It’s that time of the year again. I always approach the annual crowdfunder for this blog with considerable trepidation. Although I have a part time side gig with The National, this blog is my main full time job, one which I rely on more than ever since the stroke I suffered in 2020 has robbed me of the ability to do most of the other things I used to do to generate a living wage, such as my Gaelic maps and giving talks about place names in Scotland and the complex and fascinating history of Scotland’s languages or the artistic and model making work I used to do.
Sadly I have had to come to terms with the fact that I am now permanently disabled. Following an NHS driving assessment I was told that I will never be able to drive again, even with a specially adapted car, and my mobility issues make using public transport challenging. I will not regain much in the way of meaningful use of my left hand and arm – which is especially difficult as I was very dominantly left handed before the stroke. I have also been left with a permanent lack of sensation and weakness in the entire left hand side of my body and bouts of debilitating fatigue. I have applied for PIP, as I need help with certain daily living tasks, but applications are currently taking months to process and I was warned that I may not get a decision until the autumn.
Although a lot of other jobs are now beyond me, I have taught myself to type with just my right hand, so have been able to maintain this blog.
Given everything that has happened in the wider independence movement over the past eighteen months or so, it is all the more important that someone continues to focus on making the case for independence and attacking the parties of British nationalism. I sometimes feel that this blog is ploughing a lonely furrow. We already have an overwhelmingly anti-independence media which delights in attacking the Scottish Government and the SNP. That’s their job, not mine.
Scotland will have another independence referendum within the next year or two. The Scottish Government has recently made a number of announcements laying the groundwork for a referendum by the end of 2023. With support for independence at around 50%, it is crucial that we continue to highlight the hypocrisies and failures of British nationalism, the Conservative Government and the Westminster system, this is all the more important given the Conservatives’ alarming attacks on democratic oversight. The UK is gravely in danger of descending into a British nationalist authoritarianism, from which Scotland must escape.
I have already written the bulk of a new book dealing with the topics which are likely to be prominent in the referendum campaign to come. This merely needs to be revised and brought up to date. When the official referendum campaign begins it will be published online, copyright free, in a print ready format so that it can be downloaded for free and freely printed off and copied by any individuals or organisations which might like to make use of it or distribute it.
Until then, this blog will continue to publish articles which – I hope – are amusing, entertaining, and help to educate Scotland on the need for independence, which puncture the bubble of British nationalist exceptionalism and formulate arguments which can persuade undecided voters or soft noes of the need for independence, or which give independence campaigners the arguments and information that they need when engaging with the wider public.
This blog continues to support and promote a progressive and inclusive vision of a pro-European independent Scotland which accepts and respects everyone, no matter what their race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. This blog will continue to focus on making the case for an independent Scotland and on criticising and critiquing the true enemies of Scottish self-determination – the Conservatives and the British Government and other apologists for British nationalism.
However in order to do so I need to eat and pay my bills. Due to my reduced productivity and the limitations imposed on me by my health and disabilities, this year I am asking for half the amount I’ve requested in previous fundraisers. I hope to raise £5000 which will go towards supporting myself for the next year. Together with what I earn from The National, that will provide me with a sum equivalent to the minimum wage. Please click the following link to donate directly to the crowdfunder.
Alternatively you can donate by Paypal using the Donate button below or by making a PayPal payment to [email protected] If you don’t have a PayPal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button. If you would prefer to donate by some other means, please email me at [email protected] for details