Sailing on the hole in the heart

There are truths that are true because they actually happened. And there are truths that are true just because everyone knows them to be true. The UK media specialises in the creation of the latter. The latest true truth that’s only true because everyone knows it to be true is that Charles Kennedy was hounded into his grave by Scottish nationalists. But everyone isn’t everyone. Everyone isn’t you or me, it’s everyone with power, everyone with influence, everyone with a position to lose. They say it must be so, and so it becomes the truth.

So now we have another true truth that never happened, the latest in a litany of the lies that comprise the story telling that passes for news. Like the truth that Nicola Sturgeon wanted the Tories to win so it doesn’t matter what the French ambassador said. Like the truth that Dennis Skinner was driven from his perch on the Commons bench. Like the truth that Neil Hay tweeted that No voters were Quislings. Like the truth that everyone lies so the lies of Alistair must be excused. Like the truth that the media isn’t biased. Everyone with power and influence says it must be so.

There’s the truth that actually happened. Charles Kennedy died too young. He was a decent and talented man with whom many of us had political differences of opinion, but he knew how to disagree without being disagreeable. He knew how to be human and humane. We need more of that in public life. He apparently died due to the cumulative effects on his body of years of the illness of alcoholism. It’s an illness of the psyche which slowly destroys the body. It’s a blight that has visited too many Scottish families. Civic Scotland mourns his passing. His passing is a loss which diminishes us all. These are truths which actually happened.

It’s a strange irony of the debate on Scotland’s future is that it’s the side which accuses independence supporters of peddling a myth which lives and breathes myths and survives by the constant manufacture of realities that have never happened. Hardly a day passes without a new myth being made and a new lie being laid. Now we’re told that it’s the fault of independence supporters that Charles Kennedy died tragically young. Those nationalists, the pursed lips cry false tears, they hounded him out of office and they hounded him out of life.

A cartoonist is accused for doing what every other cartoonist has done, but it’s only the Scottish independence supporting one who gets any blame. Political opponents do what political opponents have always done, but its only the SNP ones who are supposed to feel shame.

The article writers of the Daily Mail peddle their hateful stories. They’re gleefully taken up by the Guardian’s Michael White who hurls them as weapons at online supporters of Scottish independence. Michael doesn’t know how to disagree agreeably and then he bewails the disagreeability that he provokes.

But this latest attempt to create a true truth that never really happened is particularly low. By traducing the dead it is especially revolting in its contempt for life and the living. Things that actually happen are what makes up life, but now that they have manufactured a self-serving myth around the sad death of a troubled man, our media boys have shown that they are contemptuous of life and poisoners of grief.

My partner died nine months ago and I know the pain of loss. I know what it feels like to lose a loved one. And right now my heart with its hole filled with the tears of bereavement flies out to the family of Charles Kennedy. A good man who died too young, and now his loved ones have set sail on the weeping way, the voyage of loss on a hole in the heart that swells like the ocean. He’s gone forever and his loss will forever be felt. Right now they are struggling to come to terms with that, struggling to learn to accept it as a truth that has really happened.

You strive to make sense of the senseless, to make meaning from mourning. You dive inner depths in search of pearls of wisdom, dredging sand grains of comfort to smooth out the sharp pain. And eventually you just get used to it, it becomes a part of who you are as you sail on, and one day you discover that once again there are atolls of contentment and islands of joy. Then when concerned friends ask how you’re doing, you can reply “Ach ah’m jist fine.” The hole in your heart has been filled with the tears shed in quiet private places, and you sail on.

It’s a hard voyage. A stormy voyage. A voyage without end across the tears that fill the hole in your heart. It’s a hard enough journey without having to listen to voices that tell you who the others are that you must blame for your loss. Not because those others are responsible but because it suits the voices for you to blame the othered. Bereavement is a hard enough journey without being led astray by the mythical maps with their monsters.

It was the fault of Scottish nationalists, they hiss. Don’t fill the hole in the heart with your tears, they demand of the bereaved ones that Charles Kennedy has left behind, fill it with our bile and venom. Become our weapon, and become lost in the ocean of grief and drown in our hatred. We’re going to tell you who to blame and who to hate.

The ugly sirens of the media demand a sacrifice on the rocks, pulling the bereaved off course, pulling them into a never ending night. Making what is already a lonely voyage into a voyage of alienation. Because you can’t make your way out of the darkness of grief when you get stuck on the anger of a misplaced blame. You can’t navigate by that which is misplaced.

And that is why this latest lie angers and upsets me more than any of the others.

Michael White and the Daily Mail and its miserable propagandists, you should be fucking ashamed of yourselves.

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83 comments on “Sailing on the hole in the heart

  1. The Vole says:

    Reblogged this on The Orkney Vole.

  2. Sheila Dowling says:

    Thank you, Paul. One of your best.

  3. macart763 says:

    That needed to be said.

  4. Valerie Gauld says:

    Just beautiful.

  5. kevin says:

    I hope the hell some of those callous and heartless bastards at the Mail read this.
    What kind of world are we living in that they consistently get-away with this iniquitous thuggery?.

    Thanks, Paul; you’re so important to us.

  6. Well said. The media have no respect for families when they are at their most vulnerable. Famous or unknown, they attack us all at some level. They have no shame.

  7. […] Sailing on the hole in the heart […]

  8. Hazel Smith says:

    A great piece Paul. Why can’t they leave the family to grieve without trying to fill their hearts with hatred.

  9. An excellent piece. Having recently lost my mother & father in the space of two months, my heart aches for the Kennedy family and I too boil with rage at the mockery being made by the media of a tragedy, both personal and political. Thank you for saying so eloquently what many of us feel.

  10. RogueCoder says:

    Beautiful Paul, really beautiful. You expressed the precise depth of feeling I’ve had about this whole sorry saga and why I’ve been so angry. What those fuckers did was just inhuman.

  11. kevin says:

    Also, Paul, I have a very good lady friend living in New York who read your recent ‘Homophobic Bigot’ piece. She emailed me earlier today (Sat) with this:

    ‘Thanks, Kevin – I sent your email on to the nytimes. I hope that’s OK? ‘

    Perhaps others around the world will learn to deplore the behaviour of the British press and their reviling tactics. I sincerely hope so – out of control delinquents with far too much power over Scots, it’s about time they were exposed.

  12. solrighal says:

    This is truly outstanding. I lost my Dad last month and, although we were lucky in that he got 79 years & I am now 50, I also have a hole in my heart. Thank you.

    Saor Alba.

  13. says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  14. mcccat88 says:

    A Beautiful piece of Writing. Thank you.

  15. jdman says:

    THIS! this is what we are, no matter what they say.

  16. As a hardwired atheist, I say Amen to all that. From the heart.

  17. heathermclean19 says:

    Thank you Paul, for putting into words so beautifully and eloquently, the grief I feel after losing my dear dad last October. I’m typing this with tears in my eyes that will never fill the hole in my heart, but finding great comfort in your words.
    Thank you so much.

  18. diabloandco says:

    There are times when you make me smile and cry at the same time.
    One day I’ll work out how you do that.

    There can be few adults who have not experienced loss ,or watched another suffer the pain of loss and made a clumsy effort to comfort – it makes the MSMs attempts to smear using Charles kennedy as the means ,doubly callous ,odious and foul .

  19. Marie Clark says:

    Well said Paul. Many of us share your sentiments exactly.

    I think it is disgusting and totally unforgivable what this scurrilous rag is doing.They have no thought or care for Charles Kennedy’s family. It does not seem to bother them that a 10 year old boy has lost his father. As long as they can use it to attack the SNP and we Scots who voted yes.

    Heartless, truly heartless.

  20. Anne Lyden says:

    A cathartic and healing read. You help us to release the toxins we imbibe from the msm. Thank you.

  21. […] Sailing on the hole in the heart. […]

  22. Snoopdoggie says:

    I just read this with tears slowly running down my cheeks. It’s been a while since I have read something so powerful and beautifully expressed. Thank goodness there are some sane people out there to show us that there is a way through this process that does not require us to lose our humanity. Your ability to hit the nail on the head is impressive. Thank you!

  23. Paul, I’ve reblogged this piece on Max Stafford’s Kennel as I have readers on other parts of the world who need to know what they are like. Personally, most of the DM staff should be behind bars. It affects me personally too. Ma in law reads the DM website as gospel and she’s taken to having not infrequent pops at me for supporting ‘nasty bullies’ and ‘being brainwashed by these evil people’.
    “Yes, it’s all going to plan, Prime Minister, ‘Operation Tartan Krystalnacht’ will be up and running before too long now…”

  24. Sue de Nymme says:

    The Daily Mail produced its bile on Saturday. The Press Association had fed them the following on the Friday.

    “Charles Kennedy died as a result of his long fight with a drink problem, a post-mortem examination has concluded.
    In a statement, the former Liberal Democrat leader’s family said the post-mortem found that he suffered a “major haemorrhage”.
    “The report makes clear this was a consequence of his battle with alcoholism,” it said.

    Instead of facts, they used bile. Despicable is too good a word for those who worsen the grief of others.

    Here is the full release.

  25. Jan Cowan says:

    I only read the National but see the MSM lies on twitter. Beyond belief. Thank you Paul.

  26. broadbield says:

    Excellent piece. Is the MSM totally out of control? Is it right, or acceptable, that they are able to print whatever poisonous, vicious, lying nastiness they please without any comeback – as long as they aren’t libellous or racist? It seems they can and there’s nothing we can do about it (other than not reading the lies) because otherwise it would be “censorship”.

    • Sue de Nymme says:

      No, the MSM is very much in control. It is in control of its own agenda of perpetual Unionism and manipulation of the gullible masses; and you have to be gullible to pay money to subject yourself to a diet of depressing drivel.

      The only reason that I read the thing yesterday was that it was lying on an empty table beside me in Costa Coffee. A lying paper lying? I am sure that Paul could build on that.

  27. Robert Louis says:

    An excellent response to the hatred and lies of the tawdry, hateful, lying right wing propaganda newsletter called ‘The Daily Mail’.

    I am not religious, but surely if hell exists, then there must be a very special part of it, reserved for those who peddle such dreadful lies about Charles Kennedy at The Daily Mail.

  28. Linda Tollan says:

    A really great response thank you

  29. WRH2 says:

    Paul, this says so well what we all feel when we lose a loved one and the ongoing feeling of loss. My Dad died nearly 30 years ago but I still miss him. The feeling of loss changes over the years and I’ve learnt to live with it but his death changed my life for ever. At least I was able to grieve without the intrusion that the Kennedy family are facing. I can’t help wondering if any of these “journalists” stop to think how their rubbish will colour memories down the years and affect the slow healing process.

    • Alison Grant says:

      Paul, The pain of losing a loved one , no matter how long ago is made more traumatic when callous people make money out of despair. My Dad died 19 years ago but it still feels like yesterday when I had to attend the funeral alongside others who had done their best to destroy his reputation . Grieving is a long slow process and finding the emotional space to recover is never easy. I have deep sympathy for the Kennedy family , who have lived with the pain of watching their Charles be humiliated by the media and other politicians over many years. I assume that the family do not read tabloid muck and are able in their own community to cherish his memory . We all need to fight the media bullies , these faceless non doms who are grunting their way to the greedy trough as we speak.

  30. chicmac says:

    Thanks for that Paul.

    These sad non-people have a black hole in their heart that can never be filled with anything.

    • Pam McMahon says:

      Money and power will fill these black holes, chicmac. They are not interested in other peoples’ tears.
      Fantastic article Paul, which will chime a note with everyone who has lost somebody they loved..

  31. Jim Morris says:

    Dear Paul,
    Yours is one of my goto sites for insight, truth and good commentary, but could you lose the Anglo-Saxon crudities? I remember the Nixon Watergate Tapes with all the “expletives deleted”, and all respect for that foul-mouthed President disappeared.

    • Saor Alba says:

      You are being very hard here Jim IMHO.
      An expletive used in context and hurt is perfectly fine. It is not used in the same way as “all the expletives” you refer to in Watergate. Please be a little more forgiving.
      You have the right to disagree as Voltaire suggests, but I am with Paul here as he bravely writes with feeling. I don not think there is any danger of losing any respect for Paul. Read the comments for evidence.

  32. Mumsy says:

    Thank you for this blog. It is good that someone speaks up. I sometimes wonder if these people are a different species – they have no boundaries. They will do and say anything for their own ends.

  33. Iain Hill says:

    Honest, brave and well thought out.

  34. David McDowell says:

    They don’t deserve the satisfaction of hearing you angry, Paul. For me this poetic piece ends with your achingly poignant words “and you sail on . . .”

  35. Alex Waugh says:

    I have lost many, including my husband, who died when our children were just 11 and 12. You understand and express that feeling perfectly. I am weeping now; for myself, for you, for all those who have lost but most of all for Mr Kennedy’s wee boy and his mum. I will never, ever forget the primal scream of pain and grief and horror that my 11 year-old gave when I told them that their dad was dead and my heart goes out to that poor woman having to do what I had to do on that dreadful day; having to try to comfort her child in his agony. The thought that these snarling, callous vermin are using that kind of pain to sell their filthy lies sickens me beyond words. If they have souls, they are surely damned.

  36. David McDowell says:

    I hope they print this in The National (minus the last five paragraphs). It’s something we rarely see in Scottish journalism these days – an honest truth well told.

  37. Bernard Moffatt says:

    Powerful. emotive, true, what more can you say!

  38. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Paul I posted something early this morning just after JDMan and it has not appeared or has been censored out? What was wrong with it, please?

  39. Three times I’ve tried to post, and I still can’t find the words to express how moving and true your piece is, but I’ll go with what Alex said “If they have souls, they are surely damned”

  40. Reblogged this on My Little Underground and commented:
    The Lib Dem MP and former leader Charles Kennedy died this week. In every single sense this is a tragedy not only for his family, but for Liberal politics in Scotland and across the UK.

    Kennedy was exceptionally well liked because he was a decent man and those of us that dumped Labour after voting for them for the last time in 1997 found Kennedy’s party a more democratic fit than the increasingly right wing, authoritarian Labour Party that Tony Blair was shaping.

    When Kennedy was hounded out of the leadership job by his own party due party to his struggle with alcoholism, but because the right of his party decided to use his illness to pull off a coup and drag the party to the right, I felt real sorrow because Kennedy had worked so hard to build the Lib Dems up as a moral and intellectual force that stood against not just the Tories, but what Labour had become.

    But I still gave the Lib Dems my vote in the hope things would remain the same, and like many, many others I lived to regret it as Nick Clegg jumped at the chance of getting into bed with the Tories and in the last five years Kennedy has been dismissed by far too many in the Westminster political bubble as an irrelevance or worse.

    When I heard of Kennedy’s death the second thing I though after the initial shock (55 is not an age to go) is ”when is some lunatic going to blame his death on the SNP?”.

    It only took hours. Then Michael White of the Guardian joined in on his Twitter feed, and then the Daily Mail piled on. At this point even the Mail crossed a line, but then again, it’d crossed the line of using a sad avoidable death for copy previously.

    I was pretty fucked off by the entire thing but being unable to articulate that I was glad to see this brilliant article from the Wee Ginger Dug that articulates things perfectly. It’s a fantastic, angry and human piece of writing that stands above the open sewer the Mail stands in and the likes of Michael White and Ruth Davidson splash around in trying not to get shite on themselves but on their enemies.

  41. Maureen says:

    I lost my dad 34yrs ago and mum 8yrs ago also my lovely inlaws. the hole in your heart never heals. Brilliant Paul. Take note DM and MW you lot couldn’t hold a candle to many of our Scottish writers, Paul in particular. shame on you.

  42. Maureen says:

    Oh by the way I only read the National, Paul, Derek bateman, wings etc. Not interested in lies from lower than the gutter.

  43. mary docherty says:

    Dried the tears..but still angry that dm can get away with this.Many fine replies to your great writing.We are community

  44. morag says:

    Wow. That is your best yet. It would take a person with no soul not to be crying for what the media have become. I will never understand why people can’t see what this would do his family, and I hope his loved ones can see this and know that we are on their side. Sharing far and wide. Thank you.

  45. dramfineday says:

    A thoughtful and poignant article. Thank you.

  46. Steve Asaneilean says:

    For me quite simply the best thing you have written on WGD Paul.

    I lost my partner of 25 years standing some years ago when I was only 39. I would have been appalled if anyone had ever used their death to have a go at someone else.

    In my view this cheap, tawdry and unsubstantiated attempt by the Daily Mail to use Mr Kennedy’s sad loss as a means to berate others is possibly amongst the worst journalistic crimes they have ever committed and every Davidson, White or Street-Porter who lowered themselves into the cyberspace sewer to tweet it on is equally culpable.

    The only thing that killed Mr Kennedy was his alcoholism from which he suffered for many years. It was no-one’s fault especially not his.

    He had an illness which compelled him to drink due dysfunction in his neural networks. That is what addiction is. No-one and nothing external “drives” an addict to consume alcohol or drugs. It is entirely down to the illness – an illness which in reality is never cured (although some manage to hold it in abeyance).

    • macart763 says:

      The press and commentariat have participated in some pretty tawdry ploys concerning Scotland’s electorate over the past few years Steve, but this latest narrative is beyond the pale. Where they have gone with this latest assault and their complete lack of empathy simply underlines their endemic and ruthless disregard for the society they are meant to serve or the damage they do.

      That poor family aren’t even being allowed to grieve in peace without being dragged into a political point scoring exercise.

      There’s simply no excuse.

  47. Carmel Townsend says:

    A beautifully written piece. Not all people outside Scotland, resent Scotland and its people. If I lived in Scotland I would vote SNP too, because the party has the agenda that I would support in Wales and England. As a member of the Liberal Democrats in Wales, Charles Kennedy was one of my heroes. A decent, down-to-earth, clever man. An excellent party leader and a “man of the people.”
    His greatest strength I think, was his approachability and an understanding of the lives of “ordinary” people. It’s pretty much what Scotland says about Nicola Sturgeon. Charles Kennedy’s home was the sort of place “ordinary” people lived. He was of his community and got involved with the pylons campaign group in the highlands.
    I feel as though I’ve lost a member of my family. Ignore the lamestream media. They’re unimportant. However, I think the SNP needs to be proactive and should push for an alternative media in Scotland because that’s the only way another viewpoint can be put.
    With tired old Labour here in Wales, I envy you your changed political landscape. And just for the record, nobody in our party holds you responsible for Charles Kennedy’s death.

  48. jomtaylor says:

    Some wonderful writing again. We really need writers to carry forward our own narrative during this time of great political and social change we are seeing in Scotland. Many have commented that the more the unionist parties and the msm complain, bitch, moan, lie and slander us, the closer it brings us to independence. In the meantime it is depressing to have to live with all the vitriol and hatred directed towards us on a daily basis.

    I have also lost two close family members this year, in as many months. I know that idle speculation about how they died would not have helped my family or I with our grief and let’s be under no illusion, it is idle speculation in the sense that the Daily Heil, Mr White etc could not care less how Charles Kennedy died when it can be used oh so gleefully to condemn the elected representatives of our country and their supporters. There is absolutely nothing they wouldn’t stoop to, so let us all support and spread writing like this in order to counter-balance all the negativity that emanates from the palace of WM and their press lackeys.

  49. Absolutely Amen to every single word.

  50. David Agnew says:

    The media in the UK have turned in a truly wretched thing. They are locked into a perpetual election cycle and don’t seem to know how to switch off. They are a hate sink for all that is loathsome and despicable. This is the bitter harvest sown by Better together. By Murphy and Sarwar. McDougall and McTernan. Curran & Baillie. Deerin and Crichton. And all the others, too many mention here. Britishness is no longer banal – its an odious thing that revels in meanness of the human spirit, while expressing joy at royal babies and sport. Its Tompkins in a union jack suit gleefully handing out union jack flags to people in food bank queues. It is the sort of institution that would try and blame the death of a man tormented by alcoholism on people who wouldn’t vote for London parties.

    They have never shut up about the referendum by telling us to shut up talking about it. They couldn’t get over that they won it, with the dawning realisation that the cost was too steep. So they keep pushing, going deeper and darker and nastier and sordid.

    Yet it is self defeating. It is this and exactly this that drove so many to the SNP in the first place. Its what cost Scottish labour its dominance on Scottish politics. Its what has reduced the Tories to a footnote in Scotland’s political history. Its what turned the Lib-Dems in a cautionary tale about dishonesty and the true cost of a ministerial car.

    My consumption of UK media has withered away to nothing. When I encounter this filth, its usually people like WGD who have stronger stomachs than mine.

    The UK media is a shit shoveller for a demented Westminster pack of poisonous toads. Get them out of my sight, they doth infect my eyes.

  51. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    A good article, indeed, which has enabled many people to feel able to express their own feelings of loss. It is also a gracious obituary for Charles Kennedy.
    However, it is also a statement about the propagandist nature of the mainstream media, in favour of the wealthy and powerful. They set and frame the debate in the terms they want and rigorously exclude alternative perspectives. To seek to use a different perspective is decried as being ‘politically correct’. It is true that reframing the question is ‘politically correct’ in the way that how the mainstream media framed the debate is equally ‘politically correct’ – from their perspective. So, we must not let such a terminology be seen to be a debate winner. Point this out.
    The rich and powerful, and leaders of the No side in the referendum, do not see their opponents as sentient human beings with feelings. They perceive them as a different species and so they feel entirely justified in their own nastiness, because they see it as a legitimate strategy in an existential struggle. And, for them it is an existential struggle to maintain the wealth and power that they have and to acquire, by any means, even more. We saw this species loathing in the body language of Mrs Anna Soubry, in the rudeness of Mr Alistair Darling in his debates with Mr Alex Salmond, in the sneering disdain of Mr Ian Duncan Smith, in the arrogance of Mr George Osborne, in the ‘grinning chimp’ support Mr Ed Balls gave to the refusal to share (our) pound.
    Fortunately, through blogs like this and social media, there are alternatives to the mainstream media becoming more widely available, which are serving to spread greater awareness.
    My only plea is that bloggers and participants should eschew nastiness, because it is fighting with the chosen weapons of the powerful. Of course there should be hard hitting and powerful language and especially pointed humour, as Mr Kavanagh does, but let us adopt a reasoned and trenchant style and not insult as an end in itself.

  52. Veronique says:

    Reblogged this on V's Blog and commented:
    This is one of the most compassionate and angry blog articles I have read. Read it and weep with understanding.

  53. Tackety Beets says:

    Thank you Paul , another excellent scripture.
    @ Carmel Townsend . I thank you for your comments. It’s comforting that some outside Scotland are aware of the situation. I trust you will spread the word .

  54. jcd says:

    Well said David Agnew, personally I haven’t so much as glanced at any msm “news” or current affairs for several years now, I watch RT or visit WGD, WoS, Bella, Zerohedge etc. And I haven’t read or more importantly paid for a “newspaper” (except the National) for about 7 years. If that’s my attitude to it, point being that I’m more or less “average” in many ways, then bottom line is that they’re doomed.

    In the meantime though I can only marvel at the ability of likes of Paul, Rev Stu and others to frequently descend into the msm sewer in the name of professional interest without becoming infected by the filth.

  55. hektorsmum says:

    Thank you Paul, as so many other have said this was something which needed to be said. I read Wings and was absolutely furious at those sick and horrible people who speculated that he had killed himself when nobody, not even his family knew the cause. I can only imagine what feelings this will cause in Mr Kennedy’s young son. It is hard enough to lose a father but to lose him even in the true circumstances you can only feel for him having to face this eventually.
    Loss is hard, my first true loss was learning that my beloved parents were not mine by birth, I was fifteen, my second was the loss of my Beloved Dad at thirty six and having to explain to the registrar as I kept calling him my Dad that he was actually my Uncle. somehow I found that the hardest part of it all.
    The MSM are horrible to use these circumstances to try to hold this decrepit Union together, I fear they make matters worse.

  56. Mammy says:

    Bugger the panda your comment is 16th on the list
    Beautiful sentiments thank you son

  57. Graham says:

    We all know what that we can expect this type of stuff in the fascist Daily Mail.

    But we have now found out there is no difference at all between the Guardian and the Daily Mail when it comes to Scotland.

  58. Saor Alba says:

    Straight from the heart Paul.
    You have my utmost admiration for being able to put poignantly, precisely and clearly into words what needs to be expressed. Your description hit a major chord with me coming to terms over the years with the loss of my Father and Mother. The empathy and sympathy of family and friends helped me to embark on the hard journey you describe so well. The years ease the pain, but not the memories.

    Most of us are fortunate, however, not to have outsiders using our mis-fortune for their self-serving interests. The Daily Mail and its propagandists, such as Michael White are utterly disgusting and their behaviour in this matter has been absolutely peurile. They are utter parasites. There is no respect from them at all.

    My thoughts go out to the Kennedy family in mourning their bereavement along with your own thoughts. I am with them in spirit and compassion. Charles was, as you say, “a good man who died too young”.
    He will be remembered by us in the Independence movement with great compassion and respect, for all the good that he did as a human being. Charles was kind with people and able to disagree without being disagreeable. Requiescant in pace..

  59. Alex Waugh says:

    Leave them lie
    in their stew of hate and treachery.
    Walk past their gutter spewings.
    For when all we do and say today is history
    our children will rejoice at their undoing.

    Their blinkered eyes
    are shut to pain and misery.
    Their tongues are black with lying.
    But in the end they will be damned deservedly
    to failure and opprobrium undying.

    • Saor Alba says:

      Alex – can I ask who the author of this marvellous poem is?

      • Alex Waugh says:

        Me, 5 minutes ago. I think you’re being a fair bit overkind with ‘marvellous’, it’s just rhyming. It’s something I’ve done since I was young. Sometimes I just think in verse.

        • macart763 says:

          Heh, just rhyming. 🙂

          Doesn’t make it any less profound or any less true.

          I like it.

          • hektorsmum says:

            Alex you do yourself down, a remarkable set of words, never was one for poetry, but admire those with the gift, you certainly have it.

            • Alex Waugh says:

              Thankyou all for your kind words. Like I said, sometimes I just think in verse, especially when I am deeply moved – as I most certainly was by the Dug’s piece.

        • Saor Alba says:

          Over kind I may be, but I like it and I am impressed.

          Je lève mon chapeau, mon ami.

  60. bowanarrow says:

    Very strong article. The pain of loss is unimaginable until you have gone through it and for these newspapers to do the things they do is appalling.

  61. MoJo says:

    Thank you Paul -for putting the finger on our inhuman media so eloquently.

    In the new Scotland we must all keep challenging loudly all those in public life who are ‘contemptuous of life and poisoners of grief’ including those who condone those behaviours by buying, or writing for the Daily Mail and other similar rags.
    By our deeds will they know us.

    Love, respect and compassion for our fellow humans must be the international profile of the Scot here and abroad in the 21st century- and Charlie was an excellent ambassador throughout his career, using his voice and public profile to defend what he believed to be right…even if it wasn’t always ‘popular’.

    There have been many warm words said about him of late, but your article, in its spirit of well channelled anger to say what needs to be said, is the first I have seen which has truly done him justice….

  62. fionn says:

    I wish you didn’t have to write this article but I’m very glad that you did.

  63. Rosie says:

    You have gone to the heart of the matter, Paul, and thank you. The ‘hole in the heart’ is what people dependent on alcohol and other addictive substances are trying to fill, and Charlie Kennedy was no exception. I wish people could accept this rather than hiding behind labels like illness and disease, both of which can follow such a dependency, but are not broadly the cause.
    May we grow more compassionate and understanding of people who spend a lifetime struggling to live with their ‘hole in the heart’, and ensure that help and support is easily available for all people no matter what circles they move in.

  64. Reblogged this on Dave's Rockin' Blues Station and commented:
    A post by Wee Ginger Dug which I implore you to read. Serious stuff with a large dollop of humour.

  65. xraypat says:

    Beautifully said…your description of grief is poetic and heart rending. I hope you have someone to give you a hug and I hope relatives and pals of Charles Kennedy have the same. You bring a light to my day and hope you continue to do so xx

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