Scotland be brave

I look to my past. Afraid and scared. Pushing gingerly at the closet door, fearful of doom and rejection. Fearful of myself. But I came out into the light, and discovered I already had the tools to allow me to face any challenge. And I learned that self-determination starts with the self, and I grew and I flourished and I learned the meaning of fulfilment. And now many years later, Scotland is on the same journey. Learning the meaning of self-determination, learning how to flourish. Scotland, the country that came out of the closet.

The time is here. The road has been long. We’ve laughed and loved and lost along the way, and on our journey we found ourselves. We’ve looked into our souls and found an ocean of strength, a Scottish rainforest of potential. We learned how to hope, we learned how to make dreams come real. We learned that the people can be the power in this land, we learned that we scare the establishment. We learned that Scottishness is a state of mind, a state of justice, a state of looking forwards, a state of inclusion, a state of self-belief.

We march arm in arm, the born Scots, the become Scots, we are all Scottish and we are diverse and beautiful. We’ve learned that Scotland can be what we make her be, and she can be good, and she can be witty and wise, and she can graceful and joyous. These are lessons we will never unlearn.

These are potentials that always lived within us, and now we know how to make them sing. This is the start of a new sang. Our voices will not be silent in the new Scotland.

The No campaign tells you to vote No if you love Scotland. They ask if you love Scotland then to surrender her care to those who do not love her. That is not how you treat the ones you love. I vote out of love. I surrender the care of Scotland to those who love her, the people of Scotland. Vote to give Scotland to the ones you love. The time of choosing is here. Choose love, choose faith in yourself.

I never thought the day would ever come. We’ve arrived at the doorway. It stands half open. Beyond lie the open fields, the streets of the city, the mountains and glens, the islands and the shining sea, the pathways that connect us to the world on our own terms. It beckons. Define yourself or be defined. It’s time.

Do not be afraid of your own potential. Do not fear your strength. Focus on the singing voice within. You’re as good as anyone. You can dream, you can hope. You can change the world. You can make a difference, create a legacy. This is our time. The time of loss and regret is over. It’s time to build a future.

Take a deep breath. Hold your nerve. Take history by the balls and shape your destiny. Grasp the thistle.

Scotland be brave. Step into the light, and breathe.


A wee note about posting comments on Thursday.

There are strict laws about publishing during the time that polling stations are open. It’s illegal to publish any exit polls or anything which might be construed as an exit poll while the ballot is going on. So because I have things to do and can’t spend all day hovering over the comments, overnight I will suspend the publication of any comments on the blog until polling stations close at 10pm on Thursday. You can still post a comment, but all comments will be held in the moderation queue and will not be published until 10pm. After 10pm commenting will return to normal and if you’ve had a previously published comment, your comments will appear instantly.



42 comments on “Scotland be brave

  1. Capella says:

    Thank you for creating this space. That’s my comment!

  2. wwilmawatts says:

    Thanks for everything and Happy Yesmass!

  3. yesguy says:

    Good Luck and best wishes All at the WGD.

    YES YES for goodness sake YES

  4. Bamstick says:

    I love the way you write. You make me think of a younger me, a small child me that thought everything was possible until I let myself be put of of shape by the world around me. I love to dance and sing, although I’m good at neither. But doing these simple things gives me immense pleasure. I love to dig in the Scottish soil to get my hands very dirty and to smell the dank Scottishness of the soil. I love to paint with bright colours in a huge swirls and shapes, to score through the colours and make my own shapes.

    I have had problems with my confidence for many years but just recently I have started to dance and sing and to paint again. This feeling, this re-birth, this wonderful resurgence of my youth has made me think that maybe I can start to really live again.
    Thank you

  5. Sue Varley says:

    Thanks for this post Paul. Hope you’re bearing up. Best wishes for Scotland and hope you’ve got that lucky suit ready for the great day tomorow.

  6. Hugh Wallace says:


    Thank you so much for your excellent writing over these past few months. I fully intend following this blog for as long as you keep writing it but it is only fitting that I acknowledge how inspiring and thought provoking your words have been for me. Thank you, friend as yet unmet.


  7. Bibbit (@allwasdark) says:

    Our mother has been absent ever since we founded Rome,
    But there’s going to be a party when the wold comes home.

  8. FergusMac says:

    Saor Alba gu bràth!

  9. For a Dancer says:

    Once again you’ve nailed it with your words. I look forward to starting a brave new Sciotland with you and all our friends.

  10. Fordie says:

    Thank you and my thoughts are with you.

  11. Indigo says:

    Thank you Paul for this special place, for your beautiful words, your humour and for your heartfelt sincerity

  12. Kathleen Cumming says:

    Thank you for all your efforts amid suffering and pain. May you be blessed as you are and have been a blessing to others.

  13. Gray says:

    Thank you for all your wonderful and inspiring contributions on our road to independence.

  14. weegingerdug says:

    I’m turning comments off now. They’ll return at 10pm. In the meantime, we have history to make.

  15. A Meringue says:

    Bugger I just posted my “last comment before the vote” on the previous article. 😦

    Paul as I expected I see that you will be wearing your lucky suit tomorrow. It is so much of an occasion I would be dressing up anyway. Going to the polls in joggies and flip flops disnae seem right somehow. I am a polling agent at the local primary school and I have decided on wearing my best kilt and charcoal grey tweed jacket and vest with matching hose, black shirt. Its the tie I cant make my mind up about. I think I will go for the one with the saltires on. You never know if I can just nudge some undecideds pride in the right direction?

    I sometimes wonder if there is such a thing as Karma. If there is then how can we lose after all the sum of human effort and creativity that so many have put into this campaign. The Wee Ginger Dug, Lady Alba, Independence Live, Wings over Scotland, Yew Choob, Professor John Robertson, Greg Moodie, Dr. Philippa Whiteford, Empire Biscuit (the guy in the rickshaw), Independence Live, The Artist Taxi Driver to many to mention. and the sheer physical effort by the likes of Denis Cavanagh, Jim Sillars Tommy Sheridan, Nicola Sturgeon and many others out treading the boards around the country night after night. And all the “small folk” all putting their heart and soul into it. Put this against the utterly corrupt mainstream media, millionaire corporate donors and expensive advertising agencies of the soor pussed unionists.
    Karma, Providence call it what you like please let it smile upon our wee country tomorrow.

  16. Anne says:

    Arm and arm,and row and row,all for independence!

  17. mary says:

    Thanks for such an inspiring post hope this will keep my spirits up till we k now the result. I’ll most likely read it quite a few more times. Thinking of you.

  18. JimnArlene says:

    I suppose the polls have closed by now, nothing more to be done but a continued belief that we have done it. Thanks Paul, you’re an inspiration.

  19. lizbeth collie says:

    Reading this at 6am before heading out to the polling station in Beauly with last minute leaflets. And your beautiful words are making me cry with hope and celebration. Thank you wgd.

  20. scotsgeoff says:

    Well said! Thanks Paul.

  21. J Galt says:

    Thanks for all your’s and Andy’s work. Over the last few weeks I’ve had a large measure of my cynicism knocked out of me.
    Anyway they let me in at 06.59 and even then I was only second to vote!

  22. Ruth Laird says:

    Oh dear it’s only eight on Thursday morning and I’m weeping again! Wonderful writing thank you so much, this journey has been so unexpected and invigorating thanks to the amazing writings on the web.

  23. macart763 says:

    Mark duly made Paul.

    Many, many thanks.


  24. Clootie says:

    Thank you Paul – you certainly did your bit. Incredible that you kept going during the last few months..

  25. diabloandco says:

    Delighted to see queues at the polling station first thing this morning – never have seen that before in all my years.
    Do you think democracy might be catching?

    And thank you , thank you and thank you again for your wonderful blog especially at a time so personally painful.

  26. Nana says:

    What an emotional day, up early read Wings and cried. Came over here as I do each day and I’m crying again. At this rate I’ll be dehydrated by lunchtime. Telling myself to get a grip woman and eat your cereal.

    Paul you are a bright shining star……..

  27. MoJo says:

    to quote Robert Frost :

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    We have just made history, and shown the world that when the going gets tough the Scots will always rise to the occasion for the good of all….When it really matters we are not afraid….
    I have never felt so proud in my life of being a Scot – now lets get to work……

  28. jamie macdonald says:

    I just caught this after my lunch on polling day.. so much going on at the minute.. I feel like I’ve just had the sweetest double malt in all Scotland! (it was only coffee..) Pure water of life, Paul… magic words…This should be ‘breaking news’ all over MSM.. Wake up and SMELL IT people!!…

  29. Aileen says:

    Paul, whichever way this vote goes, don’t disappear. We will always need people with your talents to hold our politicians and ourselves to account, to speak up for the “wee” people, and make sure we keep our direction of travel fair and reasonable and for the greater good. Happy to pay a subscription. Thank you so much for everything you have done, you and your Andy are an inspiration xx

  30. Mary from Argyll says:

    Well, Paul, I have just voted with pride and hope, hope that has been regularly sustained by your writing. There were times when the naysayers got me down or made me doubt or made me fearful but always your words buoyed and strengthened me. I hope, still, that our Yes vote today will in turn buoy and strengthen you.
    Thank you.

  31. KenC says:

    It has been an absolute pleasure reading your posts Paul. Inventive, witty, with a truth that hit the mark every time. Many, Many thanks.

    You have been through a horrendous time, and I mourn your loss. Your courage in continuing has moved me and my partner greatly.

    Hopefully, tomorrow, the sun will shine that bit brighter on Scotland. Even if it’s pouring with rain.

  32. Genna Millar says:

    You are such an inspiration, Paul. I gots everything crossed. Counting the ballots tonight and very excited to be a part of history. Im so nervous of the outcome, I havent slept or eaten. My nerves are jangling!

  33. John Ward says:

    A Sassenach writes:

    F**king brilliant piece. When a country curtails its freedom on the basis of munneee, it is lost forever:

  34. Scott Douglas says:

    Paul you have been an inspiration to us all. We have laughed with you and we have cried with you. Whatever happens in the next few hours you have become a part of the lives of the people who follow your blog. In dark days when I felt we had no chance your ability to remove the enamel from the teeth of the British state has fair perked me up, and to continue writing such great pieces when you were going through personal tragedy was amazingly brave.

    Scottish Medal of Honour should be coming your way!

  35. Horacesaysyes says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for all you have written during the campaign, Paul. You have made me laugh and made me cry, but above all made me hopeful about Scotland’s future.

  36. Sovereignty says:

    Lets all hoist a dram (40 year old if you can get it) for our undying love for Scotland!

  37. scotland has been cheated says:

    scotland you have been cheated, they rig the votes,

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