This is where we are now

Back in 2014, if independence campaigners had urged people to vote Yes warning that the British state would be stockpiling supplies of food and vital medicines, that it would be making contingency plans for the lights going out, and that ports were threatened with gridlock and planes might not fly, we would have been accused of ridiculous scaremongering. Even the frothiest and zoomiest of anti-independence campaigners who predicted all sorts of dire events for an independent Scotland didn’t dare claim that the country could be facing food shortages and a return to rationing. But that’s exactly where we are in the British state this last summer before Brexit.

Back in 2014, if independence campaigners had told the people of Scotland that the only way that Scotland could be certain of membership of the EU would be by voting for independence, the British nationalists would have ridiculed us and called us liars. It was only by voting to remain a part of the UK, they claimed with the certitude of the self-righteous, that Scotland could ever retain its place amongst the family of European nations. And that place was as a subordinate adjunct to a UK that punched above its weight in the corridors of Brussels. Yet here we are now, four years on, leaving the EU despite the fact that Scotland voted to remain by a much larger margin than it voted to remain a part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland has vastly more influence on the course of Brexit than the UK government does. Scotland doesn’t even get a say, never mind a place at the top table. Estonia, with a population a quarter the size of Scotland’s, gets a veto, Scotland gets vetoed whenever it opens its mouth. How’s that punching above your weight working out for you Scotland?

Back in 2014, if independence campaigners had warned that instead of strengthening devolution as it had promised, the British state would be doing its utmost to undermine the devolution settlement and would be taking the Scottish Parliament to the Supreme Court in order to overturn a bill that Holyrood had passed with the support of all parties except the Tories, we would have been accused of being hysterical liars. It seems highly unlikely that the current devolution settlement can survive in the unitary state that the Conservatives seem to have in mind for the UK after it has left the European Union. Yet Scotland didn’t vote to leave the EU, Scotland didn’t vote for the devolution settlement to be changed, Scotland didn’t vote for a fundamental restructuring of the British state that harms Scotland’s interests. Worse, Scotland wasn’t even consulted. But that’s exactly where we are in this summer of devodeath before Brexit.

Back in 2014, if independence campaigners had warned that Scottish products were going to be rebranded as British, and we’d see British shortbread, British whisky, British square slice and British Aberdeen Angus in our shops, all plastered with Union flegs, we’d have been accused of being petty minded scaremongerers. But Scottish products are at threat as never before. Brexit threatens to strip distinctively Scottish products of the protection that they currently enjoy, and any manufacturer anywhere in the world will be able to sell an alcoholic drink branded as Scotch whisky, or Stornoway Black Pudding made with genetically modified American crops. But that’s exactly where we are in this last summer of Scottish shopping before Brexit.

Back in 2014, if independence campaigners had cast aspersions on the solidity of British democracy, we’d have been howled down in rage. But we’ve seen dodgy donations and dark money funding the Scottish Conservatives. We’ve seen allegations of Russian involvement in the Brexit campaign. We’ve seen an official leave campaign which drove a coach and horses through electoral law and which received a minor slap on the wrist in the form of a fine that was a tiny fraction of the money that it had illegally spent. This is where we are now, being dragged out of the EU on the basis of an unfair vote.

Back in 2014, if independence campaigners had told voters in Scotland that within a few short years the far right would be soaring in UK opinion polls, that the Tories would have become all but indistinguishable from Ukip, and that Tory politicians were calling for the treason laws to be extended in order to prosecute people in favour of the EU or supportive of Scottish independence, we’d have been laughed at. Better Together had told us that the UK was a bulwark of tolerance and moderation, and our only protection against political extremism. No one is laughing now, as we face the spectre of a resurgent far right, one that’s wrapped in the Union fleg, one that has grown under the cover of a British nationalism whose main distinctive feature is the unshakeable belief that it’s not nationalist at all. This is where we are now, because four years ago Scotland voted no.

Back in 2014, we were told by the Labour party that it stood for devolution, that it was the guarantor of Scotland’s interests within the British state. And yet despite the unfolding horror, despite the utter incompetence, the sheer ineptitude, the total failure of British politics, despite the undermining of the devolution settlement, despite the thousands of jobs which might be lost, despite the hundreds of thousands of lives which face disruption, despite the humiliation of the UK on the global stage, despite the rise of the extreme right and the destruction of democratic accountability, there are still Labour politicians in Scotland who say that the worst thing to come out of all of this is that it reopens the question of Scottish independence. This is where we are now, with a Labour party exposed as a mouthpiece for the British state which abstains instead of opposing the Tories.

Back in 2014, a lot of people still believed in the promises and reassurances of Westminster. Now even those who trusted them before know that a vow from Westminster isn’t worth the newsprint it’s printed on. This is where we are now, on the verge of a second independence referendum, on the verge of an independent Scotland, because we were lied to, betrayed, taken for fools, taken for granted. Westminster’s tragedy is that it only has itself to blame, but Westminster’s tragedy will be Scotland’s opportunity. This is where we are now.

Independence will come about because of the shortcomings and failures of those who say that they love the British state. In years to come we will look back on 2014 as the year that the British state threw away its last chance to keep Scotland within the UK. 2014 isn’t where we are now, and that’s why the next independence referendum will have a very different outcome to the first.


GINGER2croppedIt’s that time of year again. It’s been a year since I last did a fundraiser. This year is going to be a particularly expensive one for me personally. There’s a wedding to pay for, and I need to ensure that my earnings are sufficient to prove to the Home Office that I am able to import my American spouse into Scotland to live here permanently. As well as the need to demonstrate a minimum level of annual income, £18,600, there are also hefty legal and visa fees to pay.

I really don’t like doing fundraisers, and I really don’t like to blow my own trumpet, but I work my wee socks off for the independence movement. I publish this blog, and I do talks to local indy groups all over Scotland without asking for a fee. Don’t get me wrong, I greatly enjoy it. It’s a huge privilege to meet all the wonderful, talented, and committed people who make the Scottish independence movement something really special. However it takes up a lot of time and energy to keep blogging and doing public talks, time and energy that I could be using to generate an income to prove to the Home Office that I am able to support my American spouse.

The truth is that if every regular reader of this blog gave just one pound a year, I’d be pulling in well over £100,000 annually. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. Publishing and selling books and maps helps, as does selling t-shirts, but it’s pretty hit and miss. I do get paid by The National for my twice weekly articles, but that doesn’t pay anything like as much as you might think it would. In order to be confident that I can meet the minimum income requirements demanded by the Home Office, cover the cost of a wedding on both sides of the Atlantic, and cover the fees required to pay the visas and associated legal costs, I need to do a fundraiser for £10,000.

Any help you can give would be immensely appreciated. Help me to keep campaiging, and help me to show that Scotland is a welcoming place for migrants – at least one special migrant in particular, the man I’m going to marry in October.

You can donate by clicking the following link and donating on my Gofundme page.

Alternatively you can donate by clicking on the Paypal “Donate” button on this page, or by logging in to and making a payment to me at If you would prefer to donate by some other method, cash, cheque, or bank transfer, please contact me at for details.

Many thanks for all your support. You’ve no idea how much it means to me.

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76 comments on “This is where we are now

  1. Andy Anderson says:

    This is a ‘keeper’ Sam. A good text to hand out to others. When you see all the lies put into one story it shows how poor we are governed in the UK.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Actually it wasn’t Sam who wrote this one… It was me.

      But he is a very good blogger.

      • Jimmy The Pict says:

        As are you Paul.

      • Floats like a butterfly, stings like a cleg.
        Welcome back, slacker.
        Your rapier like prose and style are unique, Paul.
        WE won’t be fooled again.
        When Cameron resigned and May took over, I observed that we were a heart attack away from Boris as PM, and Trump would make up the set.
        Never has a political and social movement ben so ready and champing at the bit to get started. By October, we’ll know definitely.
        They have nothing left with which to threaten bully or smother us.
        The Day is at Hand, at last.

        • weegingerdug says:

          Skye was lovely. The weather wasn’t great, but it was a fantastic trip. The other half has gone home to the USA now. So that’s me depressed.

          Have decided to organise a Wee Ginger Gathering for readers of the blog. So you can all moan at one another in person. Will post details when I have it organised. Planning to time it to coincide with the trip to Scotland of a certain Canadian reader.

          • heathermclean19 says:

            A Wee Ginger Gathering sounds like an excellent plan – count me in!
            Thanks for all you do to make us smile despite all the dark despressing goings on!
            Got my Tee Shirt the other day – LOVE LOVE LOVE it – perfect fit! Thanks again xx

          • When the autumn leaves swirl and pile up like a mountain of giant corn flakes against the dry stane dyke in our avenue, when chestnuts fall, and there is a distinct nip in the air, will be ideal for The Gathering, Paul.
            Let me know what you need done.

          • wm says:

            Wonderfull effort as usual Paul. The blog was well looked after by Sam. I like the idea of a Wee Ginger Gathering, but I think you will need to be the MC, to keep order among these roudy readers who frequent your blog.

          • Les Bremner says:

            A Wee Ginger Gathering sounds absolutely marvellous. Wherever and whenever it is to be held, I will throw things out of my diary to be there.

            What size of a venue will you need?

      • Andy Anderson says:

        Should have checked Paul. I thought your trip to Skye was for a longer period. Hope you had a good time.

        I have my T shit which will be worn in Inverness on Saturday at the AUOB walk.

        • Alba woman says:

          Spot on as ever Paul…all the reality in one piece of writing…very clever you are!

          I am preparing for the next Indy…painting yes stones to be left in various locations….read about the idea in today’s national….

        • AnnieM says:

          T shit? LOL!

          Still waiting for mine in Spain. Hope it arrives soon.

      • Macart says:

        Ta much. 🙂

      • Who could doubt it? Brilliant – and unflinchingly true – as ever.

  2. hettyforindy says:

    Excellent, have shared. Thanks.

  3. chicmac says:

    Brilliant Paul.

    That one has a staccato rhythm which adds to the power of the truths it contains.

    Will print it off and add to my next leaflet drop.

  4. […] Wee Ginger Dug This is where we are now Back in 2014, if independence campaigners had urged people to vote Yes warning that […]

  5. This is a stonker, Paul, and I am sharing it far and wide! Sorry your break in the Winged Isle was so brief but we are glad to have you back in the fray. Mind, Sam did a sterling job in your absence, as always.

  6. Macart says:

    It’s up to you folks. Only you can give the Scottish parliament and government the permission and powers it needs. ONLY you can make a difference.

    What kind of country do you want to live in?

  7. jfngw says:

    Superb piece of writing, encapsulates the last four years of broken promises and mendaciousness of Westminster and its cronies.

  8. Son of Perth says:

    Paul, that was your finest ever post and your bar is set very high. We are on the verge of freedom, in no small part due to people like you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  9. katherine hamilton says:

    Wee touch o’ the Bolero there, Paul. Building and building and building till the inspiring crescendo. It’s coming.
    Thanks for all you do.

  10. Kenneth Clacher says:

    Hoping you are deciding to have get to geathers in all the major cities, including my city Edinburgh.incorporating your fundraising events.

  11. scrandoonyeah says:

    One of your very best and thanks to you and all the other bloggers who highlight the lies, deceit and sheer arrogance and stupidity of the British state.

  12. crabbitgits says:

    Excellent post Paul, it was reeking of the anger and betrayal which we all feel and if the gathering is in Glasgow count this one in. Oh, and I do hope it involves a wee bit more than ginger.

  13. tintochiel says:

    One of your most powerful pieces, Paul, and a great factual account, despite its emotion, of the appalling litany of lies we have been subjected to by these absolute shysters.

    If only you could get regular exposure in the MSM! We’d be free in jig time.

  14. Fillofficer says:

    One of yer best, Paul
    Welcome back
    Strong & able

  15. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    Well presented sir, damm stirring stuff.

    However the fact is as you said if us Scottish patriots suggested to Unionists or even our own folk that things would end as they are now no one would take notice

    We would have been accused of acting like foaming at the mouth Yoons.

    Now we are here and I can’t quite believe it. I worry about my family and friends and all in Scotland.

    I admit that I have supported Independence for the majority of my life and could never think of a good reason to think that English rule benefited Scotland in any way.

    I know people who held views which supported our status as a colony. Never agreed with them but I believe you have to respect the views of others.

    Now it is clear that Independence is not simply a political argument which half the country support but it is now an emergency.

    Regardless of your thoughts on independence or overlordship by the English we all have to save ourselves and our families we all have to push for independence it is plainly a national emergency.

  16. Lord, if only someone had warned us.
    Michel says ‘non’!
    Ruth Davidson plunges into the ‘frozen’ waters of the Forth to save her dog!
    An unmarked 16 wheeler articulated lorry delivers a 1000 year supply of insulin to the back door at number 10!
    Nigella’s recipe for Brexit soup:
    Cut the tongue out of one of your Clothes Bank steel toe- capped Work For Food Stamps leather boots, boil it in a pan of water for an hour for stock, add chopped dandelions and dock leaves, mop the salty sweat from your Sweat Shop brow with a dishcloth and immerse in the Dandelion and Dock leaf soup.
    Serves 6, or 4 adults and two weans, ‘cos families can only produce two weans each now that the Davidson Responsible Sized Families Act has been passed in the New English parliament of the Isles of Britain.

    We are engulfed in a raging out of control forest fire of madness which the MSM report with mock shock.
    The EU 27 Four Freedoms are inviolable.
    Everybody knows that including Dominic Raab.
    England you voted to leave the EU; we didn’t.
    Yet the Darling Duds of May blunder on hoping that Daddy will relent and buy them a big bag of sweeties.
    I am apparently now committing treason writing this.

  17. From Kenny rogers’ ‘The Gambler.’

    “Son, I’ve made a life
    Out of readin’ people’s faces
    Knowin’ what the cards were
    By the way they held their eyes
    So if you don’t mind me sayin’
    I can see you’re out of aces
    For a taste of your whiskey
    I’ll give you some advice”

    Dear Reader, check out the photie with Barnier out of focus in the forefront and Dominic Raab’s face in full focus glancing sideways as Barnier at last mutters ‘ Pas de route, Jose’.

    Raab’s body language says it all.

    His pupils are dilated and his hands are about to cover his trembling defeated lips.
    I’m sure Desmond Morris’ ‘The Naked Ape’ has a chapter on cornered human animals.
    The Domini makes David Mundell at Scottish Questions look as cool and calm as Perry Como singing ‘Catch a Falling Star’.

    Raab is clearly ‘out of aces’.
    That’s why he got the job and was daft enough to take it. Nobody else would touch it with a Pole, of the canal variety, or a plumber/slater/ plasterer EU ilk.

    The EU 27 knows what the Brexiters’ cards are all right.
    A fistful of Jokers.

  18. Macart says:

    That went well then.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      I new this would happen Sam. I suspect WM did as well.

      • Macart says:

        Not many options left for UK gov and all of them bad, both for them and the populations of the UK.

        They brought all of this upon themselves, but most especially the people.

        • The Brit Nat Dead Tree Scrolls are already blaming the Europeans applying a sort of reverse logic/ Treaty of Versailles ‘punishment’ of the YooKay for daring to ‘take back control’ and yet somehow cherry pick the best bits of the Common Market.
          References to the Weimar Republic and ‘reparations’ will get big licks over the coming weeks and months.
          Why aren’t the EU27 crumbling?
          Why don’t these bloody foreigners just admit that England is the most powerful and influential nation in the world and give in to her demands?

          The neurosis of exceptionalism is fast giving way to the psychosis of and language of ‘war’.

          They are preparing the Leavers for No Deal and Eurapocalypse Now.
          Soylent Green is people!
          Pass the low fat creamed rice, Sam.

  19. aitchbee says:

    The Welsh are also seeing their products rebranded as British, Union fleg and all

  20. One_Scot says:

    It does beg the question, if we cannot vote for Independence under the current circumstances, then it would be fair to say we never will. And the BritNats will know this.

    I really hope the Scottish Government and the SNP can make sure the #ScotRef referendum cannot be compromised, or we could be in a whole world of pain.

    • Les Bremner says:

      One_Scot, I hate to be pedantic, but English is an ambiguous language. ‘Compromise’ means to reach an agreement by making concessions. On the other hand, ‘compromised’ can mean fiddled or rigged. Which did you mean?

      • One_Scot says:

        Compromised, as in open to manipulation.

        • Les Bremner says:

          This is a subject dear to my heart, and one on which much research has been done by many people since the first Referendum.

          The UK voting processes are full of holes, but they can be tightened by a few simple changes. Here are the details.

          As far as the postal voting process goes: leave the packs, as posted by the voter, sealed until the close of personal voting.

          As far as the personal voting goes: count twice – once before the ballot boxes leave the Polling Place and again at the Counting Venue.

          We must all lobby our local MSPs to ensure that the changes are made.

          • Andy Anderson says:

            You have raised this before Les. Agree with you. I e-mailed every MPS at that time.

            • Les Bremner says:

              Andy, Thank you. I didn’t know that you had done that. I was beginning to think that I was ploughing a lone furrow. Thank you again.

  21. grafter says:

    Meanwhile here in Aberdeen the Townhouse is proudly flying the Union Jack or “Butchers Apron” as one should term it. On enquiring as to who was behind this show of pride in our imperialist past was informed that the decision rests solely with the Lord Provost our minority Labour leader Barney Crocket who as we all know has formed an unholy alliance with the vile Tories to continue with their tawdry unionist agenda over the populace. We need to wake up soon from this nightmare.

    • grafter, soon we’ll be tearing them down for good.
      Anglo Scot collaborators determined to do their Masters’ bidding for cash and power.
      We know who they are.
      There will be no place in Scotland for the Fifth column Brit Nats.
      Those who malignantly and wilfully lie, besmirch and threaten.
      The sight of the Butcher’s apron incites disgust in me. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am far from ‘proud’ of our imperial past.
      The devil lurks in the hedgerows.
      England will erupt first.

  22. Macart says:

    How bad could it be?

    This bad.


    • Get the popcorn out,Sam.
      We need sit back now and watch it all unravel.
      Over by October.
      Soylent Green is people.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Before the Brexit vote I was aware of this having spent many years in food processing and distribution. It has the chance to destroy hundreds of farming families. We have an escape route.

      • Macart says:

        We’ve been screaming to everyone who would listen for over five years Andy, both on indyref and EU ref counts about the nature of Westminster and what it considers priorities. Specifically during the EU ref both fishermen and the farming community had ample access to the same info we did. A majority in both groups chose poorly and are now about to suffer abysmally. They’ve been betrayed because they are viewed either as a commodity or a cost to be used in turn, but they are our own folk and they’re going to need help like everyone else.

        What they need to remember is that it didn’t have to be this way and that as you say, there is a lifeboat available.

  23. Ken Clark says:

    Beautifully written as always, Paul. Your use of language is sharper than a scalpel, never losing it’s edge.

    One bonus from the current shambles is a world now unable to politely ignore the reality behind the “democratic” state known as Great Britain. Bercow’s recent warning in parliament that foreign representatives were in the gallery and the House should behave accordingly, even towards Scotland’s SNP MPs, amused and appalled me in equal measure.

    I have no doubt governments across the world were aware, but London’s arrogant sense of entitlement is now in plain sight for all to see, with Europe in particular being forced to deal with the snarling reality behind the Oxbridge mask..

    The English establishment have talked of, “the Irish problem”. “the Scottish problem”. Now we have, “the EU problem”.

    Welcome to our world.

    I expect more sympathy from them the next time we endeavour to join theirs.

    p.s. Have sent second donation. I wish it could be more. Please don’t be uncomfortable about crowdfunding. We are as close as we are to our goal because of your input, alongside others. It’s the very least we can do. More power to you, and of course, the dug.

    • Hear,hear, Ken.
      PK will be sung of in folk songs a hundred years from now.

      • Ken Clark says:

        With you all the way there, Jack.

        The rise of the bloggers, breaking the establishment’s controlling stranglehold on information.

        It’ll be an epic, with the wee ginger dug rivalling Bruce’s spider in Scottish folklore. 🙂

        • Ken Clark says:

          He says, as the BBC force YouTube to remove pro-indy clips from the web.

          Are they worried, or what?

  24. astytaylor says:

    See you in October.

  25. Bill McDermott says:

    # Jack

    I don’t know about you but seeing the Butcher’s apron flown here in the Highlands is particularly obnoxious. Most tourism business here overcome these sensitive issues but displaying a range of flags from different countries but there are one or tow outlets who deliberately and provocatively display the Union flag in all its ugliness. Just in terms of textile design the Saltire gives me the impression of a clean design with a feeling of purity going back into the Middle Ages. The Union Jack in contrast is a mix-match with the knowledge of its perfidious role. If I were a soldier, I would feel unclean marching under its colours.

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