A short pause for breath

The last few weeks have been pretty momentous, and not just the referendum but on a far more personal level. I need some time to think, to catch up with myself, and to start to tackle the foundations of building a life for myself as a single person. I also need to look into self-publishing, and explore some options for getting the Collected Yaps available for sale. And I need to consider where I’m going to live, and where I go from here. I’ve got a lot to do, and need some time to myself to do it.

Meanwhile there are a lot of ideas and proposals flying around about ways to proceed with the tasks of building a new autonomous Scottish media, challenging the droit-de-seigneur of the British Labour party, and forging new alliances amongst the pro-Yes forces. There is the enthusiasm and will to ensure that a Yes phoenix will arise from the ashes, even if its shape is as yet unclear. I hope that a clearer picture will emerge over the next few days.

So I’m taking a short blog-break, and will be back in a few days, invigorated, refreshed, and hopefully with good news.

Thanks to everyone for all the informative and thoughtful comments on the last few blog pieces. They’ve been extremely useful – and please keep adding to them.



59 comments on “A short pause for breath

  1. Morag Frame says:

    no pressure wee dug, only a short break please. we need you!

    • Marie Dunbar says:

      I agree with Morag, you need some time to yourself but we do need you. You are the only person that could have helped me last weekend. It was only by reading your blog that I managed through it without going mad. Please do not stay away. I, too, ain’t going back into that shortbread tin. It was stifling. I think that you are very brave. I know the dug helps a lot. We all do understand your own pain. Andy must have been wonderful to have you as his partner.


  2. weecopey says:

    Time out for reflection is needed but please please please keep posting on this blog. You’ve been a beacon of hope, humour and never failing optimism in the face of unending opposition from the MSM.

    We will be waiting here when you come back xxx

  3. Take care! We all need a rest now and then.

  4. allypallykayak says:

    A lot of us are taking a break for reflection on what happens next. After a pleasant weekend away, I have decided to:

    1. Join the SNP
    2. Join CND Scotland
    3. Stop paying the TV license.

    Your situation is of course very different. You have had an appalling few weeks. Whatever happens next will involve a whole change of lifestyle, and will take more than a weekend to get to grips with.

    So have a decent break to think about life, the universe, and everything; and be sure we will be glad to welcome you back when you’re ready. Take your time. You have lots of friends here, and we want you back, but only when you feel able.

    Give the dug a hug, and have one, or several, yourself.

    • Mick Pork says:

      Not sure why we don’t just call the license the “TV TAX”. That is, after all, basically what it is. Also, in the same way “Poll Tax” and “Bedroom Tax” lend themselves to a mass movement against them.

      • weegingerdug says:

        Propaganda tax you mean

        • Jan Cowan says:

          In total agreement. I’ll never put up with that lot ever again.

          Have a busy time doing something different. No need for us to look for Christmas gifts this year. Between books from yourself and AS the ground is well covered.

          All good wishes to you and your faithful wee Ginger.

        • Mick Pork says:

          Propaganda Tax is an excellent term to rally the 45 against it and boycott it.
          For that matter ‘Jimmy Savile Tax’ would hammer home just how corrupt the BBC has been over the years. ‘WMD Tax’ would have been most appropriate after the deluge of BBC propaganda to invade Iraq which was being dictated to the BBC by the Blair and Brown government.

          However, I am against the TV Tax in principle and always have been long before the IndyRef. It is manifestly unfair and causes a massive burden on the poorest in society who simply do not have a choice but to pay it whether they want to watch BBC output or not. There is no easy or simple mechanism to choose not to pay for BBC output whether you can afford it or not. In fact there is an entire State apparatus in place to bully and force people into paying with fines, a criminal record and even the possibility of Jail terms. This is simply grotesque in 2014 when we have an absolute plethora of subscription based channels and services like Netflix.

          It would self-evidently be simpler, far cheaper and most importantly fair to change the TV Tax to a subscription based model for the BBC and we should push for that every chance we get. That’s a message that will get mass support and reaches out well beyond the 45. We know for a fact there are a huge number of people who really dislike being forced under the threat of fines and imprisonment to pay the TV Tax while they can pay for other services like Sky and other channels in a fair and equitable manner.

          We must all do what we can to fight back against immoral and unfair state propaganda and we must also never lose sight that fighting for what is FAIR and what is JUST is always the most potent weapon and way to bring about real and lasting change for the better.

          I don’t want to just lash out and hurt the BBC, (though obviously I despise the way in which they acted and have disgraced themselves in front of the 45 during the IndyRef) I want to change it for the better for everyone.

          BTW Good luck on your break Paul and you have my best wishes on finding your own path as we all reforge and regroup for the next big challenges ahead.

          I would love to see you on the front lines of one of the Yes parties for 2015 as their memberships continue to soar right this second. Your advocacy and passion would be invaluable and something else for ‘scottish’ Labour and their expenses hungry MPs to greatly fear. You can be 100% certain that they are looking right now at the 45 and the colossal rise in the three Yes parties memberships with absolute terror and dread. And so they should. They will pay a very heavy price indeed for being Cameron and the tories poodles while trying to crush a wonderful and inspiring grass roots movement just to keep their own jobs and line their own pockets

        • Donald of the Aisles says:

          Can Pay, Won’t Pay

          No strictly true as part time on minimum wage means a cannae pey

  5. Feet up, mister. You’ve earned it!

  6. Lawrence Jamieson says:

    How about ‘crowd funding’ , ie. people paying up front and pre-ordering their copy, to give you the cash to publish the Collected Yaps? Lawrence

  7. INDEPENDENT says:

    Personal if you need a break or assistance with accommodation just call me.
    We both after 40years have you in our Hearts.
    Ally & Shirley

  8. Robert Peffers. says:

    I want to thank you, Paul, for all your great efforts. I know how you must feel now, for I lost two much loved wifes and had to begin again twice. May the rest of your life be kind to you. We humans have the capacity to keep going under the worst of circumstance and it is always sad when any of our number fails to come back from dreadful loss. I’m sure you have the capacity to rest and recover. You have many throughout our country who are supporting you and many who need you. Hope you return to us refreshed and stronger.

  9. mary says:

    Don’t think ower much wgd, relax and let the subconscious do the thinking.
    Yours AYE

  10. A Meringue says:

    Should that no be “A short paws for breath”?

    I`ll get my leash!

  11. Enjoy your break Paul and see you when you get back.

  12. George says:

    If anyone deserves a break its you mate take your time but dont forget about us i expect to see your witty articles soon we havent given up us YES voters were awake and its all in part thanks to people like you.

    All the best mate you deserve it

  13. daibhidhdeux says:

    Dear Paul
    I avidly read and share your comments and insights (but rarely comment as your regular, most erudite commentariat make anything I could say redundant).

    A break seems to be a splendid idea given your recent tragic loss, and the recent events in the referendum: One tragic beyond words, the other an appalling farce for which the people in Scotland may soon pay dearly (and, more importantly, the generation of bairns coming after them to whom they have willed a fouly poisoned chalice).

    A break, re-charging of your batteries, and your return to the clash re-energised seems to be just the ticket.

    Best wishes from Tokyo
    David and Kyoko XXXXXXXX

    PS If you ever fancy a wee break here, Kyoko and I would be happy to host you.

  14. A break seems a good idea. A pause to reflect and mull things over. Hope you manage to get out the city into the autumn colours of the countryside. Decisions need to be made, new directions investigated. Both you and Scotland are seeking new futures. Good luck.

    The Scottish Book Trust has information on self-publishing and there is a good book you can download from Amazon (free of charge if I remember correctly). I have self-published two novels, both as print-on-demand paperbacks and as ebooks. Not difficult if you follow the instructions. Though getting an American tax number can be a bit of a pain, though think this might have been simplified recently.

    Publishing it soon would make it available for the Christmas market. Only outlay is for an ISBN for the paperback. Ebooks don’t need them. You can either buy a block of 10 for around £120, or alternatively buy one from CreateSpace, in which case they become the publisher. Good to publish under your own imprint e.g. Wee Ginger Dug Publishing, rather than under your name. It looks more professional.

    Hope your road forward is without potholes.

  15. Big, big changes in your life – it’s going to be an motion all roller coaster, so take all the time you need. In the full knowledge that there’s an invisible but vocal band of support here for you.
    Take care. X

  16. diabloandco says:

    If you need a dog sitter to take that Tokyo trip – I volunteer!

    Enjoy a break from holding us all up – like Atlas!


  17. Angus MacRuary says:

    Have a good (well-deserved and, no doubt, necessary) rest.

  18. Iain Hill says:

    Have a good rest, and take care!

  19. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Take as long as you need – you deserve it more than most

  20. Fairliered says:

    Enjoy your break. Take the dug some long walks through Scotland’s beautiful land. Recharge your batteries. Looking forward to hearing from you again whenever you feel ready.

  21. Anne Lyden says:

    Make the most of it and haste ye back. x

  22. smiling vulture says:

    Rogue Poll 52% was best thing that ever happened, I think silent majority was always ahead.

    2nd best thing was Gordon Brown singing like a canary New Powers,without authorisation

    3rd best thing,daily record panicking over VOW falling apart😂

    4th best thing,SNP,GREEN party membership rocketing

    5th best thing #the45 keeping it going,westminster ill such a high percentage

  23. macart763 says:

    I couldn’t think straight for the past few days so haven’t really commented much for fear of emotion overriding reason, but here’s my view for what its worth.

    Yes, there were dirty dealings within the referendum, but long before polling day the fix was in. As soon as it was discovered that HMG were palpably not staying out of our ‘Scottish discussion’, foul could have and should have been cried. As soon as it was discovered that overseas powers had been lobbied for support by HMG, foul should have been cried. As soon as it was blatantly obvious that our public broadcaster and indeed the entire UK media were singing from the same BT hymn book, foul should have been cried and of course as soon as evidence of collusion between the civil service, the treasury and BT were uncovered or even suspected, wait for it… foul should have been cried.

    In the face of all of that we still achieved 45% on the day. But yes the referendum ‘fix’ was in many times over.

    You want to beat the system? Then you make a system of your own.

    I think three things need to happen to get that level playing field.

    Firstly the media: Hopelessly politically and corporately compromised. There will never be a fair hearing from that quarter. Options? Only one. Abandon traditional media sources and create our own cross platform media. Withholding licence fee to old aunty is one option of protest, but its effects will be limited and for some who aren’t of the more extrovert or pro active nature, stressful and painful. Several million people aren’t going to stop paying their licence fee however much they agree with the stance, but another option for making protest known for those who can’t or won’t take that course is viewing figures. If there’s one thing that gets to the heart of any broadcaster other than the licence fee its watching their viewing figures travel elsewhere. For those who wish to retain their goggle box but still feel the need to protest, go to any channels out there but the BEEB or ITV and its franchises. Making their viewing figures drop off a cliff will focus attention. Ditto for the dead tree, simply stop buying the damn titles and vote with your wallet.

    Secondly ‘British’ Labour: They sold their souls and ours for the sake of self interest. They GO! No ifs buts or maybes. There was a chance of revitalising them and their core values in an independent Scotland. They made their choice – Party, Power and Establishment. Their actions throughout the campaign were dangerous, harmful, reckless and indiscriminate. They proved without a shadow of a doubt that care for welfare of the public and social cohesion didn’t enter their tiny minds once in their dash to preserve their lifestyles. They are done and dead to the people.

    There are truly socialist parties and movements out there. If you’re a Labour voter forget the name and look for the values and ethics, but shift your vote from those who have betrayed everything they ever stood for. In the short term (IMO), Scotland’s best defence is to fill Holyrood and Westminster’s contingent with members who stand for the Scottish electorate and preferably independence. Lose Labour and the Liberals (tories, job already done).

    Lastly YES Scotland. Again I’d like to see the SNP especially separate itself from the idea of being seen as just a movement for independence. They need to govern and govern well, to install continued confidence in our parliament and government. The need to allow YES Scotland where all parties and no parties meet to continue the independence movement. As a movement YES Scotland do things and go places where a party of government can’t. They can allow freedom of thought and expression which parliamentary code shackles or downright prohibits. In short parties of government should govern and movements should move the people.

  24. Gonzologist says:

    I have been wondering about this, what would happen if a pro-indy Scottish government elected by PR on a ticket of Scottish independence were to just declare itself independent?

    The UK establishment, corporations, and EU bureaucrats were filling their pants at the thought of Scottish independence so they would all say it can’t be done and come out with all the same old crap that we saw in the Indy campaign but I would be interested to hear what the legal situation would be.

  25. JimnArlene says:

    Take care Paul, have good rest, then come back to fight the good fight.

  26. Katherine hamilton says:

    Have a good break Paul. We will rise again. 70+% of the young voted yes. They will not forget. Vote Labour at your peril.

  27. macart763 says:

    Our jolly union being all ‘Better Together’.


    • Gonzologist says:

      This side of the Union is not getting any coverage on the MSM. The unionist thugs in Glasgow got either no coverage or very misleading coverage. It is essential to establish a media outlet which is honest and truthful.

      • macart763 says:

        Like I said in my longer post above, that’s got to be one the priorities. We need to break their tools or circumvent them. We made a start during the campaign, but now its time to put some wellie into growing an independent cross platform media.

  28. All the very best, Paul. It’s been a hell of a few weeks for you and you should take as long as you need to sort things out. We’ll keep things moving along in the meantime

  29. Liz says:

    Friday was so bleak, so dispiriting, and the one ray of sunshine was your post encouraging all of us who had lost hope to keep going. The fact that you managed this so soon after your own personal loss is simply extraordinary, a generosity of spirit that still leaves me awestruck. At that time you would have been fully forgiven for focusing on your own grief. Yes, of course you need a break, but I hope and trust you will return soon to keep us going with your beautiful, eloquent and passionate writing. We need you. I speak as an expat but one who still hopes to return home, and is still very much concerned about the future of my country.

    Incidentally, I also speak as a member of the generation currently being slagged off for having lost the vote. Most of my contemporaries with whom I’m still in touch voted Yes. I don’t have a vote, being elsewhere, which is only right and proper. Yes, true enough, we don’t have much time left on this planet, but please don’t let us all be written off as stupid old fearties. Some of us, many of us are not.

  30. Steve Bowers says:

    Right, now we’ve got rid of the wee pest, I have a new site, ( ok only kidding, it’s no competition to WGD ) http://www.Scotsoutlook.com I’m hoping to gather people from both sides and eventually use it as a lobbying forum for Scot Gov, come along and join in please and take some chums along. throw in your comments and ideas for discussion. Cheers. Steve

    Have a good break Paul, we’re off ourselves soon, come back refreshed and ready to go.

    Big deep breath for me, got to try to cinvince my very shy wife that she’d like to set up a Women for indy local group, gonna be a hard sell that one !

  31. Trick says:

    Enjoy your break , everyone who reads your blog regularly will know what you have been dealing with . Come back firing on all cylinders .

  32. Marion Scott says:

    Have a good rest but please come back soon and we will all continue with this job of getting our country back. We need you.

  33. Will T says:

    I think we all need a short break but things are getting interesting and won’t go away Project Fear is live!

    At the weekend I was at Blood Scotland and the referendum debate, William McIlvanney is depressed but not going to commit suicide, Tom Devine is not speaking to his childhood pal Gordon, the BBC were confirmed as basis and complaints and petitions are in hand, certain Glasgow neds, well were Glasgow neds. Tommy Sheridan has just told us all to vote SNP and that lot down south are already arguing about promises made in haste.

    I’m thinking of a badge that says ‘Don’t blame me, I voted Yes’.

    Politics is alive and well and more people than ever are involved we need you and other like you to keep the balls in the air.

  34. kennym says:

    In the depths of despair on the 18/19th, little did I know that within 4 days we’d be back up and getting ready to kick them right back in the goolies (metaphorically of course)

  35. arthur thomson says:

    I agree with all the above comments Paul. Take a break if you need to but don’t ever be imagining that we aren’t waiting for your return. We need you.

  36. Take care, Paul. ‘Look forward to hearing from you soon.

  37. Marie Dunbar says:

    We are all recovering now. We are the little Flower of Scotland that is sharp and sweet and breaks the heart. We are going on. We are right.

  38. Given that for one reason or another, the 45 proved to be divisive, I (Rod Macfarlane) have changed the name of the group to YES ALLIANCE.
    After the pain of the No vote, we must quickly regroup and persuade those who were frightened out of voting YES to join us, and become far more than the 45%
    If all indy supporters join together rather than split into separate parties, we can overcome and succeed again…. Like Robert the Bruce and the Spider….If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try, try again!


  39. MorvenM says:

    Thanks so much, Paul, for everything you’ve done for us and haste ye back. Your blog entry “The tide goes out” really lifted my spirits on the 19th. So many great posts here too and have been heartened to hear about so many people signing up to the pro indy parties to carry on the campaign.

    Here’s some useful info for those thinking about cancelling their TV licence


    Look on the forums too for details of catch up services, both free and subscription, you can use instead. You don’t have to ditch your telly. I think it’s best to fill in the online declaration on the BBC website rather than just cancelling your direct debit. I did so in May, got a partial rebate (which I wasn’t expecting), have recycled the “reminders” and haven’t had a visit yet. Wouldn’t care if I did, as I’m doing it legally and you don’t have to let them in your house anyway without a warrant. They’re going to be hard pushed to get round us all anyway at this rate.

    Good luck, everybody, and thanks for all the pawsitivity.

    I’ll get ma dug coat.

    • Marconatrix says:

      Re TV license. From what I’ve read the people who come to your door are really just high pressure salesmen with no legal powers, who will try to bluff you into signing a confession. It would seem that it’s almost impossible these days to tell if you’re receiving live broadcasts. However I’ve never seen any mention of Scots law, so if there’s to be a campaign it might be prudent to get a legal briefing sheet for Scotland that you can circulate. If nothing else it would put folks minds at rest. Interesting now I think of it, the BBC and its ‘enforcers’ use exactly the same FUD approach as BT did to frighten old ladies into voting NO.

  40. Rookiescot says:

    Right Paul.
    Time for a few Gin and Tonics and a bit of Clanadonia with the volume turned up to eleven.

    Cant help you with the Gin but heres Clanadonia.

  41. Gonzologist says:

    The allegations about vote rigging are building up, the evidence is mounting. It’s not just one video clip on Youtube any more, there is a whole lot more to it.


  42. ggsquare says:

    I’ve got not a single, fav article. But what struck me most in the WGD is the combination of humanity, the naked and sometimes shockingly honest personal touch combined with the eloquent yet unforgiving and raw political opinions, supported by fact (links). So, if you’re gonna bundle a collection, please do include those observations and experiences as well. Thank you for your time, and effort. All the best.

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