The shlock of naw

A few random thoughts at the start of a new week and a new life.  Queen Betty has spoken, she wants people to “think very carefully” before exercising their vote on Thursday. The No campaign has, predictably, taken this as an endorsement of their position, although thinking carefully is the exact opposite of shutting up and eating your cereal, refusing to send speakers to public debates and events, and claiming that Scotland is on hold. It’s probably a safe bet that Betty is a Unionist, this is news of the milk makes your cornflakes soggy variety. But the Nawnentities are now desperately clutching at any fresh rice crispies that are going.

There’s not much else a world power that punches above its weight can do when it’s put on the run by two guys with a rickshaw, the theme tune to the Empire Strikes Back, and a sense of humour. The British establishment is intimidated by a tune. Mighty Britannia stands before the people of Scotland intent on cowing us with shock and awe and we laugh and point out she’s got nae knickers and nae vision, only managementwankspeak, unfocussed focus groups and glaikit glares. The shlock of naw scares no-one except those who were already cowering.

So this week we’re going to bring about a new global depression if we vote Yes, as opposed to last week when a Yes vote was going to turn us into an unnoticed non-entity. There was me quite resigned to a future where where Scotland would be so insignificant that Belarus would seem like a giant striding the world stage, and now I need to get my heid around being personally responsible for a global cataclysm that will see New York bankers leaping out of windaes in Wall Street and landing on Buster Keaton. See that damp patch in an Armani suit, that’s Scotland’s fault that is.

Can these people not make up their minds? Scotland, incapable of tying its own shoelaces or wiping its own arse, but an evil genius of catastrophe creation which can paralyse the entire planet and bring about the downfall of capitalism. Ach feckit, I can live with the guilt. People already tell me I look like Lenin. I was going for a Beatles’ look and it all went tragically wrong, but I’ve learned my lesson and am now immune to the pernicious influence of style-icons. So David Beckham’s letter begging Scotland not to leave has come a bit late. It was supposed to have been published a couple of weeks ago, but it took a while to decipher the crayon.

Mind you the free thinking Viviane Westwood has said that she’s all for a Yes vote and thinks it would be “absolutely great”. Scotland could become an inspiration to the world once it’s got out of Westminster’s bondage trousers.

The No campaign’s message for this week is “we’re not panicking” and an entreaty to people who don’t know to vote no. There we go with that just don’t think thing again. Being told by John Reid not to think and to put our trust in him and his pals is precisely what got us into 13 years of Labour’s wasted opportunities and the Iraq war. You can trust John, you can trust him to push for ID cards, rendition, cosying up to defence contractors, and a Labour party made in his own image.

Meanwhile in order to prove that it really is a mass movement, no honest, the No campaign published a photie a No logo formed out of ordinary people. Or as they were described in the Irish Times Posh Edinburgh cricket types.

We’re also getting a dose of love-bombing. The No campaign is closely following the Canadian Federal Government’s Quebec referendum playbook, which likewise involved making a big deal of currency threats. But having overdone the negativity, the U-KOK campaign is struggling badly with the happy clappy cuddly stuff. The Canadian government subsidised thousands of plane, train and bus tickets so Canadians from the rest of the country could go to Quebec to say je t’aime to a Quebecois. There was a mass rally in Montreal a few days before the vote, with tens of thousands of Anglophone Canadians swearing blind that nous adorons toutes les choses francophones and had even realised that French speakers do not in fact finish every utterance with beep beep like they did on the audio in French classes at school.

However in the UK Naw version, the lovebombing rally is being held in London, which would be a bit like the Canadians holding their rally for Quebec in Vancouver or Calgary. This decision was taken in the knowledge that the only critical mass in Scotland is the mass of critics that greets every hauf-airsed intervention by a clueless celeb. However it’s also because they really love us even more than the Canadians love Quebec, as holding the event in London means it’s really REALLY important. If it wasn’t important it wouldn’t be held in London. Besides, the UK Government is both too cheap to subsidise trips to Scotland, and knows that damn few would take them up on the offer. Most people in England don’t give a toss – and this is part of the problem.

Over the next few days the combination of scare stories, threats, and patronising condensension will continue unabated. We will have no let up, no respite. We’re going to get a lot more of the same stuff that drove many undecideds to turn Yes in the first place – just today the CBI and other business people made yet another entirely predictable warning that doom and gloom can be the only outcome for an independent Scotland. They think that the system in the UK isn’t broken, but they’re amongst those broke it.

Our job is to persuade, to reassure, and to include. Time is running short now, so focus your efforts where it can make a difference. Stay calm, stay positive, stay happy. Don’t get frustrated with people who don’t seem to be receptive, move on. Not everyone is going to be convinced by you – but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be convinced, it may just require a different approach so let someone else do it.

We can do this, we are doing this. Scotland stands before the first days of a new future, or we are looking at a return to the hopelessness, powerlessness, cynicism, and apathy that disfigured this country for decades. Moving on is hard, it’s difficult, it can be frightening.  At this particular juncture in my own life I know that better than anyone.  But I will not be bowed, I will not cower, I will draw on my inner strength.  I choose hope, choose power, choose self-belief.

We stand hand in hand, we can do anything.

Click here for the audio version of this article, courtesy of One of the 99%


48 comments on “The shlock of naw

  1. Deedee says:

    Said exactly this in a few posts earlier today Paul but not nearly as eloquently as you! Keep that inner strength going til we get over the finish line and promise me you’ll keep blogging : ) xx

  2. maybolebuddie says:

    Welcome back Paul, great piece!!

  3. macart763 says:

    No more fear Paul.

    We’ve had three years of relentless negative campaigning thrown at us and frankly I can barely stifle a yawn at the front pages of the rags these days. I’m done being shocked and awed, pushed about, mislead, misrepresented, lied to and intimidated.

    Their choice of strategy didn’t even make the choice difficult. No regrets, no worries, just a quiet determination to prove them wrong. The potential in this wee country and its people is enormous and there’s a lot of work to do between now and getting to the ideal of the ‘best wee country in the world’. But just to get the ball rolling on Thursday, to be one of those who chose to believe in that potential and have faith and confidence their fellows, that will be something for me anyway.

    Dust in keyboard time.

    • Illy says:

      ‘best wee country in the world’

      That’s something to work towards alright. And it starts in ernest this Thursday.

      Heavy feeling. Lets hope we have the collective courage to go for it.

  4. The corrupt Wastemaster government is following the Quebec ‘no’ strategy to the letter. The Canadian government rigged the votes to a knife edge. With over 700,000 postal votes we are in a similar danger. We cannot trust them. Am praying for a 60% Yes vote.
    WGD, what are your followers going to do without our daily fix of wit, humour and incisive insight to cut through the mire.
    Saor Alba Gu Brath

    • Illy says:

      If you’re going to pray, why not pray for a 90% Yes vote on a 100% turnout? Then God can compromise, and give you a 70% vote on a 80% turnout😉

      But yes, I *really* hope the various registered Yes groups all have plenty of oversight prepped for the postal vote count, because that’s where Labour will go to rig the vote.

    • Marian says:

      Wouldn’t surprise me at all if MI6 is already rummaging amongst the postal ballots and tossing aside the YES votes.

      Its pretty certain that Whitehall will have told them at the outset to do whatever it takes to win the referendum for NO.

      There’s nothing the unionist Brutish establishment wouldn’t to to scupper a YES vote.

      Does the Zinoniev letter ring a bell to anyone?

  5. Ken Rowan says:

    I stand with you. Great and inspiring piece which I will gladly share.

  6. eezy says:

    We’re nearly there Paul
    Thanks for all the hard work….

  7. mary vasey says:

    Bliddy fantastic man , tho ma claes day think so being covered in tea now lol Thanks WGD kindest regards

  8. lovely to have you back, paul. Yes, john reid, there’s a thought… you know, this isn’t just for Christmas or whatever? – Well whadya know! – as they say, No Shit, Sherlock. I too am praying for a 60% yes and that all this crap in the days before will be blown away when the results start coming in. I am praying that the collective scenes we have witnessed over the weekend are symptomatic of a huge untapped resource who will vote YES and that all this, ‘oh its on a knife edge’ is just bollocks like everything else they have come up with.

  9. Capella says:

    Be brave indeed. In case you missed it, here’s the link to the brave woman who placed a huge YES sign on Edinburgh Castle Rock, speaking at the PQ rally yesterday. Another one for the Hall of Fame along with WGD, the Rev Stu, Derek Bateman, Craig Murray, James……on and on!

  10. George Quin says:

    That was a powerfuly written article with one clear message for us all DO NO BE AFRAID

  11. killie says:

    I was wilting Not about my vote ,about the Apathy that i came across the weekend,I really wonder if I am in the same planet as some folk ………..thank you for rallying me round.

  12. Ian Caldwell says:


  13. Excellent piece Paul. Did the *actual* WGD receive my fan mail ?🙂

  14. Nana says:

    I also choose hope and I just can’t understand those voting No. They are happy to close their eyes to the misery of foodbanks and austerity so long as they remain unaffected.

    They are the ‘ I’m all right brigade’ but when they are threatened with hard times will no doubt shout the loudest.

  15. Betty Craney says:

    Well, the media have never asked this wee Betty how she’s voting…it’s unequivocally YES !

  16. Andrea says:

    Can I ask a question? Will there be scrutineers at the poll counts?

    • hatfinch says:

      Yes, each registered organisation can send polling agents to the polls and counting agents to the counts. (I’ll be doing the latter.)

      • Marconatrix says:

        Just wondering, ‘cus the bastards are desperate and might try anything, how do you know when a van load of ballot boxes goes off to the count, that the same boxes arrive? Couldn’t they just do a switch somewhere along the route?

        • hatfinch says:

          Any polling agent can put an extra seal of their own on any ballot box after polling closes, and the counting agents can check those seals are present and intact on arrival.

  17. bjsalba says:

    Just realized that today is my birthday. So wrapped up in the Yes Campaign I had forgotten it was coming up. Celebrated by spending morning and afternoon delivering Campaign Material. New helpers too which is good because I am pretty worn out – emotionally and physically.

    We are on the home stretch. Two more days to go.

  18. Jan Cowan says:

    I’m thankful you’re able to keep posting. So many people rely on you to keep their spirits up. How you manage, I don’t know but I do know that your strength of character is a perfect example to all. Thank you, Paul, for all your work, close attention (even to posting birthday wishes)and concern for others.

  19. JimnArlene says:

    A great rallying cry Paul, good too have you back and as I said, look after yourself. You are a wonderful man and an inspiration to many

  20. Steve Asaneilean says:

    The word yes comes from the Anglo-Saxoxon words gea si meaning “yea, let it be”.
    The word no comes from the Anglo-Saxon words ni a meaning “not ever”
    No = constraint, denial, indifference, rejection, despair, mistrust, apathy, quiescence, failure, refusal, suspicion, fear, self-loathing, languor, floundering, selfishness, discord, deceit, dullness, sorrow, anguish, ignorance, shame, disdain, torpidity.
    Yes = liberty, affirmation, aspiration, acceptance, trust, hope, ambition, achievement, accomplishment, adventure, excitement, belief, approval, courage, esteem, success, optimism, pride, restoration, transformation, vibrancy, willingness, knowledge, joy, flourish, generosity, honesty, innovation, inventiveness.
    Yes is the light to No’s darkness; Yes is the positivity to No’s negativity; Yes is the independence to No’s dependence; Yes is a beginning to No’s end; Yes is the future to No’s past.
    Yes, let I be.

  21. John Duncanson says:

    ” Dechphering the crayon….”; oh, you cruel, cruel man – more, more, please keep the vitriol running right up to the wire!

  22. WRH2 says:

    Andrea above asks if their will be scrutiny of the vote. I can tell you that there is. I spent one day watching the postal votes being opened and we have a rota of people doing this every day till 5pm on Thursday. I know it doesn’t stop fraud conclusively but it allows scrutiny of the signatures and dates of birth. The actual voting papers are put into sealed boxes to be opened at the count. The postal votes are not counted till after the polls close. There are also counting agents allowed to attend the vote count as well as polling agents who can ask for the numbers who have voted at any time through the day. If you are both a polling agent and counting agent it makes for a long day and a half but if like 2011 we are getting results, the adrenaline just keeps you going.
    Sorry for the detailed post. Great to read another inspiring post. You have no idea how much your writing helps. Thank you Paul.

    • Andrea says:

      Thanks for that WRH2 …Don’t have a vote myself living in Australia – but just wondered how secure these precious Yes votes will be…..

      Loads of us cheering Scotland on …..can’t sleep…cant work….so excited to see a lifelong wish for Scotland maybe come to fruition…. Good luck Hope that Yes vote becomes a triumphant YES! by the weekend.

      • hektorsmum says:

        Thank you Andrea, if you cannot sleep etc, give a thought for us here. I am a victim to insomnia and boy has it kicked in this week. Looking forward to Friday and then sleep.

  23. Hugh Wallace says:

    Reblogged this on Are We Really Better Together? and commented:
    Do what the wee dug says. Hear?

    “Our job is to persuade, to reassure, and to include. Time is running short now, so focus your efforts where it can make a difference. Stay calm, stay positive, stay happy. Don’t get frustrated with people who don’t seem to be receptive, move on. Not everyone is going to be convinced by you – but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be convinced, it may just require a different approach so let someone else do it.”

  24. Brilliant piece, should be posted on main stream. Here’s to it going Viral.

  25. smiling vulture says:

    dug is back and nails it

    “a bit like the Canadians holding their rally for Quebec in Vancouver or Calgary”


  26. arthur thomson says:

    Thank you Paul. I know I am a pain but next week we need to be exploring how best we set up a new Scottish newspaper. We need to employ the genius of Paul and the other Scottish writers who have emerged to give expression to the voice of the Scottish people. We need to be guiding, informing, calling to account and supporting our Scottish Government. To do that we need to make sure that we become even more and not less politically astute. I will be a mess of tears on Friday no matter what happens on Thursday. They will be tears of joy or tears of frustration. Whatever, I will continue to pursue the goal of Scotland being ‘the best wee country in the world’.

    • Arthur, Forgive me for jumping in here, but there are initiatives for a paradigm shift for a “new Scottish Newspaper”.. At the embryonic stages of seed funding you can help by spreading the word about iScot. Again apologies for the brass necked advertising intervention, but the sooner we have the likes of Paul embedded into a new Scottish MSM the better we will all be for it

      iScot-a Free and Fearless News Service 4 Scotland

  27. hektorsmum says:

    Another blistering post Paul, loved the bit about John Reid, who would trust that man, my own wee ginger Dug has an inbuilt detector of those who are not to be trusted, I fear for JR’s life if he should cross Hektor’s path.
    Never did get his picture to you with his YES badge, but he is wearing it to the poll on Thursday.

  28. Alex Smith says:

    I’ll see your “Nawnentities” and raise you “Nawbheads”…..😀

  29. On Sunday in the Meadows in Edinburgh there was a Yesfest. One unmissable white-haired guy carried a placard with ‘The end of the world is Naaw”. His sandwich board read “Seek yee the joy of Yes! as the republic of Scotland is at hand.’ In both bottom corners were roundels with “Yes is more fun”. That is evident for all to see.

    So much creativity has been released by this campaign, auguring well for our future in indy Scotland. I shudder to think how the gloom of negativity will envelop us if the vote goes the other way. I clutch at every straw indicating a Yes victory, and hope like fury people are not taken in by the unionist lies and fear mongering. Surely Labour has signed itself into oblivion. Its leaders cannot be trusted either in Holyrood or Westminster. The Tories must be laughing. The LibDems have gone to ground.

    It has to be Yes.

  30. Cal says:

    Sorry O/T but VERY VERY important. Many voters have not received their polling cards and probably won’t in time for the referendum. Many are saying people in places where Yes support is strong are wost hit by this scam. Please spread the word that YOU DO NOT NEED A POLLING CARD TO VOTE.

  31. my thoughts will be with you on Friday, don’t feel alone.

  32. Thank you, as ever. Knocked out a short blog entry this morning replying to Will Hutton’s attempt to get people to vote ‘no’ in the hope of securing a ‘federal Britain’. Hope it proves useful somehow:
    Best of luck for all of Scotland for a ‘yes’ tomorrow.

  33. Hazel Smith says:

    Great post Paul. Such an inspiration to us all. Loved the ‘decipher the crayon’ bit about Beckham. What a talent you have. You have been amazing through all your personal sadness. What would we have done without you?

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