Taking the long way round

God, are we not lucky that the No campaign won the referendum eh? Remember all the wonderous things that would befall Scotland if we had the sense to just say no thanks to People’s Republic of Alicsammin? There would be jobs that were secure and pensions that endure. There would be careers for steel makers and offices for tax takers. There would be sincerity and prosperity. There would be the nearest thing to federalism possible and devodoubleplusgood. It was going to be even more Great British than Bake Off with sponge cakes for all. There would be a Westminster bedecked with respect in which there would be pooling and sharing and ruling without overbearing. Stay with us Scotland, we love you.

If it wasn’t for the No vote we’d have missed out on living in this paradise of foodbanks, job losses, asylum seeker demonisation, and Tory governments that we didn’t vote for. We’d have missed the pooling and sharing of seeing our MPs reduced to international observer status and non-Scottish MPs rejecting every single amendment put forward by Scottish MPs on Scottish legislation. We’d be bereft of the deaths caused by benefits sanctions. We’d be pining for the whining of privileged MPs with portfolios of property who voted down a measure to ensure that their tenants had homes fit for human habitation. How lucky for us that we voted to stay, to rub our noses in the stale stench of decay. What joy to see the Tory boys destroy all the advances our grandparents made to give equal chances to the poor and unfancied.

Mental health problems or terminal cancer, the Job Centre will still claim you’re a chancer fit for work until you finally drop, you’re a number, a cypher, a tick in a box. Trade unions are neutered but bosses are tutored in pay rises for the board but cuts for the horde. The rich hoard their wealth as the tax avoiding poison wrecks the nation’s health. It’s the British way, be glad, rejoice, as you go job hunting for the minumum wage, there’s red white and blue bunting and the poor stealing crumbs in the new Victorian age. Steal a loaf of bread and there’s tabloid outrage, steal a billion pounds and you’ll get a peerage.

There’s a media hatescape pointing the way to a future of war and terminal decay. Hurrah, hooray, we’re Caledonian doubts in George Osborne’s ashtray. And it’s all thanks to Labour for saving the day, for lying and crying until we obeyed, for cheating and bleating to drive away the fearsome idea of an independence day. We can only be safe when we’re at war, we can only be clean when we’re trapped in the glaur, because there’s nothing more frightening than the heretical notion of an informed and active Scottish nation in motion.

Don’t worry that your children have nothing to look forward to except a zero hour contract or signing on the buroo, we’ve got Trident missiles down on the Clyde to give a radioactive glow that stretches citywide. We’ve got aircraft carriers coming out our ears, nae planes to put on them but that’s the least of our fears. Imagine the horror, the shame, the disgrace and the hate if the Daily Mail didn’t think we punched above our weight. The Great British state in its nuclear fur coat and nae knickers, the Pentagon’s pal while its people grow sicker. Your pension’s not safe but that’s of small import, you’re still playing your part in the Great British sport.

You’ve got your devo, so what’s your beef? It’s a carefully constructed kick in the teeth. We voted to let Westminster be boss, and now it’s clear that they don’t give a toss. They promised the earth, they promised to change, they promised a pedigree but we got a mutt with the mange. They told us we’d be a part of the Great British family, but forgot to add we’d be the part sent to bed without any tea. They promised the most devolved nation on the face of the earth, but the Smith Commission was strangled at birth. The Scotland Bill was stripped, denuded and wrecked, and the Unionists laughed as Scotland’s hopes were checked. You’ve got your home rule, don’t rock the boat, and we’re keeping our paws on the TV remote.

But who wants to complain, who wants to cavil, there’s lotto and Strictly to pass the while between Job Centre appointments and trudging the miles to foodbanks, assailed by the bile of tabloids demanding you smile at the latest cute photies of Willnkate’s weans. Isn’t it wondrous, it’s so first rate, being a part of the Great British state.

This is the paradise that we were sold, the wonderous future that was fortold. We’ll be leaving the EU though we voted not to, we’ve lost the jobs we were told were safe, we’ve got the government we voted against. But it’s not all funny, it’s not all gone to pot, we know what currency we’re using for all that money that we haven’t got.

The brave Better Togetherites have all scurried away, not showing their faces in the land they’ve led astray. They got what they wanted, they got Scotland prostrate, and they’re happy and content that they made us third rate.

Independence would have come with challenges, but at least Scotland would have been able to decide for itself what the best solutions to those challenges were, instead we’re powerless pinned to a board like a dead butterfly while George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith pull off our wings. We haven’t seen much sign of our share of the Great British sponge cake, not even a few crumbs left over from the business lunch at a conference in posh Swiss resorts, just plenty of Great British spongers appointed to the House of Lords.

We know the truth, we have the proof, the Union’s days are numbered and there is no Prince Charming who’ll sweep down and save them from the mess they created, the truths they desecrated. We’re still here, still campaigning and marching. We’re still on the road, just taking the long way round.

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80 comments on “Taking the long way round

  1. Fillofficer says:

    Superb Paul. To think we could have been building the 14th most prosperous country in the world at this very time, instead of being stripped of our wealth, penny by penny, by this wretched government, drives me to despair. Despite my strong desire for independence, I think the no’s will always have it. Fearties for ever. God help us

  2. This year could have been so different too. I still think it’ll come but I fear we might end up having to do it the hard way.
    The British record for giving things up gracefully isn’t, unfortunately, a good one.

    • Too right. But I don’t think the SNP are up for the hard way They are following the Fabian Society way,

      ‘The Fabian Society is a British socialist organization whose purpose is to advance the principles of socialism via gradualist and reformist effort in democracies rather than by revolutionary overthrow. A major influence on the British Labour party (Wikipedia)’

      See where that mob got us after almost an hundred years of Fabianism . – Tony Blair and George Brown.

    • hektorsmum says:

      Sadly Max I agree with you on the fact that The Government in Westminster have never relinquish any colony without a fight, and sadly the closer to home that colony is, the harder the fight becomes.

    • @ max Stafford Friday 11:24.

      How hard would that be Max, and who would be prepared to walk that road?

      That question has to be addressed – and answered; and never forget that the men (and presumably women too) of every security service available to David Cameron, are, as we debate our feelings, beliefs and desires for Scotland on WOS ….. Mi5 et Al, are already researching the backgrounds, and possible future plans., of all the usual “Scottish Suspects”.

      That list may well be increasing exponentially, and how can we deal with the intransigence of the Westminster Parliament and it’s determination not to let us go.

      From here on in, it’s going to get a lot nastier, and rougher too – are we ready to face and deal with that certainty?

      I hope so!
      John Duncanson.

      • Indeed John. I am under no illusions as to what awaits the Scottish ‘normalists’ in the final stages of the Empire’s collapse. Many of us on here are already ‘persons of interest’ to the British.
        They can destroy us as individuals but they cannot destroy a concept held sacred by at very least now half of our people.

  3. […] Taking the long way round […]

  4. dondeeflugs says:

    Poetry in (e)motion. Love it!

  5. Jim Hunter says:

    Just brilliant, Paul. Great bit of writing that sums up the whole story so far. Well done. I hope you don’t mind – I copied it onto my FB page and made one wee change – from prostate, to prostrate (which I assume you meant!)

  6. Neil Anderson says:

    You’re a poet and ye don’t know it. As we used tae say roon these perts. Ur mibbe ye dae. (Ah’ll get mah coat).

    • Janet says:

      WH Auden, I presume?

      Anyway, the job’s not yet done so in May, I’m sticking it up them with SNP / SNP.

  7. Matt Seattle says:

    Well done. Does Loki know he has company?

  8. Luigi says:

    A great piece of work by the wee ginger dug,
    Which just goes to show, his owner’s nae mug,
    The cry for freedom grows loud in the street,
    And the soor-faced yoons continue to greet,
    “Thus should be all over” I hear them shout loud,
    “We are, after all, still Scottish and proud”,
    “You lost”, they shout, “You lost, You lost”,
    But when Porkie called EVEL, we knew they were toast,
    Yoons, this aint over until the fat lady sings,
    Just wait until May, and see what that brings,
    The pain you have felt, well you were telt,
    And by the way, if you think this is bad,
    You ain’t seen nothing yet!. 🙂

  9. Hetty says:

    Great once again. I do hope the union days are coming to an end, but it can’t be left too much longer, the tories have only just started.

  10. Whitburnsfinest says:

    Paul, once again I’m in awe at your use of the English language. Sheer brilliance.

  11. Papadox says:

    Westminster has managed this shambles in only 16 months. Where have all the naysayers gone, back in their holes every one.

  12. Joe MacFarlane says:

    Definitely your best , got tears in my eyes after reading it, what could have been.

    • Marconatrix says:

      What could have been? Only if the Yoons played fair. What realistic chance was there ever of that? Who can say what might have been. For all I know ‘the long way around’ may end up being the short cut.

  13. Anne says:

    Thank you Paul. You keep me going when I go down thinking what we so nearly had. You’re right – this is not going away – we’re just taking the long way round.

  14. macart763M says:

    Yes there really should be consequences.

    Every statement made… a lie and every pledge made… broken or twisted to suit party agenda. Quite simply HMG and the BT campaign defaulted on the outcome of the referendum. The evidence is not so much mounting as mountainous. That they would do this to the Scottish electorate was never in doubt, its been the nature and track record of the UK state for generations. They are what they are.

    Just as no cogent case to retain the union of parliaments ever surfaced during the referendum, there is now no evidence that remaining part of political union has resulted in better togetherness, safety, security or mutual respect. Thousands of jobs lost, economic decline and austerity ideology growing apace. Politics by sound bite and media running rampant, societal division and dog whistle demonisation the strategy of a government and media with an inbuilt systemic empathy bypass. Ongoing intimidation and trolling of Scots by the central government a narrow majority chose to give one more chance to. A little over half of our country’s electorate gave HMG and its system their trust and oh how that trust has been repaid in the past sixteen months.

    THIS is the reality of voting NO on September 18th, 2014, but the story isn’t over yet and the final chapter not written.

    Let the establishment politicians and their media laugh it up. They can troll and twist, mislead and deny, but that laugh of theirs is sounding more nervous, more hysterical and less hearty by the day. They dished it out and knocked us down, no question. Their problem is? We got back up.

    Now let’s see if they can take it.

  15. Punklin says:

    Thank god, say the yoonalists, that most saw the light or we’d no still have our jobs pedalling. ..

  16. jdman says:

    take the long way home

  17. Cyril Wheat says:

    A rousing piece. Fired me up even more than my first shot of coffee. Scotland is on a long journey with one outcome and the buggers know it. There are many lessons for us here in the North of England and we ignore them at our peril. The problem is how much damage can they do before we find the courage to get rid of them for ever?

  18. Here’s me in New Zealand. A million less population, remote from most places, but a happy country, with marvellous coffee. Nuclear free too.
    Ach well, Better Together, no?

  19. Sparks says:

    And yet we’re still supposed to stifle debate and democracy until “after indy”!!! What do you think will be left to fight for then, my most strident SNP 1 and 2er friends?

    • kailyard rules says:

      “Independence would have come with challenges,but at least Scotland would have been able to decide for itself the best solutions to those challenges…”

      This still applies. Independence always the target.


      • Dan Huil says:

        After independence all parties will start with a clean slate. Left, right, centre will all benefit. That isn’t going to happen without independence.

  20. mealer says:

    Excellent work.We’re getting there.There are independence supporters in every area of life.In every workplace.In every profession.I think that’s what really terrifies the Londonites.
    They used to say we wouldn’t get independence until the last minister was strangled with the last Sunday Post.Last night,I was assured by a friend that the majority of young ministers are either open minded about independence or in favour of it.Various surveys indicate this is true across all professions.Tick Tock.

  21. Scotland voted YES it was MI5 that voted NO…democracy? what democracy?

  22. Dawn in NL says:

    Man, you are on fire! More power to your pen.

  23. Leo Sasquatch says:

    That was a masterful use of the language – the rhythm and pulse of it didn’t hit me ’til the third paragraph, then it went off in my head like a word grenade. Exceptional.

  24. Easwald says:

    Are we getting close to somebody’s birthday?

  25. Best article I’ve ever read on our daily lives at the moment.

  26. Nana says:

    Just brilliant Paul

  27. Luigi says:

    Think about this, folks: BT started the first IndyRef campaign, a clear 30% ahead in the opinion polls, with truck loads of compliant Scottish Labour MPs, and the full weight of the British establishment and corporate media behind them. In tangible panic, they threw everything at us, they pulled out all the big guns, made very stupid threats and very rash promises, and even sacrificed the Labour party. And still they almost lost it. And at what cost? Now the tories are back big time and Labour is completely broken. The union is spent. They are in no shape to repeat that stunning performance and boy do they know it. Project Fear was only ever going to work once, at a horrific cost to themselves. This is why resistance to a second referendum will be ferocious.

    • We don’t need a referendum. We only need a clear majority of Scottish MP’s elected on a platform of Independence,and a majority of the popular vote.

    • muttley79 says:


      Think about this, folks: BT started the first IndyRef campaign, a clear 30% ahead in the opinion polls, with truck loads of compliant Scottish Labour MPs, and the full weight of the British establishment and corporate media behind them. In tangible panic, they threw everything at us, they pulled out all the big guns, made very stupid threats and very rash promises, and even sacrificed the Labour party. And still they almost lost it. And at what cost?

      This makes it all the more amusing. They had a massive power advantage and yet they almost got beat.

  28. Colin Church says:

    We’re still on the road, just taking the long way round.

    Unfortunately many will be on the “low road” to the Scotland to come. Such a furious shame.

  29. Astounding piece of writing Paul.

    Only thing to add is take these three words and use them to complete a well-known phrase – pen, mightier, sword.

    Oh, and then have a listen to the Dixies:

  30. david agnew says:

    Paul, you can be honest with us. Did the ghost of George Carlin pay you a visit when you wrote this? I got nothing to add but Dang son…you got skills

  31. liz says:

    Brilliant, funny and sad all at the same time.

  32. Les Wilson says:

    From way back reading the first stuff you put out there, I said to you back then.” Paul, you have a great gift with words”. This is another great piece, which confirms my original conclusions.

  33. Phil McCavity says:

    I don’t have time to make it rhyme, but Paul’s a poet and we know it.

  34. Dan Huil says:

    Och-aye the noo! It’s SNP times two!

    • Gordon Bickerton says:

      Hmmm, some are saying that’s counter productive and 2nd for SNP might let a Unionist in on the list vote. Some of our branch members are favouring SNP 1, Green 2, but it might depend on constituency and polls. Keeping my powder dry!😎

  35. Reviresco says:

    Tears in my ee’n. Wonderful

  36. Pentland Firth says:

    An excellent piece. It reminds me of some of Louis MacNeice’s poetry, but with MacNeice’s pessimism replaced by the Dug’s (qualified) optimism.
    We are, alas, taking the long road, but I’m confident we’ll get to our destination, and build a free, fair and socially just Scotland.

  37. Have you been reading the dug ‘Hairy McLary From Donaldson’s Dairy’?

    Excellent piece & so clever.

    Fair cheered up, so I am.

  38. Frances says:

    Not only a brilliant writer but a Poet to.

  39. Richard montgomery says:

    Thanks again for another great piece of writing.

  40. Iona Easton says:

    Fantastic, Paul! Really enjoyed it. Wish it wasn’t true 😥

  41. Bill Greaves says:

    Certainly a great piece of writing, telling it like it is. However we should all be looking forward, not backwards. Some in the SNP claim that we want to be a northern European socialist country, looking after our own and not bothering other people. In a nutshell, an extremely boring future. Look at the thrills and excitement we can look forward to as part of the Better Together Britain. Our millitary alliance with America will allow our fighters to fan out all across the globe creating mayhem and murdering women and children left, right and everywhere else. Our patriotic hearts will pump with pride at all the killing done in our names – to keep us safe. of course. Then, when the reprisal raids begin, conducted by evil terrorists who hate us because they are jealous of us, we can look forward to peering out the front door to decide if it is safe to go out and then sit on the bus and wonder if this is going to be the one to explode as revenge for someone’s mother, sister or baby, killed hundreds of miles away. Then, when it is our turn to be a statistic, or just when we get sick naturally, we can expect the same level of non care that Americans enjoy. Our children will love their Americanized schools and the fact that they need an Uzi as a constant companion to keep them safe in kindergarten. Thank God we voted, with MI5’s help, to vote ‘No’. Our futures look so bright that we’ve got to wear shades. Oops, that’s not a bright future, it’s a bomb blast. Oh, well.

  42. Steve says:

    Independence would have come with challenges? That’s an understatement – it would have bankrupted our nation and made Tory austerity seem like a walk in the park. Whatever problems we (as in Scotland) have at the moment they are insignificant compared to the absolute oblivion that would have befell us on the 14th March this year. I don’t need MI5/6 or some ‘Westminster’ press to tell me this – I can read the Scottish Governments own figures to know.

    The problem with all of this is that you should be building bridges with the No voters in order to win them over for next time – instead of making it easier for them to vote No again.

    I have little time for romance, only for facts – and the facts are that we would have started out as a nation in real trouble.

    • fillofficer says:

      ha ha….you almost got me there…devils advocate and/or agent provocateur..shurely

    • Pray tell what sort of “trouble” we would be in that we already aren’t under the gentle mercies of the British. I think we are parronised enough by them without you joininh in with that inane ” I’ve seen the figures”statement.
      It sounds far too much like “too poor”…

    • weegingerdug says:

      You really ought to follow through the logic of your own argument. Let’s say Scotland would be a bankrupt basket case upon attaining independence. However Scotland is a country with an embarrassment of resources (we have a lot more than oil you know) & renewable potential, with a highly educated English speaking workforce, 4 of the best universities in the world, in a geopolitically quiet part of the globe with secure borders, impeccable democratic credentials, a low rate of corruption in public office (we complain about it, but it’s low compared to other countries), we are almost self sufficient in food, we have 40% of Europe’s fish stocks, an abundance of water, fertile land, and a tradition of manufacturing, innovation and invention. That’s the ideal recipe for a stable, prosperous, independent nation.

      It sure as hell hasn’t been Holyrood which has had its hands on the macroeconomic levers these past 300 years, yet according to you, Scotland would be a bankrupt basket case and you want us to remain under the stewardship of the government which has brought this sorry state of affairs about.

      • JGedd says:

        You can’t argue with someone like Steve. For unionists, it’s heads they win and tails they win, too. Trapped in this UK economy, there is little we can do to improve and develop our country, the Catch 22 being that the UK government runs the economy and everything they do affects the choices Holyrood can make.

        It’s like being trapped on a bus being driven over a cliff by a driver gone crazy while the passengers desperately try to wrest control of the wheel from him and sitting in the back is Steve and his ilk, saying all the way down that it would have been so much worse if we had been in charge of the bus.

    • Patience is a Virtue says:

      The ‘pooling and sharing’ of resources as purported to be the ethos/at the heart of The Union, is a commendable and worthy maxim. Indeed, carried to its logical conclusion, could even be interpreted as form of Communism (which is somewhat surprising coming from our present UK Government, which has obvious right-wing leanings/philosphy).

      If such an ethos had been in place and had been fairly applied over the last 307 years, or even in the past year since the multitude of pledges / promises made by politicians pre and post the Referendum, then everyone in these Isles would now be enjoying the same general level of prosperity and benefits.

      Curiously, this is demonstrably not the case. The wealth, influence and power seems to have been channelled and remains disproportionately in one region of England, to the detriment and growing resentment of much of England, let alone the rest of Britain.

      I think it is reasonble to state, that this state of affairs (or indeed ‘State of the Union’) has not gone unnoticed in Scotland, where in a surprisingly short period of time, the apparent numbers of Scotland’s population who wish for something better, perhaps even independence, has risen from a core of ~15% to around, if not now exceeding 50% i.e. many have moved towards or have crossed the bridge that offers the opportunity of a different, and hope of, a better future.

      That bridge is always there (weather permitting!! …perhaps Pooley Bridge is not a good example!) so anyone thinking of moving towards it, or indeed crossing it, I am sure is welcome-

      – your point is very relevant, no one who has crossed believes this is going to be easy .. to a large extent they are pursuing this in the knowledge that it will, undoubtably, be hard.

  43. Steve, Scotland is building bridges, so when it is completed ahead of schedule & under budget, every NO voter driving over it will be reminded that vile separatists did this for them! The same vile separatists are also building new hospitals and the first new railway in the UK for over 100 years! That’s what we can do with both hands tied behind our backs; just think what we can do when we are completely free to make our own decisions. Look at Norway. Fascinating viewing watching the new series ‘Occupied’ on TV at mo’. It’s from book by Jo Nesbo and shows ficitional near future where Norway decides to stop producing oil & gas, (for a greener mythical product called thorium) and the EU & Russia collude to invade Norway, to make them start production again. Compare this to Scotland where the Yoons tell us repeatedly that our oil/gas is such a curse. And my didn’t we see how hard Better Togteher worked with Project Fear to make you vote NO? Oil/gas has been a curse to Scotland becuase if Scotland did not have it we would have been indy a long, long time ago. Ach, its all been said before but I suspect you, Steve, will vote NO forever; nothing will change your mind. Don’y you ever have any doubts at all that you might just be wrong or duped?

  44. JGedd says:

    Excellent piece WGD. I was on to the second paragraph before I noticed the rhyming scheme so had to backtrack and read the whole at a more respectful and considered pace. A very neat and thought-provoking ambush – well done, WGD! A subtle example of a skilled writer preventing hasty skimming by the reader. The content was worth the careful consideration too. Again, kudos.

    Taking the long way round can also allow for careful reflection but let’s hope we will be prepared for any ambush on the way to independence.

  45. Ken says:

    We will have another chance one day, so keep faith but let’s not blow it again!

  46. Good article, thanks.

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