of remembering and charting our journey to independence!

  20. Dougie Alba says:

    Another wonderful piece of motivational writing!
    Take the inspiration onto the streets folks and into the workplaces,pubs and clubs..
    And drive this juggernaut home.
    Keep persuading,
    Keep cajoling,
    Keep encouraging
    We can do this!

  21. J Galt says:

    Certainly in the Bus Depot where I work I’ve never seen anything like it – the sad, bitter, middle-aged, orangish, heads filled wae shite while they were in the forces types are in retreat. It’s great to see. No complacency though, “THEY” have tricks up their sleeves, constant vigilence is needed of the whole voting process.

  22. arthur thomson says:

    Sorry if anyone felt I went O/T above but as someone who was brought up on Oor Wullie and the Broons I have a vision of Scottish bairns in the future getting their Wee Ginger Dug annual at Christmas. I think also about the number of people in Scotland who haven’t had the pleasure that we have had in reading Paul’s work. I want EVERYONE to have the chance to read it. I too have dreams.

  23. hektorsmum says:

    Another thought provoking piece Paul, Cheerios seem to be the most apt cereal for 19th September but can be eaten in great numbers now. George Monbiot in the Guardian is doing another great service to YES, who would have thunk it. Pointing out what country would get involved with another and get shafted royally like us and if we had been given a Referendum in 1707 we certainly would not be in the situation today. So come on the Yessers.
    Moderator of Church of Scotland completely out of order in blaming both sides for trouble, seems to me that it is coming one way only.

  24. WRH2 says:

    Great article yet again from Paul. Truly inspirational. I’ve been thinking about all the recent puff stuff as well and realise this is their final attempt at trying to convince us, “You are too stupid”. But we have all moved on and are not going to swallow this garbage any more. Think of all the stuff that they have used in an attempt to derail the Yes campaign and have failed miserably. Their silly love bombing by “celebs”. Who cares? Their threats, the dire warnings, the hijacking of the Commonwealth Games, reminders of the past. None of it worked and nothing now will work. We are in the home straight! Let’s work our hardest to get over that winning line in real style.

  25. John Duncanson says:

    @ Arthur Thompson.
    I totally agree with you over the need to establish a truly independent Scottish Press. As a retired broadcaster/journalist, I have been dismayed at the actions (and inaction) of the Media across the board, during this most important event in Scotland’s history. The new Scotland must have it’s own, Independent ‘Voice’.

  26. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Even Alex Massie was having a pop at BT?NT yesterday on Radio 4 for their chronic inability to advocate any positive case for the Union at all.
    Two weeks to go – we need to pull out all the stops and work our wee knitted socks off and get this over the line.

  27. Steve Mitchell says:

    “We’re just the batteries for the vibrator, they’re the ones who get the thrill as we are drained.”

    Pure poetry ! Excellent article as usual. Love these pieces.

  28. Michael Housman says:

    This is a big part of what Westminster is worried about, without the support of Scotland the UK economy will take a big hit, and of course nobody is talking about the West coast oil reserves.

  29. Pat Farrelly says:

    Terrific writing – art, heart and brains.x

  30. yesguy says:

    Bravo Paul.

    After all you are going through you still have time to laugh. Good on you mate. Never leave these pages without a smile.

    great piece.

    This referendum has brought together some creative bloggers and you sir rank up with the very best of them. You and Derek Bateman get you thinking, educating and often straight to the point. But getting the humor right is a gift you have in spades.

    It’s been a pleasure coming to this blog. And will continue to do so. I have a feeling The Wee ginger Dug will be known throughout . Mainstream perhaps??
    You would have your followers here jumping for joy.

  31. James says:

    Thank you for such delicious writing!

  32. Morag Frame says:

    what a damp squib the NO campaign has been? despite all their ‘so called’ intelligence and the power of money behind them, their campaign has overall been rather pathetic? (Murphy egotizing grassroots leadership by balancing on a couple of Irn Bru crates with no endorsement, harassing folk wi doom and gloom and omitting to tell you, when they were in government they failed us, coz even the Ministers son, spent our tax’s on fighting these foreign crusades.) I’m still left curious as to why we could ever continue to be ‘better together’?

  33. nancyburge says:

    Sad news to report.

    Andy died this morning at about 7am. Paul was able to be there and spent the last hour with Andy before he died. Although Andy was not able to speak, he knew that Paul was with him holding his hand.

    Paul has family with him and tomorrow he will start doing all the organising that follows a death, so he won’t be writing anything for a bit.

    I offered to write this so that fellow blog-readers who have been sharing this last bit of Paul and Andy’s journey will know why Paul is not posting.

    When the YES votes win the day, it is good to know that Andy voted yes and is going to be part of the new independent nation of Scotland. Just so sad he did not live to see it happen.

    • Deedee says:

      I am just distraught to read this, my heart is breaking for Paul. Please pass on my hearfelt condolences, thoughts are with him. So glad that Andy had the chance to vote and similarly so sad that he did not live to see it happen. But we’ll do it for him and all the others who have been taken too soon without living to see their country free. God bless Paul.

    • flooplepoop says:

      Hope we can assist in helping out with one of Andy’s last actions and get a Yes vote.
      I wish Paul all the best and my condolences.

    • Ken McDonald says:

      Paul, Words alone cannot adequately express my sorrow at learning of your loss.

      My thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones at this difficult time.

      Ken McDonald (kendomacaroonbar)

    • Devereux says:

      Now we have to do it for Margot and Andy.

      • J Galt says:

        Yes, and all the others who have passed but who worked hard for this chance we now have. Each of us will know one, thankyou Andy, Margot, Wendy and all the rest.

    • Kate says:

      So sorry to hear this news.

    • jdman says:

      Oh Nancy, Im so desparately sorry to hear that, I think we were all hoping Andy would manage to see indepence come about before his final journey, please pass on my and my wife sincerest condolences to Paul who after speaking to him for only a few minutes at the Counting House,
      felt ourselves in the presence of a truly great and gentle man, our lives were enriched for having met Paul, what Andrew must have felt/feel for Paul and Paul for Andrew, is a very humbling thing.

    • Please pass on my condolences. Paul’s strength and good humour through this difficult time has been truly humbling. RIP Andy.

    • Liz says:

      Dear Paul,
      So sorry to hear this very sad news about Andy. I have been reading your blog and many others for the past 6 months. I have never commented on any until now. I am a practice nurse and of course voting yes. My mother was a carer for my father who died of MS and there was never a stone unturned and I can see you cared for Andy the same way. I admire your strength and commitment. I would like to thank you for your sense of humour and the hard work you have put into this referendum. You have given your audience hope and a vision for our future despite your own difficult circumstances. My husband and I are thinking of you at this very sad time. I am positive it is going to be a yes on 18th September. Take care.

    • Jim Thomson says:

      Paul, your sorrow will pass and be replaced with fond memories of all that was Andy.

      Take solace from the knowledge that he is no longer in pain or discomfort and that you were with him at the end. He will have known you were there and that comfort could only have helped him.

      My thoughts are with you.

  34. A Meringue says:

    I can confirm that it has really kicked off big style. I could have done with being in three places at once today. Getting my mitts on a large bundle of Wee Blue Books helped right enough!

    Politics is exciting! Who knew?

    Right change of subject. I know that the dug will love this. I got an email from our old friends in Vote NoB orders forwarded to me today. Apparently we are to buy some song to get it to number one for referendum day. The song is called “Why Build Another Wall” with dramatic graphics of someone sledgehammering a wall! Whats the bet that they will get the song to number one all their “cough” “Grassroots followers” will no doubt buy it all up,

    But Wait! Thats not the best bit. Here is a quote direct from their publicity email. I kid you not!

    “Have you pre-ordered yet? Last week we shared news of the launch of the song “Why Build Another Wall?” We hope the words and music, based on the chord sequence of Auld Lang Syne, resonate with you.
    Auld Lang Syne was written by Robbie Burns, himself a staunch Unionist. It’s a song that looks back on old times with a childhood friend, and seeks to rekindle the past with a handshake and a goodwill drink.”

    Yup Robert Burns was a staunch unionist according to Vote NoB orders.

    Now pick your jaw off the keyboard and go and make yourself a nice cup of tea before you hit someone. 🙂

  35. Truly sorry to hear the news.

  36. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I am so sad to hear about your loss Paul. Please rest assured that we all are doing our utmost to ensure Paul’s wish of a FREE Scotland is achieved. Everyone who knows you and those of us who don’t want you to know that our wishes and thoughts are with you at this time.

  37. Nana says:

    Thinking of you Paul at this sad time. XXX

  38. A Meringue says:

    Sorry I just heard the news. I didn’t read the comments before posting the above.

    Paul my sincerest condolences. If it is any comfort as an ex soldier and knowing that Andy served in the Royal Marines I think he would have been grateful that he didn’t suffer for very long. A friends mum recently passed away after two years of constant care in a nursing home for the same condition.

    Paul I know you will have plenty of support from family. However I think I speak for all of us when I say that if there is anything that we your readers can do to help just ask.

  39. Papadox says:

    Deepest sympathy Paul. You are in my thoughts. Chin up, Andy is out of harms way now, he is at peace.

  40. Paula Rose says:

    You are a dear man to so many of us.

  41. Clootie says:

    I am aware that nothing will ease the pain tonight. My thoughts are with you.

  42. Fairliered says:

    Heartfelt condolences Paul. Our thoughts are with you. At least you were able to bring Andy home to Scotland with you for his last few months.

  43. Lissa says:

    You are in my thoughts tonight, Paul. I haven’t commented on your previous posts regarding Andy’s condition as wasn’t sure what to say, but I am so sorry to hear of his passing today. You have support of your followers here, and we will win this for Andy

  44. Paul, just heard. So, so sorry.

  45. Jonathan says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. Thinking of you, and of Andy.

  46. So sorry to hear the awful news.
    And that Andy won’t be here to see an independent Scotland.

    My thoughts are with you & Andy’s family & friends.

  47. west_lothian_questioner says:

    I don’t have any fine words to put down here, but all my thoughts are with you right now Paul. Love & peace to you my unmet friend.

  48. Onwards says:

    So sorry to hear this.

  49. jason71 says:

    Paul, just heard, so sorry for your loss…R.I.P Andy, we have to double our efforts people & get a big yes for Andy

  50. MoJo says:

    So sorry to hear the news…..Love , light and peace to you and the dug, Paul.
    Lighting a candle for Andy tonight.

  51. K1 says:

    So sad to hear the news Paul, deepest sympathies for you and all who knew and loved Andy…blessings to you dear man.

  52. mogabee says:

    I wish to add my condolences too. My heart goes out to you.

  53. Gray says:

    So sad to hear about Andy.

  54. BB says:

    So sorry to hear about Andy. My thoughts are with you, Paul.

    We’ll make the Scotland he would have wanted.

  55. Jon in Chicago says:

    Paul: Just getting around to WGD today. So sorry to read the words we knew were coming. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May Andy’s memory be for a blessing.

  56. cearc says:

    Sending you hugs.

  57. Paul, so sorry to hear about Andy’s passing… my heartfelt thoughts go out to you and to Andy’s family at this really sad time…

    Through your writings, his memory will live on for us and become a part of the rich tapestry that has brought us to this point in our history

    I for one will carry with me for the rest of my days your account of his voting Yes for all of us

    Wishing peace for you and yours at this difficult time….

  58. Sue Varley says:

    Paul, just read the sad news. I am so sorry for your loss, deepest sympathy to you and all who were close to you and Andy. I pray you will find peace in your heart somehow. Best wishes.

  59. Kirsty says:

    Paul, I’m so sorry to hear about Andy. All my love to you and your family.

  60. smiling vulture says:

    sorry to hear sad news bud

  61. Capella says:

    Sad news. Andy managed to achieve his dream and vote for freedom. Sad that he won’t be here to share it with you Paul. Love to you and the wee ginger dug.

  62. Jack Beck/Scotus says:

    Hi Paul – a long time reader and occasional commenter sends you heartfelt sympathies.

  63. jamie macdonald says:

    Just read your brilliant post!, and all these winning comments… till these last one’s Paul, so, so, sorry to here this Buddy,- WE are going to have do this for sure now.. You have been such a stalwart for me, and many, we simply MUST finish the job! For you and Andy….
    Stay strong mate…..

  64. So sorry to hear of your loss Paul. I’m heartbroken for you. I nursed my dad though the final stages of motor neurone disease so I think I can understand the pain you must be going through. Right now there are no words that I or anyone else can say to make things better for you. However, I hope that the prayers, kind thoughts and the goodwill of both friends and complete strangers will help ease the burden – even if only a little.

  65. Sad. sad news. So sorry to hear this. There seemed to be a chance Andy might make it into an independent Scotland, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Paul, we all feel for you, and our thoughts are with you.

    Thank you for all the wonderful words you have written to cheer and amuse us with your take on the referendum. Hopefully one day you will feel strong enough to return to let us know how you are. Take care.

  66. macart763 says:

    Deepest sympathies Paul.

  67. Craig says:

    So sorry to hear the news of Andy’s passing. Kia kaha as they say in my neck of the woods.

  68. David Love says:

    Heartfelt sadness for you at this time. Please continue to inspire us through your writing. Live each day for Andy.
    Cathy and Davy (hugs)

  69. Brian Nicholson says:

    I feel like I have lost a member of my own immediate family. Your journey with Andy has inspired so many and we feel the loss today. I have no words that will explain how I feel nor any that can take away the loss and pain that you feel Paul. However, rest assured, that when we win this on the 18th, I will be among the first to toast the both of you and the efforts you have made for our country. Go in Peace, Andy, to a better place.

  70. Bill Jones says:

    They have the ability to disassociate themselves from the war-crimes of the Westminster Regime and the City of London Ponzi scheme.

    They have the opportunity to become the Switzerland of the North.

    The fools, of course, won’t take it- at least that’s what the vote-counters will tell us.

    “It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes.” Joseph Stalin

  71. Davie says:

    Condolences – tears in the eyes for folk I have never met. Love, hope, humour and faith in humanity always found in these posts.

  72. purplebadger says:

    Much love, Paul. Thinking of you.

  73. Lesley P says:

    All our sympathy, love and strength to you Paul.

  74. Red Squirrel says:

    So sorry to hear that Andy passed away. Our thoughts are with you.

  75. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    Paul. Sorry to have heard that your partner, Andy passed away. Have strength (Sisu in Finnish) in the following days.

  76. Alex Wallace says:

    Me and my partner Julia are both thinking of you.

  77. McTim says:

    Paul, I am so very sorry to hear of this, and I’d like to add my heartfelt condolences as well. I hope it gives you some comfort that you were there with him. I’d like to echo what the others have said: this will be a Yes vote also for those who are no longer with us, for Andy, Margo and Iain Banks.

  78. Gill says:

    First joined your journey when you gave me a craving for Kirriemuir Gingerbread, few other blogs have made me laugh and sob as hard,..such is the power of your beautiful writing. Sadly this morning it is the latter, It has been a privilege reading, sincere sympathies.

  79. Eric Abercrombie says:

    So sorry to hear this. You have touched my heart and inspired many of us over these last months. I hope you can take some comfort from the love and support you have from so many of us on here.

  80. jdman says:

    “project fear has eaten itself” superb,
    their campaign has been consumed by its own monster,
    how appropriate

  81. I am so sorry to hear the news. You have my deepest condolences.

  82. Quentin Quale says:

    Paul, so sorry to hear the news. We are thinking about you at this sad time. QQ & chipmonkey

  83. Louise says:

    So sorry to hear of the passing of your beloved Andy, your writing has touched, inspired & given strength to so many of us in this campaign.

    Much love to you. X

  84. EricF says:

    I’m a reader rather than a poster here, and just clicked for the latest blog to read this awful news. Paul, you are such an inspiration to so many people, and it’s dreadful that you’ve had to face this terrible sadness in your own life. So sorry, thinking of you.

  85. I’m so sorry to hear Andy has passed away. My deepest condolences!

  86. Free at 63! says:

    My most sincere condolences, Paul. RIP Andy.

  87. Alex Smith says:

    Our thoughts are with you, Paul, at this sad time.

  88. the days are not long enough
    the nights are not long enough…
    may god bless you, Paul.

  89. vronsky says:

    My last good-night! Thou wilt not wake
    Till I thy fate shall overtake;
    Till age, or grief, or sickness must
    Marry my body to that dust
    It so much loves, and fill the room
    My heart keeps empty in thy tomb.
    Stay for me there, I will not fail
    To meet thee in that hollow vale.

    (from King’s Exequy)

  90. love and thanks – huge love, huge thanks – to you both

    you’ve kept it all in perspective for us

    life and death

    and what matters most – love

    we are good enough, we care enough, we love enough

    and all that doesn’t is, in the end, nothing – love is all that remains

  91. Susan and Alison says:

    Just heard the news. All our love.

  92. […] The following paragraph was taken from Wee Ginger Dug…. […]

  93. Sashadistel says:

    So sorry to hear about Andy. Know that we are all thinking about you Paul and if you need anything , anything, just let us know.

  94. Beor says:

    Paul, you don’t know me and I have never posted on your blog before despite having followed it faithfully for many months. I would just like to send you my sincere condolences on the loss of your partner Andy. You are in my thoughts.

  95. Bawheid Bragg says:

    Paul, just got the news about Andy. So sad. We lost our own ‘white rose’ some years ago, a fine lady who dreamed of a better place, but sadly never got the chance to engage in the debate or see the dream realised. Our thoughts and love go out to you – my wife and myself very much enjoy all the writing you have done here. The heat from your eternally beating heart warms us all x

  96. mary vasey says:

    Remember me when I am gone away,
    Gone far away into the silent land;
    When you can no more hold me by the hand,
    Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
    Remember me when no more day by day
    You tell me of our future that you plann’d:
    Only remember me; you understand
    It will be late to counsel then or pray.
    Yet if you should forget me for a while
    And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
    For if the darkness and corruption leave
    A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
    Better by far you should forget and smile
    Than that you should remember and be sad.
    Christina Rossetti

    My thoughts are with you at this time

  97. liz says:

    Not good with word, but my thoughts and love are with you and your families.

  98. Ianbeag says:

    Deepest sympathy. We have all been touched by the sensitivity of your writings in respect of Andy’s illness and his final days. Gach beannachd.

  99. yesguy says:


    Thoughts are with you and the family at these times.

    RIP Andy we will see your dream come true.

  100. dcanmore says:

    We need a brave new world for the people … not a new world order for the politicians!

  101. Caledonian Lass says:

    So sorry to hear your sad news, Paul. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

    You will always have happy memories of Andy to sustain you.

    May Andy’s dream of an independent Scotland come true.

    Love, Anne. x

  102. handclapping says:

    One hopes and hopes and then they’re squashed. Been there, know how it feels, sympathise.
    Give Ginger a hug

  103. tuathanameilan says:

    Paul, we have all been with you on this painful journey, I hope that you feel that your pain was halved by sharing it. Our thoughts are with you now, Nick

  104. setondene says:

    Deepest sympathy for you Paul. You are a Scottish hero.

  105. Bill Dale says:

    For Andy, requiescat in pace. For Paul, know that the light you have helped to light in Scotland will burn brighter than ever now as we move towards an independent future. For the Dug, give him a hug and an extra sausage roll.

  106. I hear your news. Thinking of your post on Andy’s postal vote.

  107. panda paws says:

    Sorry to hear of your loss. I know when I vote I will be thinking of those who wanted an independent Scotland and never got the chance to be part of it. Andy, Margo and all the others too numerous to mention.

  108. chicmac says:

    Early night last night so late with our condolences. Sheena and I were very sad to hear the news. You and I have never met but you have met Sheena. On the selfish side, your contribution towards independence has been enormous and it is a blow in that regard to all of us indy supporters.

  109. midgehunter says:

    Nothing can delete the memories, savour them and rejoice that you have them.

    My heartfelt condolences.

  110. dmw42 says:

    RIP Andy; my condolences and deepest sympathy Paul, cherish his memory.

  111. Doug Porteous says:

    Please accept our sincerest condolences

  112. Rookiescot says:

    Oh Paul what can I say that others will not have said better than me already?
    I trully am sorry for your loss.
    I have never met you or Andy but his passing feels like I have lost a member of my own family.

  113. Justin Ross says:

    Sleep easy Andy. Thinking of you both and all of your family and friends

  114. Barbara Reid says:

    My heartfelt sympathies Paul. So glad you managed to spend that last hour with Andy. It will mean so much in the future. No regrets, you were there for him to the very end and he will have felt comfort from that. Much love and respect from myself and my husband x

  115. Conan_the_Librarian says:

    My condolences Paul.

  116. hektorsmum says:

    My heart goes out to you Paul. I can only add that Andrew and I are thinking of you at this time.

  117. dcanmore says:

    Sorry for you loss Paul, our thoughts are with you.

  118. rowantree633 says:

    We Yessers have an even bigger reason and responsibility to make a resounding Yes the outcome. Paul, deepest sympathy and condolences from Sarah and myself. I have never met you or Andy in person but have come to know you a little through your inspirational writing. The very best for the future – you deserve a place in the project to rebuild this country – more than those undeserving politicians now clamouring for their place.

  119. Castle Rock says:

    You wrote beautifully and caringly about him, really sorry for your loss.

  120. elfkat says:

    Reblogged this on Adventures and Musings of an Arch Druidess and commented:
    Scotland would have been free long ago if the English hadn’t shipped all the rebels to Australia and America. I wish I could vote “Yes!”

  121. Michael Scott says:

    So sorry to hear the sad news. Reading this blog has been inspiring and I can only say how much I sympathise and hope for better times ahead.

  122. WRH2 says:

    I’m really sad to hear this news. Paul you have been such an inspiration to us all. My thoughts are with you.

  123. castle hills chavie says:

    Just heard the sad news of Andy’s passing. The thoughts of me and mine go out to you and yours.

  124. Papacass says:

    Dear Paul, Wishing you peace, gentleness and strength during this daunting time. You and Andy along with your loved ones have my thoughts and prayers.

  125. Sheena Wellington says:

    Paul, so very sad to hear the news. RIP Andy and sending love and thoughts to you.

  126. So sorry to hear this news, my thoughts are with you

  127. says:

    Oh, my love is like a red, red rose
    That’s newly sprung in June
    Oh, my love is like a melody
    That’s sweetly played in tune
    As fair art thou, my bonnie love,
    So deep in love am I
    And I will love thee still, my dear,
    Till all the seas gang dry.
    Till all the seas gang dry, my dear,
    Till all the seas gang dry
    And I will love thee still, my dear,
    Till all the seas gang dry.

    ‘Til all the seas gang dry my, my dear
    And the rocks melt with the sun
    And I will love thee still, my dear
    While the sands of life shall run
    But faretheewell, my only love
    Oh, faretheewell a while
    And I will come again, my love
    Tho’ ‘t were ten thousand mile
    Tho’ ‘t were ten thousand mile, my love
    Tho’ ‘t were ten thousand mile
    And I will come again, my love
    Tho’ ‘t were ten thousand mile.

    Thank you for all you do
    With compassion and sadness.

  128. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    our family are truly sorry about your loss and that Paul will not see the independence result. We hope his vote will count to free our country.
    Our thoughts are with you.

  129. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    Paul Sorry – I am bit emotional – typed Paul twice instead of Andy.

  130. Mick Pork says:

    Thoughts and love go out to you Paul. So sorry to hear of your loss.

  131. Oneironaut says:

    So sorry for your loss Paul 😦

    I can’t think of anything to say that hasn’t already been said by those in the above comments who are better than me with words…

    Thinking of you, and wishing you all the best.

  132. JimnArlene says:

    I have a tear, running down my cheek, for a man; I’ve never met. Your writing has been joyful, inspirational, touching and informative. In the all too short time, I have been aware of your blog. I feel as I have known you, for years. To read of Andy and your love of him, then to find out he has died; has really upset me; but I know that he is at peace now and he will be with you always. Our thoughts and love, to you and the wee dug. XXX Jim and Arlene

  133. John Young says:

    Our thoughts are with you Paul, your posts have been thoughtful, provoking, filled with love and inspirational may you never walk alone.

  134. M says:

    Likewise I have tears for a man I’ve never met. So, so sorry for your loss. Words fail me, but they have never failed you. You have reached out to so many with the power of your words and now they are reaching back out to you. If all we can offer is solidarity then we offer it with thoughts for you, Andy and the dug – and with love. XXX

  135. Bamstick says:

    O Whistle, and I’ll come to ye, my lad,
    O whistle, an’ I’ll come to ye, my lad;

    Thou far from me now you are, my lad
    Just whistle and I’ll be there, my lad.

  136. Alan Mackintosh says:

    Paul, sorry for your loss, at this immensely overwhelming time. Time will heal.

  137. Bigbricks says:

    I’m afraid I can’t speak with the eloquence which you manage so unfailingly in your blog. I can say nothing other than I’m so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you. And tomorrow I’ll be canvassing again in the belief that we can fulfil the hope you’ve helped to nurture.

  138. benarmine says:

    Desperately sad news. We were all hoping Andy would see the great day. I’m so sorry.

  139. Calgacus says:

    Hello Paul, My family and I were all saddened by your loss. Thank you for sharing your love for Andy with us all. Our thoughts are with you.

  140. Fiona says:

    I, too, am very, very sorry for your loss. You have shown us the meaning of love and that will never fail you.

  141. schrodinger's cat says:

    “I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.”
    ― J.R.R. Tolkien
    deepest sympathies wee ginger dug

    • Gillian-Ruglonian says:

      My exact sentiments. Paul, you have been inspirational with your words for so long, I wish I was able to adequately reciprocate xx

  142. maczinzan says:

    First time comment but have been reading for many months!
    Paul your blog has kept me cheerful when the downsiders have been at their most strident and on occasion reduced me to tears with the compassion of your writing !
    So although I have never met you my thoughts are with you at this sad time!
    Stay strong !
    Yours Aye !

  143. Thoughtsofascot says:

    Sorry to hear of your loss. You and your blog have been a rock for all involved on the road to a free and independent Scotland. Even in the darkest times, you provided a witty commentary that lifted the spirits of all of us and gave us all the will to fight on. We all know too, that Andy was your rock though all the troubles you both have had to endure, and we grieve for your loss. Life can be so harsh and cruel.

    He may have passed on, but as long has you hold on to your memories with him dearly, he can never be truly gone.

  144. Redrockg11 says:

    Dear Paul, I lost both parents to dementia and can only guess at how you feel. Thank you for all your joyful and inspirational posts and you have my deepest sympathy on your tragic loss.

  145. Rosa Alba Macdonald says:

    May he rest in peace. Prayers for the repose of his soul and for your grief. And condolences.

    Asked on twitter but in lieu of flowers (unless you want overwhelmed by gerberas) is there a charity to which you would like donations made in Andy’s memory?

    We will – if there is somewhere to send – send flowers if you prefer.

    We did not know Andy but through your words – in fact only through your words do most of us know you.

    When you come out of the fog that follows berevement – especially berevement of someone for whom you were carer and partner – there are bed and spare rooms around Scotland waiting for you for a wee tour (though I still like the idea of hijacking the Indy Fire Engine).

    In the meantime do go to Carers’ Centre to find out about Welfare Rights. We do not want money worries for you on top of it all.

  146. diabloandco says:

    They are not dead who live in the hearts they leave behind.

    So sorry.

  147. Jean says:

    Never met either of you, but have been inspired by your words and obvious devotion to each other. Sorry for your loss Paul. RIP Andy. Xx

  148. Roibert a Briuis says:

    Well no words are adequate in these situations, a BIG BIG CYBER HUG from a Cybernat, I am sure others close to you are doing that physically. Thank you for your wonderful efforts here. We ARE going to win this thanks in no small part to people like you, ripping apart the lies with an awesome sense of humour, a wonderful way of writing and awesome use of irony, inspiring and motivating the troops and converting the NAW’s and DK’s as well as making us smile each time we come here, not today of course. May your god be with you in these difficult times.


  149. Eric says:

    Sorry for your loss Paul. Today my YES saltire is lowered, and I, along with everyone of your readers, sorry, your ‘friends’… will I’m sure honour Andy by once more doubling our efforts in these final weeks to see Scotland free again.

    My condolences.

  150. Coolheads Prevail says:

    “He’s not really gone, as long as we remember him”

  151. George Elliott says:

    I cannot put into words the sense of loss I feel for you both , and I’ve never met you two! I can see from your wit, sarcasim and gushing of love it will be a while before the cloud moves away. I hope you can see from the comments above that you and Andy have changed our lives and indeed that is a real feat. My thoughts are with you and hope you get all the love that’s being sent to you…

  152. Paul, I’m gutted for you pal. Especially as I only just learned. My thoughts are with you right now. I’ve no doubt Andy was utterly proud of you to the last. We will do all we can to bring forth the land he dreamed of.
    Best wishes from Dave and Abi the dug.

  153. fionan says:

    Paul, I have never posted here, just found your blog a few weeks ago, but have followed yours and Andy’s story since then. I feel so very sorry for your loss and for the dreadful pain you must feel, and yet your courage throughout has shone through your writing. RIP Andy, I know you will be looking down on the great day, along with all those who sadly couldn’t be here to share our country’s first steps to a new and shining future. Hugs and best wishes,Paul, my thoughts are with you xxx

  154. Laura Norder says:

    Dearest Paul, I’m as devastated for your loss as if I have lost my favourite uncle. If there was a golden challis awarded to the heroes of the Scottish Independence movement, it would go to you and Andy. You have educated us, lifted our spirits when we were feeling defeated, calmed us down when we were angry, cheered us ever onwards and upwards and all whilst living in such traumatic and difficult circumstances. Your sacrifice, dedication, devotion and ability to cross all differences will be an inspirational record in the history of this nation and an indicator of how we mean to continue. Much love to you. I’m voting for Andy. xxx

  155. Aileen says:

    Deepest sympathies Paul. I know it will not ease your pain (if only it could). Few people can say that their life has made a real contribution or touched millions. Your Andy, through his support for you, has provided the people of a small, beautiful, rainy, but unconfident country the chance to wake up out of the fog and cast their eyes on the possibility of a better future. Andy will not be forgotten. Veel sterkte.

  156. CyprusJag says:

    So so sorry to hear such dreadful news, it won’t mean anything at all right now but I hope you know you have a whole community of friends who you can reach out to.Let us help you if you need it, my deepest sympathies.

  157. rugloanian says:


    Thoughts are with you.

    Ollie and Ian

  158. abesto says:

    Dear Paul
    I am thinking of you, and Andy, and the wee ginger dug, and the extraordinary way you have found words for the times we are in. I pray that the words will walk with you through this dark hour, and that the wisdom of your 4-legged companion will continue to light your path.
    My thoughts are with you all.
    Claire & Finbar

  159. JaceF says:

    So sorry to hear the news.

  160. maybolebuddie says:

    Hi Paul, just heard the news about Andy so so sad, I was hoping he would be with us for the result of the referendum and an independent Scotland, I posted my vote today I am currently residing in Cyprus, I did this with Andy in mind, please come back to us soon!

  161. fluffnik says:

    Such sad news, words fail me.

  162. Cassandra Lee says:

    I am so sorry to hear your sad news. That you have been such an inspiration, with all the challenges in your personal life is amazing. Your writing has made me laugh, and lately has made me cry, as you have told us a little about Andy’s decline. Best wishes.

  163. No words enough to convey the sorrow, ye made us smile while ye were going through the pain. If we can make the land a better place in his memory, then I hope ye will accept that as some wee form of solace. Sincere condolences and best wishes.

  164. I shall say this only once says:

    I’ve been a long time reader of this and other pro-independence sites but haven’t commented as I work in a politically restricted job. I’m making this exception because I feel I have to say how much your writing has meant to me over time.
    Rev Stu gives us wit and intelligence; Bella gives us creativity and new ways of expression; Derek gives us fire and passion. You, Paul give us all of these together but what really shines through is your compassion and decent, down-to-earth humanity. You are not only a gifted writer with a huge heart but also an inspiration to every one of us, as, through you, so was Andy.
    I just wanted you to remember:
    When the night has been too lonely
    And the road has been too long
    And you think that love is only
    For the lucky and the strong
    Just remember, in the winter
    Far beneath the bitter snows
    Lies the seed, that with the sun’s love
    In the Spring, becomes the rose.

    I will plant a rose for you and Andy on the 19th when we take back our freedom.

  165. John Silver says:

    My thoughts are with you .

    I have been inspired by so much you have written. All I can offer in return is a big eHug.



  166. Brotyboy says:

    No words, Paul.

  167. Davie G. says:

    Paul, I’m so, so sorry to hear the news about Andy … he must have been an exceptional man to inspire the love and devotion you so obviously felt for him. If it’s any consolation know that your memories of him at his most ill will gradually go to the back of your mind and that memories of happier times will come to the forefront.

    I’m glad he was able to complete his postal vote .. I know that on the 18th when I’m placing my ballot paper in the box that I’ll be thinking of Andy and you.

    When you feel stronger we’ll be so glad to see you posting again.

    p.s. Thanks to Nancy for letting us know.

  168. So sorry to hear the news of Andy’s passing but heartwarming to read all the condolences from friends and readers alike who cared for him and care for you.

  169. Maggieb says:

    I normally don’t comment, because everything I want to say has already been said by others. I have been gobsmacked at your strength and humour over the last few months, blogging and inspiring us when you have so many other things on your mind and pulling at your heart. My thoughts and prayers are with you now. As you have shown us the solidarity of folk in different parts of the world rooting for Independence, I am sure that they now stand in reflection and respect for you and Andy.

  170. Alistair grapevine says:

    So sorry to here of your loss, don’t know what to say that has not already been said.

    Thinking of you

  171. sarissa says:

    It’s normally a delight to turn to your blog for its passionate and yet reasoned arguments in the cause we support, but news of your loss has made me almost to rerluctant to visit for once while you are greiving. Rest assured Andy and you are in our hearts and minds and we will strive all the harder to accomplish his dreams.

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