Can you smell the fear?

Can you smell the fear? It’s reeking, rising in a fog of incomprehension, wafting up from the sweaty furrowed brows of Unionist politicians, dripping from the pens of the metrocommentariat columnists. It’s the rank odour of a rotting and rancid Project Fear which is now eating itself, consumed in hubris, dissolving in its arrogance. Confused and lost by how events have turned against the winning side in the referendum. The wind has changed. It blows fair for Scotland.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Better Together was supposed to mean that Scotland better listen passively, Scotland better do what it was told what was best for it. But Scotland isn’t listening any more. We no longer listen to those who don’t hear us. Scotland wants Home Rule. Scotland was promised Home Rule, we were vowed the closest thing to federalism it was possible to get. We were told that Scotland would have more self-government than any other devolved or autonomous administration. But we got control of road signs and unusable tax powers. So Scotland will use this election to take Home Rule.

The old rules of deference are dead, and we’ve learned that you get nowhere in this Union by being Miss Nice, by asking politely and patiently for things that the establishment refuses to recognise are ours. That’s the lesson Scotland learned from the referendum. We’re not asking nicely any more, and it’s scaring them. An entire nation cannot be marginalised. There’s more of us. They promised home rule, they didn’t deliver. So we’ll vote for parties which will take it from them.

Still the Union sails on, in a tide of sewage of its own making, of scandals and sleaze, child abuse and corruption. It promises tweaks, it tries to tack against the wind of change with a tattered sail of entitlement and a rudderless privilege. But the wind is sweeping it away, sweeping all before it. The life raft of their victory on 18 September is sinking, battered and broken by those who cannibalised it for their own ends. Ed Miliband and the Murph E Coyote are not waving from the stage of the Labour conference. They’re drowning. The game is over, the game is lost. All that is left is to rescue what they can from the wreckage.

Labour stood with the Tories. Alistair Darling basked in the applause of the pensioned-off Thatcherites of Scotland. Johann Lamont railed against “something for nothing” and stood outside ASDA and grinned as a pal of Davie Cameron made threats to increase food prices. Jim Murphy drank Irn Bru on expenses and argued for Trident, for Iraq, for student fees, for privatisation. Labour stands exposed as the Frankenstein party of Tory policies dressed in a flayed dead skin of socialism that’s peeled away to reveal rotting flesh and a cold dead heart.

Labour and the Tories both support the renewal of Trident. Both support illegal wars, both support demonising those on benefits, and in their poverty of spirit both sanction the poor. Both support privatisation, both worship the market, both bow down before the lords of the banks. Vote SNP get Tory, all it means is that the bully’s wee pal is telling us to give him our pocket money instead.

John Major’s old spin merchant Jonathan Haslam was on Sky News paper review on Saturday night. He doesn’t know what more “we” can give “them”. You and me, we’re not “us”. We’re them, we’re another, we’re quasi-foreigners already within this happy family of nations. The old spinner for the Tories expresses the hope that “they” will come to their senses and vote for the Smurph. A man who spun for the Tories now wants Scotland to vote for the man who tells Scotland that he’s all that stands between Scotland and the Tories.

Meanwhile his old boss writes in the Telegraph that the SNP can’t be allowed to get near any power at Westminster, because, he says, they’ll only seek to further the interests of their own party and boost Scotland, not the whole UK. Because the Tories have never done anything like that John, have they. The Conservatives have never sought to further the interests of their own party and to boost the Tory shires at the expense of everyone else. Scuse me while I do up the buttons at the back of ma heid.

But they keep spinning the nonsensical babble that is treated like sense by a media which lost all sense a long time ago. Investing all their hopes in a gibbering gaggle of monkeys with typewriters, battering out gobbets of sound bites and incoherent policy initiatives, seeking a Shakespearean line that will resonate with an audience which is no longer watching the absurdist theatre. The audience is too busy writing a Scottish play of its own. One in which Glasgow East’s Lady Macbeth doesn’t make it past the first act, where she’s sent back to her stairheid. We’re writing a play in which Labour exits stage right, pursued by a Scottish bear.

Project Fear instilled fear, and created a Union defined by fear. Now it’s being destroyed by fear. People forget arguments, they forget spin. But they don’t forget how you made them feel. We remember the cannaes, the wullnaes, the dinnaes. We remember the smirks and the smugness, the condescension and the contempt. We remember the concert of scares and the orchestra of intimidation. Scotland has not forgotten, not forgiven. Now we’re making the fearmongers fearful.

We are the demons of their imagination, the spectres at the austerity feast. Scotland is the conscience that Westminster lost. There’s an uprising in the kale-yaird. We’re fed up with the over-boiled vegetables of Westminster, Scotland’s planting exotic fruit, like the thought of home rule, the idea of sovereignty, the radical notion that in a democracy the political classes do what the people want. No wonder they are afraid of us.

The clock is ticking until the people have their say. And the people promise harsh words for those who spoke down from on high with words designed to cow and frighten. The levelling time approaches for the entitled ones. We’re coming to get the Frankenstein party, pitchforks at the ready.

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88 comments on “Can you smell the fear?

  1. Susan says:

    You are my favorite writer!

  2. One of your very best Paul.

    And now, with righteous indignation & bursting pride, pitchfork by my side, I have to lay my head down.
    Cheers for that!

  3. Jack Beck/Scotus says:

    My goodness – this is really exceptional! Wonderful even!!

  4. […] Can you smell the fear? […]

  5. Suzanne says:

    Stunning piece. One of your very best.

    The gloves are off.

  6. Jon in Chicago says:

    Okay, if you’re going to persist in calling him “Murph E. Coyote”, you’re going to need a “Latin” binomial, too (Politicus idioticus?). Another point: Between the Rev. Stu invoking Moe, Curly, and Larry a few posts ago over at WoS and now your invoking The Coyote, please stop associating our best comedians with these clowns. God knows, with the Republicans we have enough of our own.

    However, I do hope that next year, we progressive Democrats (as opposed to the corporate weasel wing of our party) can replicate in some small way tap the industrial-strength can of Whup-Ass you’re about to open. Change the world, indeed.

  7. macart763 says:

    That one’s right up there Paul.

    Caught the reports coming in of the Labour conference and still the arrogance, petted lip, pointless tribalism and anti SNP nonsense. I can’t explain it, but all it left me with was at first sadness and then a cold anger. You sort of hoped at least that at some point they would show something other than ignorance, hatred or anger, the peddling of sound bites. You would have hoped to see honest humility in there somewhere? Perhaps even an honest acceptance of responsibility, for something, anything? A sign?

    No, what we got was some non entity called Hamilton playing to the audience the usual narrow minded, childish fuckwittery that is leading Labour by the nose to electoral oblivion. No sign from the delegates or speech makers that there was anything worth saving. All that’s left to do is a necessary and unpleasant task. A bit like that operation to remove something scary and debilitating, which once removed will provide you with a new lease of life.

    I am so fucking done with old politics and old politicians doing things the way ‘they’ve always been done’. Its time to school these people on the way we want things to be done from now on.

    They are public fucking servants. They are there to represent our needs and aspirations. They are there to defend our interests and basically dae as they are fucking telt. ZERO tolerance for troughers, careerists, party before people politics.

    You transgress, you’re out of a job.

    • Steve Asaneilean says:

      Just about sums it up macart🙂

    • Iain Hill says:

      Dead right. Why can’t the English and the rUK see this? Using modern media, we could easily abandon the present 18C system and retake control of our country, making government do what the people want, by direct voting.

      The old excuse that MPs are more skilled, more professional than the general public in their understanding of policy has been convincingly exposed as ridiculous and self-serving.

      We don’t need “representatives”, particularly of this appalling calibre. We have our own voice.

    • Steve Bowers says:

      Sorry macart, couldn’t resist…..

  8. Janis says:

    That was truly amazing and rousing. In the midst of all the anti snp and Scotland you stand for the truth and what is possible. It’s disgusting to hear the us and them attitudes of the Westminster establishment and even more disgraceful at the disregard they gave for democracy. May 2015 can’t come quick enough.

  9. Almannysbunnet says:

    Absolutely brilliant piece of writing. Inspirational and straight to the heart of the current problem with “democracy” in these Islands. Labour is a party run and supported by dinosaurs, if you want proof just listen to David Hamilton’s “speech” at the conference yesterday, utterly shameful.

  10. Geraldine Hughes says:

    First article of yours I’ve seen, wasn’t a follower, am now. Bloody fabulous piece, so well written and accurately pitched. Can’t get PayPal link to work.

  11. Alex Waugh says:

    By god I enjoyed that! What a contrast there is between the impassioned, intelligent polemic of Scoland’s true champions and the whining, meaningless bile of the unionists.

  12. Golfnut says:

    Awesome. Words penned from the heart, puncturing the pettiness, ignorance and arrogance of those who were elected to serve and not to rule.

  13. JPJ2 says:

    I doubt you can improve on that piece but I somehow expect you will prove me wrong.

  14. TheBabelFish says:

    Reblogged this on The Babel Fish and commented:
    The Wee Ginger Dug smells fear:

  15. diabloandco says:

    Ach! just marvellous ,a most uplifting piece. How I wish it could be printed in the mainstream media.

    Macart , I love the word ” fuckwittery “hope it has made it to the Oxford English .

    • macart763 says:

      Sorry ’bout that.🙂

      I was angry after yesterday’s showing by the people’s party. It sort of crowned a week of the very worst in Westminster politics. Paul hit every nail squarely on the head in his superb post. The naked disregard for democracy, the self interest, the arrogance and most especially, the racism on display this past week should turn any decent person’s stomach, regardless of their party affiliation.

      This type of politics and this system is well past its sell by date. It reeks.

  16. Excellent, excellent excellent.
    Paul went to send you £5 but starts at £10. Am on benefits and supporting local Foodbank and SNP.

  17. Robert Llewellyn Tyler says:

    This is excellent writing. Regards from Wales

  18. Heartfelt, Paul, Heartfelt. Not a single word out of place. I am in awe.
    and Macart too as usual. Thanks guys, for giving us all hope, and belief.

  19. bjsalba says:

    Interesting piece in the Sunday Herald (P8) about your about your favourite MP. I think she too can smell the fear.

  20. katherine hamilton says:

    Aye, we remember.

  21. mary docherty says:

    Phew !!! That strikes at the fear .Should be on a big billboard for all to see.cheers wee dug.

  22. Iain Rough says:

    The Taxi Driver says ” Scotland has become the conscience of the UK”, so do you Paul. What a lovely comment to make.

  23. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    After that disaster yesterday in Edinburgh, I think we need to be t=rooting about in barns for a tumbril and loads of pitchforks for the 8th of May.

    • hektorsmum says:

      Panda, Hubby was asking at the Aye Pod in Dunfermline if he would be supplied with a pitchfork as we are moving to a Fife village. So I volunteer your first soldier. I will certainly come along with the knitting.

  24. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    I think that Edinburgh yesterday with Davis Hamilton’s brain fart of a speech, followed up with tweets of support from MacDougall, Horseshitstall and Iain Gray, will go don as the suicide note for Labour in Scotland.

    A comment reported in the Sunday Herald today was that when Magrit goes the average IQ of Slab will go up.

    I suppose that depends on who is left, if any?

  25. Deedee says:

    Usually, when I share a WGD post, I copy a wee quote to whet appetites for the full article. So many to choose from here I don’t know where to start. Just excellent.

  26. Thistle says:


  27. Barontorc says:

    Donation on the way. Stirringly truthful stuff Paul. I hope it’s read far and wide. ATB and keep it up.

  28. Proadge says:

    Awesome stuff. Thank you.

  29. Capella says:

    Spot on WGD. The groat has definitely dropped in the Establishment and the fear is palpable.
    We can expect a tsunami of bile for the next six weeks then, you bring the tumbril BtP and I’ll get my knitting!

    • hektorsmum says:

      Looks like there will be two of us, I will have to go get the wool and needles as I gave up, but they do a nice line in Aldi now and again.

  30. Pam McMahon says:

    The denigration of the office of 1st minister by Davidson yesterday “a wee lassie in a tin hat” just about sums up Labour MPs’ attitudes to the Scottish parliament. It’s just another Toon Cooncil we get to ignore (unless it’s Glasgow Toon Cooncil with all our kith and kin embedded) and once we get Jim Murphy elected as provost of this wee, pretendy parliament (our “wee laddie in the tin nappy” oor pay, pensions and expenses will be safe until the craws come hame.

    Every time a Labour MP opens his mouth, it’s only to chew another bit of leg off. His, or somebody else’s.

  31. gerry parker says:

    Superb writing Paul, wee donation sent, keep up the good work.
    Good turnout at the SNP fundraiser in Coatbridge.

  32. Tinto Chiel says:

    Probably your best yet. Your savage indignation is fully justified. Dean Swift would approve.

    The complete panic from the Establishment at the prospect of a relatively few SNP MPs going to Westminster is astonishing. What do they have to hide?

  33. Albawoman says:

    Fantastic piece of writing. Thank you.

    SLAB believe they own the Scottish Electorate body and soul.. The faces of those folk at the Edinburgh conference show a glimmer of the reality they are about to experience.

  34. Jan Cowan says:

    Great, Paul! We’re getting there fast and the Labour Party are actually helping us along. Desperation on their part. Can’t wait for GE15.

  35. Nigel Mace says:

    “Scotland is the conscience that Westminster lost” – possibly your most memorable line ever. Less is more has hardly ever been demonstrated as well. Congratulations.

  36. Eoin says:

    Nice piece, but keep your wits about you. Before the referendum, there was talk of the Norwegian model for independence. You’re not going to get that. This is beginning to look disturbingly like the Irish model: first you ask nicely, then the Unionists laugh, then you elect a nationalist party to all of your seats and send them to Westminister. Watch out for the people laying seeds for the ‘Keep Shetland British’ campaign; don’t trust the Army; make sure that the whole movement has an agreed line on what to do if offered *nearly* everything you want, except for a wrecking flaw. The Establishment doesn’t always win, but when it knows it’s going to lose, it plays dirty

  37. Bill McLean says:

    Excellent and humourous. Were you ever a sailor by any chance as I enjoyed the sailing analogies (is that the right word) – I mean of the pushing boats along with the wind not the passengers in metal boxes? Contribution enclosed.

  38. fillofficer says:

    I bet your fingers were bleeding as you furiously typed that out. greatly writ. got my old heart pounding there, phew

  39. If that doesn’t put an inch on yir step, nothing will.

  40. Malcolm says:

    Excellent. Mr Hamilton looked like a dinosaur from a bygone era.
    Which he, and the clapping diehards, are.

  41. excellent piece, and oh so true…bring it the f’on..!!

  42. scotsgeoff says:

    This is the kind of cutting demolition of ‘purile politics’ we need.

    Surely, this is what true journalism is about.

    A stunning piece.

  43. hektorsmum says:

    Truly wonderful Paul you are on fire presently, keep it up only a few more weeks to go and we will not be stopping at Derby this time.

  44. The quality of your seditious scribblings is beginning to threaten the Empire. You must cease such activities forthwith!

  45. Wow! I think something just happened there.

  46. Steve Asaneilean says:

    They just don’t get it do they? They claim to be democrats but when democracy threatens to jump up and bite them on the bum they try to shut it down. That’s not the actions of democrats – it’s the actions of autocrats who believe they have nothing short of a devine right to rule over us and tell what to do and tell us how grateful we should be.
    Well not any more. It’s time for change and that light coming down the tunnel is the Flying Scotsman!

  47. John McLeod says:

    One of your best. Nothing really to add to all the other comments today. The power and passion of your writing and the clarity of your analysis are an inspiration.

  48. Iain Hill says:

    Please sir, if the various Tory parties carry out their ultimate threst (tremble!) and complete their merger into a Grand Coalition, will Alec Salmond become Leader of the Opposition and slaughter them at PMQ, or will Beadle Cameron just leave his seat empty? (Discuss)

    How will all those inflated egos fit onto the government benches? House of Cards series IV!

    • Marconatrix says:

      Or would the parliamentary Labour Party simply disintegrate, part taking the Tory whip, part going with the SNP’s socialist vision? A catalyst, or simply a cat among the pigeons?

  49. Brian says:

    Best piece I’ve read post Referendum. A rallying cry indeed.

  50. John Cowie says:

    Swift lives!

    S U P E R B

  51. Hazel Smith says:

    A true masterpiece Paul. You’ve written many wonderful pieces but this has got to be the best yet!

  52. David Agnew says:

    Those gentlemen of the press and those who “serve” in Westminster, have painted Scotland into a corner, that regardless of how it votes, it is imposing itself on Britain.

    Its a notion that’s been swimming around in my mind since I saw Hastings article and the follow up by Major. Miliband got in on the act on Friday and Alan Massie let one almighty brainfart off in the daily mail, invoking the racist hate rant of Enoch Powell and speaking of the Thames running red with blood, if Scotland got to decide who was in power.

    There is literally no party that Scotland could ever vote for and not be accused of imposing its will on the UK. But this fear masks a simple truth. The Westminster parties are so utterly without direction and have become too similar that neither one will achieve a majority. They know they must form an alliance. Cameron knows that he cannot form a coalition with the SNP, and it horrifies him that he could suffer a defeat at the hands of a nation, that has only one MP representing his party in Scotland. For Miliband, his milquetoast persona cannot win in England and he hates the idea of a coalition with the SNP as it would end his bland “One Nation Labour” fantasy right there and then. They need our votes but are so loathe to admit it, that they have stripped away the pretensions of union to express their contempt of our contribution.

    Scotland Could vote Green or SSP and it would make no difference. Even if we split the vote it would still be seen as Scotland secretly working to impose an unwelcome influence in their precious “Family of Nations”

    We’re like the Ghost of the Commandant in Don Giovanni. A most unwelcome visitor and something to be feared. We remind them of what the spirit and intent of the act of union was supposed to be. All they can do recoil from us. But unlike Don Giovanni who is cast into the pit and carried of to hell for his transgressions, these fools who love the union so much are preparing to jump into the pit on their own volition.

    They are going to end the union themselves. Out of fear that Scotland might have something to say about how the parliament should work. How horribly democratic of us. It also shows us one other thing. That Scotland has never truly been seen as part of the UK, and subsequently has never truly been British.

    And you just know that we will have to listen to them spit their hate at us because it was all our fault that the lie ended.

  53. Ken Waldron says:

    Dinnae miss them & hit the dyke now…wonderful.

  54. Weegiewarbler says:

    Inspiring piece as are many of the comments. I truly do hope we take the bull by the horns and show the unionist parties the door.

  55. Albaman says:

    That was a very powerful piece of writing, I hope that the editor of The National took note, in fact I wish he’d reproduce it in its entirety in tomorrow’s edition.
    One day he’s bound to call!.

  56. Mike Hamilton says:

    Ouch – that’ll sting! Fantastic piece of writing. Sent a wee something to help keep WGD in chews for a few days.
    P.S. am no relation to ‘Diddy’, hereafter to be prefaced with ‘ya feckin’ – courtesy a comment over on Munguin.

  57. MoJo says:

    love it ! keep up the good work….

  58. Hugh says:

    Don’t knowabout smell the fear, i only smell sh.te every time Murphy talks. There was a lot of he brown stuff on Sunday Politics from Iain Murray.

  59. DonMac says:

    Great Article. I’ve just found this blog today from a link on Reddit/Scotland and this is the first article I have read – I will certainly be bookmarking you and checking back regularly. Keep up the great writing. I am really enjoying all the new media like this blog and others which have popped up in the last year or so.

  60. arthur thomson says:

    Brilliant Paul. Labour – the Frankenstein Party of Tory policies dressed in a flayed dead skin of socialism that’s peeled away to reveal rotting flesh and a cold dead heart. The Frankenstein party – that is just what the Labour party has degenerated into. Spread the word.

  61. Shaun the Sheep says:

    My sentiments exactly, brilliantly written as usual. For sharing everyone.

  62. Marconatrix says:

    Dug, you excel yourself! A brilliant piece of writing🙂

  63. Wee Jimmy says:

    I love your articles Paul. I’m not absolutely sure, but I think you gave me my first braingasm!

  64. Maureen says:

    Brilliant writing Paul, straight from the heart. As a 65 yr old and never been violent, I can’t wait to kick ass on the 7 May. Scotland deserves so much better.

  65. Steve Bowers says:

    I’m still raging from Massie and Hastings, can’t add anything more than what’s already been said Paul, beyond outstanding. The mood is changing !

  66. Ellie says:

    take it you’ve seen this! burst out laughing after JM wanting booze back at fitba matches

  67. Ellie says:

    oops forgot to post link!

  68. Clicky Steve says:

    Reblogged this on – and commented:

    “It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Better Together was supposed to mean that Scotland better listen passively, Scotland better do what it was told what was best for it. But Scotland isn’t listening any more. We no longer listen to those who don’t hear us. Scotland wants Home Rule. Scotland was promised Home Rule, we were vowed the closest thing to federalism it was possible to get. We were told that Scotland would have more self-government than any other devolved or autonomous administration. But we got control of road signs and unusable tax powers. So Scotland will use this election to take Home Rule.

    The old rules of deference are dead, and we’ve learned that you get nowhere in this Union by being Miss Nice, by asking politely and patiently for things that the establishment refuses to recognise are ours. That’s the lesson Scotland learned from the referendum. We’re not asking nicely any more, and it’s scaring them. An entire nation cannot be marginalised. There’s more of us. They promised home rule, they didn’t deliver. So we’ll vote for parties which will take it from them.”

  69. lisa says:

    The hairs stood on my arms when I read this! Superb!
    Thank you Paul for another brilliant piece of writing.
    I can’t imagine a world without the Wee Ginger Dug!!

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