This wasn’t supposed to happen

This wasn’t supposed to happen. We were supposed to be quiescent and quiet little drones, grateful for the scraps we were tossed, eager for the bones we were given to gnaw on. We were supposed to be eating our cereal, silently, shamefaced, and grateful. We were not supposed to be where we are, riding on the crest of an avalanche that’s wiping away a century of Labour’s wasted opportunities. Riding on the lead wave of the deluge that’s drowning the entrenched interests of Tory rule. Riding on the landslip that’s erasing the Lib Dems forever. Riding on a landslide and laughing and joking, feeling alive and vital, noisy and loud, changing the world with conversations in the street, in the pub, with blog posts, tweets, and comments. Running, jumping and never standing still.

This wasn’t supposed to happen. But it is happening and it feels so good. Liberating like coming out into the fresh air after being trapped in a lift on a hot summer’s day with a pub bore with bad breath. Blindfolds are off and we’re at the top of a Scottish mountain taking in the view – and this land is ours as far as the eye can see. No wonder the lairds are terrified. We’re their nightmare, and we’re awake. We’re going to take their privilege from them. This land is our land, and we will be the masters in it.

The truth is we are unstoppable. The people of Scotland are a force of nature, an organic mass of ideas, a living pulsing interconnected network. We cannot be halted, we cannot be corralled. We will not be dictacted to by the media, we will make our own. We will not go back into the shortbread tin, our spirit is too big.

The depression of the 19th of September did not last long. It was a brief pause for breath, a change of tack, not the end of the journey. It was a slap in the face that invigorated not castigated. Because it was a highly conditional No. It was not an absolute negative, a final say. It was the settled will of Scotland to say “not yet, not now”. A No that said we’d give Westminster one last chance. A no that said we’d see if they fulfilled their vow. And now we know what happened to that. How now Brown’s vow, discredited like the paper it was printed in. Pensioned off and vain like the man who created it.

The landslide that began its journey down the rockface of Westminster’s implacable opposition during last year’s referendum campaign was not blocked or deflected by the No vote. It slides on, changing the face of the landscape, erasing old certainties, gouging out the old patterns, striving still for the shore. It’s uncertain how the dust will settle, no one knows what the moving earth will reveal. All that we know is that the future is being written, right here, right now. And we are the makers of that story. We are the story, the active ingredients, the agents of change. We are the avalanche. We are the rocks in motion. We are the future and we are here now.

It’s a story that’s being written by ordinary people doing remarkable things. It’s a story that’s being written by people who refuse to accept the tales we are told by those who have held power. It’s the story of a Scotland that refuses to accept that it cannot define itself.

What changed last summer was that the rock called Mary and the stone called Tam realised that the story of Scotland is their story, not the story of the rich and the powerful and the well connected. And they started to move, they started to tell their story. They connected. They refused to listen to those who tried to define their choices for them, to tell them how the story must end. They became the avalanche, they’re moving still. And the story is still being written.

The avalanche didn’t stop because the Westminster parties confused the willingness of a generous people to give them yet another chance with subservience. They mistook magnanimity of spirit for submission. They were given generosity and thought they had the PIN number to our bank accounts, their hands in our pockets, the keys to our hearts. They thought they’d be given permission to go back to their old games while we would watch passively, and accept the inevitability. They were wrong.

And now we are scaring them. They can see the strength of our determination. They can hear the rumble of distant voices that combine into the earthquake that will demolish their entitlement, that will rewrite their rules without them being in control. So they rant, they scream, they insult, they threaten. They write panicked editorials in the press. They draw cartoons that have no understanding or humour. They proffer little bribes, a few crumbs to the starving, a drop of brackish water to the thirsty. It always worked in the past, but it’s not working now.

The old certainties are as dead as Magrit Curran’s career. The old way of doing things has the credibility of Jim Murphy’s spin and lies. The old structures are as risible as a speech by Wullie Rennie, and crumbling like a Labour safe seat. There is nowhere safe for them now. We are everywhere. We are Scotland.

We’ve learned how to feed ourselves. We’ve learned how to educate ourselves. We’ve learned how to articulate what we want. We’ve learned that we are the judges of what is best for us. We’ve learned that we have no need to beg. We are not asking nicely any more. We are going to take what is ours, and we will not be stopped. Scotland is angry. They don’t like us when we’re angry, because when we’re angry we will get our way. And if they get in our way, we will remove them. The removal vans arrive on May 7th. They’re going to be busy.

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46 comments on “This wasn’t supposed to happen

  1. Words written by one thought by many.

  2. diabloandco says:

    Having been depressed by the ever misleading, lying twisted media of Scotland , I was in need of a pep talk to lift my spirits and was delighted to find it in my inbox – thanks Paul.

  3. Red Squirrel says:

    Path to independence is a one-way ratchet – it’s moving slowly but surely and the support behind it is rock solid. I hope it accelerates to the avalanche soon!

  4. keep up the good words

  5. Campbell macgregor says:

    Great stuff i’ll be donating

  6. We, the ones who care about Scotland, also know that the same PTB are still out there, still with the power and much more aware of what they need/want to do.

    Whilst everyone knows, except the arrogant with much to lose, Scotland will be independent sooner rather than later. That won’t stop a grand coalition forming between the Red and Blue Tories tho. Yet again this will only be a slight pause and one which will kill Labour.

  7. mumsyhugs says:

    I just love coming to your blog – it reaches the parts other blogs cannot reach! You just have this way of putting into words what so many of us are thinking but don’t have the skill to put into words. Thank you for being our voice. Hugs tae the dug🙂

  8. Malcolm says:

    Strong and stirring words.
    Keep them coming, Paul.

  9. Uplifting and surprisingly moving Paul – you’ve written things that absolutely nail the mood and flavour of Scotland right now. Thank you 😘

  10. Susan says:

    You are a gem and a national treasure, keep them coming!😀

  11. Bobs Email says:

    Outstanding. Another contribution on the way.


    Sent from my iPad


  12. Neil says:

    This is, truly, food for the soul.

  13. Aucheorn says:

    I’ve read some motivational stuff, that is the bestest ever, pure dead brilliant.

    C’mon folks, let’s get out there and go beyond their worst nightmares.

  14. David Agnew says:

    Just saw on wings that Labour intends to mark the day the SNP “betrayed” them with a solemn parade, black arm bands, and a wreath to commemorate the devastated mining industry.

    They are looking defeat in the face, and the best thing they could do to shore up their collapsing vote, was to warm up a past grievance. Something they have been doing since the Thatcher years, which has long since lost its ability to harm the SNP. I read this and knew I was looking at a party that knows its been beaten, Scottish labour are looking to the past, unable to see the present much less the future for what it is. This last and feeble attempt to drum up anti-SNP sentiment, shows a party that can only look backwards to the what was. Their hopes guttering and spent as the realities of their world move on past them.

    My footnote on the not so strange death of labour Scotland would be: Having no better argument to secure its future, Scottish labour positioned themselves in the past and spat hate at the future.

    • Gordon Adam says:

      Labour have selective memories if they think that the ‘betrayal’ of 1979 was a stab in the back. It was the SNP coming to terms with what happens when you prop up their government with your votes. Anyone remember the 40% rule in the 1979 referendum? When even the dead and people who didn’t vote were counted as voting against devolution. That was Labour’s work, a last-minute spanner in the works that put devolution back almost 20 years. So when they harp on about betrayal and how it might happen again, it might be worth reminding them that trust is a two-way street.

      • David Agnew says:

        Actually the stab in the back was a self inflicted one. 37 labour MPs voted their party down. The result was practically down the wire. If those labour MPs had voted for their party that day – Callaghan would have survived that vote. I suspect the real reason for the stab in the back was to kill off devolution. I don’t think the idiots realised that they could lose the election afterwards.
        Quite a few of those rogue mps were Scottish. So this lying through your teeth seems to have been a habit Scottish labour picked up quite a wee while ago. I wonder how far back we would have to look, to discover when Labour in Scotland stopped being a party of the working man and a self serving little creep?

        • hektorsmum says:

          Ah the joys of the internet, if we had had that in 1979 we would have got back on the horse and probably by now be Independent.
          As you said David, Callaghan could not control his party, the SNP offered him the chance and he had to turn it down because of the same sort of people who are still in Labour. Hell mind them, their turn is coming.

  15. I’m reading this from New Zealand & just love this blog. There are similarities to how the crown/WM government treats Scotland, as was with the Maori’s here. They fought & won some of their land back & were compensated handsomely for what was taken. Google Maori land tribunals.
    Like Scotland their language almost died out as it wasn’t allowed to be spoken in schools.

    I’m a Scot by birth left in my twenties, now a pensioner & I’m hanging out for Scotland to be independent.

    • Kathy Brown says:

      Hey there! I’m a Kiwi or should I now say Skiwi, living in ABERDEEN now for twenty years! Finally got my local status last mth. Ha! I’ll keep fighting the good fight for ya from over here!! Keep the faith! Never seen Scotland so energiesedbor engaged!! Were gonna get there !!!

  16. Fraser says:

    Well said ‘that man’,,,,we will ‘ALL’ have to be vigilant,,,, the establishment is panicking,,they are running out of option’s,,,

  17. Melvin penman says:

    Fantastic again,we are simply loving it Paul. Heroes like you are exactly what the people need.

  18. Thistle says:

    Thanks for this.

  19. macart763 says:

    The Augean stables that is Westminster politics in Scotland is about to have the Clyde diverted through it by, not a legendary hero, but by a legendary statement of intent by the common electorate, the everyday man and woman in the street.

    The establishment were given a chance to win the peace after the battle. They chose to punish, dissemble, lie, steal and denigrate further. They have spent months backtracking on every statement and promise made during the referendum. In recent weeks they’ve taken to denigrating Scotland through their media, spitting on Scotland’s electoral choices, our government and our good will. These pricks were offered a gift on September 18th and they’ve chosen to throw it back in our faces.

    They had their chance to do the right thing by the people who voted for them and to allay the fears of those who didn’t.

    Our turn.

  20. almannysbunnet says:

    What can I say? All I can do is post links to this article everywhere I can think of. Absolutely top rate.

  21. iftheysayso says:

    Another great read from you. The establishment are worried and they have every right to be worried. As pointed out, Scotland has not gone back in her box, and more and more are climbing out of theirs as they witness the abuse being thrown. As you say, the removal vans are on their way. It’s been a long time coming.

  22. Wow! Jut wow!

    It goes like this
    You take your hand
    You lift it up and put it on your heart
    And there you stand
    Singing, “This land is your land, this land is my land”

  23. fillofficer says:

    this dug is barkin up the right tree……as usual

  24. Sooz says:

    Thank you for this wonderful piece, Paul. It’s good to hear the voice of passion, truth and reason while we are attacked with vitriol and spite. We shall prevail.

    More kibble coming your way.

  25. Weegiewarbler says:

    On top form as ever Paul. Sharing to the four corners of our spherical planet.

  26. liz says:

    Brilliant piece of writing Paul.
    For some reason I’ve been feeling deflated this week with politics, perhaps it’s the constant slagging, aggressiveness in the MSM against all things Scottish but it will pass and it’s columns like yours that will help keep us upbeat

    • mumsyhugs says:

      Hi Liz. I felt exactly the same as you during the last couple of weeks before the referendum – it was like being constantly under siege – absolutely exhausting! That was when I simply stopped listening to or reading any MSM and it’s continued to this day. It was the equivalent of feeling I was no longer smacking my head against a brick wall and allowed much clearer thinking!

  27. Jan Cowan says:

    The National could do with a stirring piece like this one, Paul. Just what’s needed. Thank you.

  28. Hazel Smith says:

    Paul you had the hairs on the back of my neck standing up and tears in my eyes reading this incredible blog. Amazing piece. I think I’ve said this before, but this is the best ever. Thank you.

  29. Dr Benway says:

    Pardon my French folks but that was feckin brilliant. I hope the WGD keeps all barrels blazing in the same way in Thursday’s Nationals.

  30. turra loon says:

    Thank you Paul. You have cheered me up after a bad day.

  31. arthur thomson says:

    Thanks Paul. They are intent on undermining Scottish confidence. What a parcel of despicable rogues.

  32. Lollysmum says:

    Paul, this was absolutely brilliant. The best I’ve read from you & it deserves to be shared far & wide.

    Anyone reading it can’t fail to be moved by your words, deadly serious but explaining so much to those who know nothing about Scotland & the battles it has gone through in the last few years. Once you’ve read it you can’t fail to understand why Scotland is fighting back. I certainly will never forget your words in this piece.

    Thank you

  33. Political comment and a subtle wee nod to Mr Sellers. Nice.

  34. Ellie says:

    Very well written indeed. Thank you. Keep the observations going – and your style!

  35. gavin.C.Barrie says:

    “The willingness of a generous people to give them yet another chance”.

    With that phrase you got it in one Paul.

    Me, i’ve absented myself from the UK. I no longer watch/ listen/read their radio, TV nor newspapers, I’m not interested.

    Lets move on.

  36. SCED300 says:

    I’ve made this point many times to mainly Labour unionist commenters, that they may want to just go on as ever, and accept what is offered, but we don’t want to join them where they are.

  37. hektorsmum says:

    Loved it Paul, We were two who turned off the computer and the Television on 19th September. It took a trip up North to reinvigorate, me to start with then Husband. We are getting on but we damned well will see Scotland independent before I pop my clogs. Oh and the BBC can forget all this British Crap, I am not British, they told me so, but they never need to I am not and never will be. Now If I can just get P&O to stop sending me crap about their new Ship Britannia I would be very happy.

  38. kat hamilton says:

    from being sickened and gutted after the referendum, to the present time of optimism that the good scottish public wont lie down and accept what our southern masters deem as their version of democracy. i.e. voting unionist or else..anna soubry turns my stomach, a maggie mini me, plummy voice and faux outrage at alex salmonds very being, sanctimonious witch…anyways thank you paul for keeping me sane and hanging on it there as it can be soul destroying watching the anglo medias bile and hatred for our attempts to cut the ties with this corrupt empire…will send more bonios at end of the month for ginger…woof…woof

  39. Wee Jonny says:

    Love these wee nuggets –

    “This land is our land, and we will be the masters in it.”

    And –

    “There is nowhere safe for them now. We are everywhere. We are Scotland.”


    I changed a few pro Indy signs on my car at the weekend and Wee Ginger Dug is now on both sides as well as Grousebeater, National Collective and Common Weal.

    They now sit along side Wings, Derek Bateman, Newsnet and Bella who have been on there for over a year now.
    I’d post a photo but I dinny ken how ti.

    I’ve posted a photo of my car onto my FB page “Wee Jonny” so you can have a wee look if yi fancy.

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