Opportunity is always knocking

In a parallel universe there’s a Scotland which is reaching for the aspirin, complaining about its collective sore heid as it gets over the national hangover from the first independence day party. That’s a Scotland which has opened a blank page in a new book, and which is about to start writing a story for itself. It will be a story of challenges to be overcome, of milestones to be passed, of achievements and attainments and progress along a path that the country chooses for itself. It’s a story of imagination and dreams. It’s a Scottish story written in Scotland.

In this universe that we live in there’s a Scotland reaching for the aspirin to complain about its sore heid after being battered and bruised by the exhultant nay sayers who lied their way to referendum victory. The crowers and howlers, the noers and vowers. Independence will be too hard they said. It will be hard work, fending for ourselves instead of passively complaining about how we’re paying for Westminster’s global pretensions while we work hard on a living wage that isn’t a living. So instead of opening a new chapter we’re left living in a story of poverty of hope and narrowness of vision, of night sweats and nightmares. And the ones who have no respect who ensured that we are left without hope, without the dream that things could ever be any better demand that they are respected. In the desperation that comes from knowing they are on the wrong side of history they insist that the referendum must not be revisited. Those are the people who think that the ballot paper said Should Scotland become an independent country and if not this question will not be asked again. The people who want your grandfather’s decision to determine your entire life.

So here we are, for now, living in the Scotland that is a story that someone else writes, only they’re writing a horror story, a tale of misery and deprivation, of emigration and doors that slam in our faces. This is the story of our country, and it’s being written by people who don’t live here, who know nothing about us, and who care even less. This is the story of a Scotland where jobs are lost and pensions dangle out of reach, where leaving is considered a benefit of Union, whose culture is ridiculed and ignorant arrogance something to aspire to. This is the story of a Scotland where loss of opportunity is something that is crowed about while the spider hands of Westminster write chapters of despair.

American inventor Thomas Edison once said that we often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work. There’s always going to be work, and Scotland was tricked by those who wanted Scotland to work for Westminster, not to work for itself. Scotland was tricked by those who write a story for us in which they are the winners and we are the fuel for their ambitions. We deserve more than this, being burned out in the motor of British ambition and spewed out spent exhausted in their exhaust. This is the story that’s being written for us, a story we have no say over. A horror story of hard work that’s an opportunity for someone else. This is a Scottish story that’s written in the corridors of Whitehall. This is a Scottish story that is full of Jocks who die for Queen and Country, obeying orders but never writing their own destiny. This is a Scottish story for the cringers, a Scottish story that’s not Scottish at all.

In that other universe there’s a Scotland that grasped hope with both hands and will rise to any challenges with all the powers and confidence of a self-governing nation, in this universe there’s a Scotland that sold hope for an empty box marked home rule because it was enmeshed in the lines on a graph. This is the Scotland that was told it has been impoverished, and so it has to remain with those who impoverished it. Look you bumping along the bottom of this graph that shows you’re poorer than Greece, only with worse weather and so bad that even refugees don’t want to come here to be miserable in the rain with the Scottish deficit. Oil is volatile and your hopes of ever standing on your own two feet have evaporated away.

It’s like being told by a mugger that because he’s ripped you off your only option is to keep coming back to the dark alley to give him all your money forever. Scotland’s muggers do it with pretty graphs that take us for mugs. Then they gloat about the poverty that their beloved Westminster has created and claim it’s the best that we can possibly aspire to. But Scotland isn’t poor, it has been impoverished. There’s a difference. When you’re impoverished you have resources, you have talents and skills, you have wealth and value, it’s just that someone else gets the benefit of it. We’re paying to be the roadkill on Labour’s Parliamentary road to socialism. We’re paying to be the punchbag in the Tories’ internal wars.

Opportunity knocked in 2014 and Scotland didn’t answer the door. Now we have a choice, we can greet that opportunity isn’t knocking again, or we can make another door. Last time we stumbled and fell, but you’re only down out and defeated when you fall and you stay on the floor. Scotland got up and it’s still walking, still dreaming, still aspiring to something better, something bigger, something whole.

I’m not going to cry. I’m not going to wail. I’m not going to bow. An opportunity lost is only a new challenge. Let’s make a new door, and this time we’ll walk through it. We’ll walk through that door and find a blank book whose pages we will fill with a story we write for ourselves, a library of stories in Scottish voices.

Opportunity is always knocking when you declare independence of the mind and heart. The future is ours and it’s there for the taking.

Many thanks to Macart for doing such a fantastic job of looking after the blog while I was away. I had a wonderful time in the USA visiting with my significant other, but now I’m depressed to be apart from him. Shakespeare might have been the superlative wordsmith, but when he said parting was such sweet sorrow he was talking bollocks. There’s nothing sweet about it. But on the plus side, Ginger the Dug was very happy to have his daddy back. Meanwhile I’ve got jetlag, which is why I’m publishing a blog article at 4.45am.

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37 comments on “Opportunity is always knocking

  1. […] Source: Opportunity is always knocking […]

  2. Ken Mcintosh says:

    Welcome back, your insightful eloquence was sorely missed.

  3. Global Nomad says:

    Great to have you back. Keep posting at 4.45am as it means I can read something in the morning where I am haha.
    I can relate to what you are going through as I work away from home. Facetime is a wonderful thing though and it wont be long till you are back with your loved one.
    Gee the Dug a scratch ahin the lugs fae me.

  4. As much as you want to be elsewhere Paul welcome back anyway. The alternative Scotland you mentioned will become a reality some day in the not too distant future.

  5. punklin says:

    Jet lag is it? Jet lag! You were lucky! Us insomniacs are always up at 4.45! Welcome back.

  6. Mike Annis says:

    Have to say one of your best yet. I feel your pain and your passion, bowed but not defeated. I saw a vid in Facebook the other day if one man in a far off arid land where nothing grew and he planted a seed and nurtured it then planted another and kept doing so and continued for 40 years. Now there’s a forest full of life, trees, grasses, flowers, wild life. That’s the power of hope and it summarises Scotland. Westminster and the Nay Sayers are that arid land and Scotland is the man. We are the seeds and no matter what you do we will grow and flourish. It may not become paradise but it will be ours and free.

  7. diabloandco says:

    Welcome home Paul!
    Have to have that cup of tea soon – I owe you!

  8. Les Wilson says:

    Welcome back Paul, Clearly you spend a lot of time thinking about our lot, and put your own stamp on how to convey your feelings. As I said since you emerged, you have a gifted way with words. You are an asset. Still love your work after all this time. Keep up the good work.

  9. Cloggins says:

    Always good to get a fresh perspective by taking an outside break. Missed you.

  10. shemorvena says:

    An inspiring , uplifting call to arms Paul. Your break has sharpened your pencil.

  11. Macart says:

    Horses for courses.


  12. BampotsUtd.wordpress.com says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd and commented:

    dont forget to grab a copy of alternative medias newest book on the negative coverage shown to the proud 56 at Westminster serving Scotland’s needs brilliantly while facing adverse surroundings in the media yellow peril a great read and a great edition to any book collection !

  13. BampotsUtd.wordpress.com says:

    welcome back Paul all this talk of story’s and Scotland and writing has inspired me to share a link for a new book out yellow peril hope you dont mind me mentioning it ,its a follow up to fear and smear the writers other book and its by a SNP academic mind a retired school teachers view on the negative media towards the 56 !


    please remember if you by scottish writers books to leave reviews weather poitive or negative as this helps the writer evaluate better for next works and shows how well feel about present ones !

  14. xsticks says:

    Welcome home Mr Kavanagh. Like the WGD we’re all glad to have you back and you can rest easy that the blog has been in good hands while you were away and I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading Sam’s posts, I certainly did.

  15. AAD says:

    Missing someone is a kind of perverse bonus. Just imagine life if you did not have him to miss.
    Thank you for this piece. I am flagging a bit with campaigning and this will keep me going for a while.

  16. Luigi says:

    Aye, good to have you back, Paul. It’s great you had a well-deserved break and spent some time with your significant other, whom I hope you will see again soon. It’s a pity you missed the Carmichael- JRRT funding scandal though – I would have loved to have read your “no-holds barred” take on it.🙂

  17. Jim Bo says:

    Welcome back Paul!
    You have such a great way with words- fantastic stuff! I’ll be sharing this for sure.

  18. Margaret says:

    After you left Ms.Curran appeared briefly to give us the benefit of her wisdom Someone must have told her you were out the country and he took her chance

    Refreshed and on form

    Welcome home

  19. mumsyhugs says:

    Good morning to you Paul – or is it good evening?!?!

    Anyway, brilliant to have you back and in cracking form!

    And your wee Ginger significant other would have given you a hell of a welcome home – there’s nothing quite like a fur baby’s joy when you step back in the door! Hugs tae the dug 🙂

  20. Welcome Home, Paul.

    Your vibrant post has the resonance of ‘meeting yourself coming back’.
    You missed nothing.
    Rennie, Davidson and Ruth excelled themselves last Thursday night on Go Compare’s advert/debate.

    Davidson will introduce University charges of £6000 for starters, and , the loss leader prescription charges.
    The Blue Tories are going to Means Test us. There’s a thought.
    Kezia will not allow a second Referendum even if it is clear that this is what the majority of Scots residents want. New Labour knows best.

    And Wullie will reintroduce the European Driving licence and reading/writing and adding up fo r 16 year old school leavers, all 152, 000 of them. Oh, and because we are Better Together we have a farcical £15 billion black hole…which is better than Independence ?

    Nothing on toll charges, privatising the NHS, free bus passes, care for the elderly. Never.

    Patrick Harvie rediscovered his mojo, (well, if it’s good enough for Gideon, it’s, er, good enough for me? Strike that. )

    And all Nicola had to do when the Red Blue and Yellow Tories ripped each other’s lungs out and SNP BAD-ed in three part harmony, was study he plinth top and steal Liquorice Allsorts from the Grauniad’s correspondent’s desk in the spin room.

    Ruth waved her usual piece of paper, and the Unionist Rent a Clap audience plant thundered approval on cue, all frickin’ night. After all, it took place in Edinburgh, that well know Independence hot bed.

    Still we now know where to get the least expensive debt in loans and credit cards to pay for food and shelter while the Unionists stealthily or overtly tax us to death.

    Oh, yes, and Born Again Quaker, Lord Portsmouth the Liar, got a £50,000 bung from the Joseph Rowantree Trust towards his legal costs, whose Board, amazingly is stuffed with Non Quaking Lib Dem Hangers On.

    I better not mention the encouraging news for Tata workers Up Here.
    Not a dicky bird from the UK news when discussing the plight of Welsh and English Tata steelworkers.
    SNP Bad…not GOOD.

    Great to have you back on the rostrum, young man.
    Saor Alba.

  21. Anne Roberts says:

    We didnae half miss your words (but did enjoy your understudies). Today’s column alone is a masterpiece. Welcome back.

  22. uno mas says:

    Welcome back Paul.

    I had a cheeky wee post all prepared and typed out on Word for your return about what an excellent job Macart had done in looking after the blog in your absence and how we didn´t miss you at all.

    Just moved it to the wastebasket.

    No disrespect Macart!

  23. SteveBC says:

    Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor ……

  24. Saor Alba says:

    One could never disrespect macart.
    Welcome back Paul, with an inspiring and brilliant post, but I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed macart’s equally inspiring posts. I hope you enjoyed your time away as well as your welcome back from Ginger.

    I am grateful that we have both of you.

  25. O/T

    The shocking revelations contained within a leaked document produced by the Scottish Political Soft Revolution Committee, (SPSRC) commissioned by the Independence Movement’s equivalent of the Conservative 1922 Committee , The Saltire 45 Club, the influential but until now highly secretive Policy Finance and Planning Group made up of Senior ex Independence politicians, will make grim reading for those scattered embattled bruised remnants of Unionism which will still be abroad in Bella Caledonia, come Independence Day.

    The document entitled:-

    “ Reborn Scotland: The First Five Years.”

    sets out a list of Recommendations and Proposals to ensure that the minority Unionist population are not marginalised, and deprived of their former UK benefits and traditions. They will continue to have ‘the best of both worlds’.

    It has already been confirmed that Scotland will trade in its own currency, and will set up a Scottish Central Bank which will act as lender of last resort.

    However Bureaux De Change throughout Scotland will have stocks of English bank notes so that Unionists residents in Scotland can exchange their Scottish notes for English, at the appropriate exchange rate, of course.

    There will be Scottish passports, which will be mandatory, given that RUK will leave the EU, and Scotland will become the continuer State, and remain part of the EU.

    Those who voted No to independence will of course be entitled to retain their UK Passport, but will require a Leave to Stay Temporary Visa, to continue living and working in Scotland.

    Children of those who voted No will be required to pay Tuition Fees, prescription charges will be introduced, on an ability to pay Means Test, of course, and licence plate recognition software will be installed on all road bridges, fast lanes on motorways, and road tunnels, so that No drivers will be automatically charged tolls, just like on the highways and byways in rUK.

    The rUK Welfare System, and concomitant Austerity Cuts/ Taxes will still apply to No voters.
    Bedroom Tax, State Pension at 70, the Universal Credit Scheme, Jobseekers’ Sanctions, and cuts to disabled benefits by future rUK Governments will also apply to No voters still living in Scotland.

    These measures are considered essential to minimise No voters sense of loss and resentment about having to live in ’something for nothing’ Scotland.

    The SPSRC commissioned Professor Dolf Yasolla, Chief Lecturer in Economics at Bendehoos University, Kizmashaurtz, Berne, and Dr. Olaf Pirlo, visiting professor at Lo Da Mins College of Enlightenment, Taiwan, one of the world’s leading authorities on Separation and Loss, to prepare an Impact Analysis, Recommendations and Proposals on preparing Unionists for life in a Divided Scotland when it finally elects to go it alone.

    We shall reveal more details in this shock report at noon.

    The new Defence Forces Conscription Policy for No Voters , Compulsory Jobfare for unemployed ex Unionists, and much more.

  26. Hana says:

    Welcome home. We missed you. Interesting times during your absence. This latest post was beyond powerful. My other half says “the nail has never been hit harder or more accurately on the head.”

  27. Hazel Smith says:

    One of your best yet Paul. Glad to have you back and can just imagine the welcome the wee dug gave you.

  28. RabMacPhoto says:

    Welcome home Paul. Hope you enjoyed your short break. Macart has done a sterling job (as ever), but it’s always good to have you back on the keyboard🙂

  29. John Edgar says:

    The year after the Referendum1 saw the results of the changing Scotland. Historical change is grounded in people and their actions. It is not the fulfilment of the “Whig interpretation of history” which sees the present Westminster establishment as the absolute fulfilment of “the voice of history”.
    Scotland, once termed by a former Slabber, Robertson, as a minor entity in North Britain, has in 2015 turned the three unionist parties north of the Tweed into minor entities in Scotland!
    That is the ongoing change. The Tories never recovered after 1997 and for a generation or more have had one MP from Scotland. The other two parties are following on or falling down. Take heart from the evidence.

  30. Col says:

    I spoke with an irishman last night and got speaking about the easter rising, the conversation inevitably went onto the Scottish referendum.
    He just asked me in the full view of the nations of the world, why the fuck did you not vote to be equal with them?
    I couldn’t answer really.

  31. Dawn in NL says:

    “Scotland is not poor, it has been impoverished.”

    Great turn of phrase! More power to your pen, Paul.

  32. Boadicea Dugdale says:

    In an independent Scotland, no-one would ever have to think of Ann Widdycome’s gusset. By far the most powerful argument I’ve heard for ending this union.

  33. Tinto Chiel says:

    Welcome back, Paul. Glad you avoided the Trumpster (for his sake). I have stopped saying your latest is your best, because that would make an impossible graph, but hope you get what I mean.

    A certain hirsute young man kept things going admirably, so no worries there ✊.

    @Col: I know it can be embarrassing trying to explain the referendum but few of the Irish would have voted for independence in 1916. It took the deaths of many (and one Scotsman, tied to a chair), coupled with the crass and brutal actions of the British Establishment to open a lot of eyes. I would not want what the Irish had to go through for seventy-odd years for their freedom for my own country. We can achieve the same in quite a short time by democratic methods, if we hold our nerve and keep up the pressure.

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