Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Beyond September

Even though the grass refuses to stop growing and my unprotected pate is sizzling gently in the Perthshire sun, I discover to my alarm that it’s the first of October.  It seems only fleeting moments ago that I started this blog, yet already here I am past the first part of its title, with an ocean of possibilities stretching into the vast Beyond.

Time, therefore, to consider my own response to the huge question occupying Yes supporters the length and breadth of the land.  Where do we go from here?

First and foremost, as if you hadn’t already guessed, this blog will be continuing. All the other bloggers on the indyref scene seem to be hanging in there, and several enviably energetic and eloquent new voices are also kicking down the door, so it would be crazy of me to leave the party now.

I’m even keeping the To September And Beyond title. I’d hate to confuse my faithful and growing readership by suddenly switching to another name and, more to the point, can’t currently coax my brain into formulating anything better. Of course, if the independence referendum that inevitably results from the Cameron/Farage junta yanking us out of the EU in 2017 is held in a month other than September, all bets are off.

It’s an impossible dream for this titchy wee blog to emulate the “market leaders” such as Wings, Wee Ginger Dug, Bateman and the rest, but I’d like at least to make a start down that path by updating it more frequently.  Naturally, this will be impossible for me on my own, given my inability to write the simplest of sentences without chiselling away at the words for hours as if I’m Auguste bloody Rodin.

So I’d like to issue a general invitation to bloggers out there, especially if you don’t have a site of your own, to contribute guest posts to fill the gaps whenever I’m helpless in the grip of creative angst. They don’t have to be humorous (especially if your jokes are better than mine), but it would be handy if they were readable without too much editing, and about, or with a slant on, Scottish politics. 

I can’t promise to publish all submissions, because (a) I may unexpectedly get swamped, (b) anything offensive, actionable, illegal or unhinged will have to go in the bin, and (c) I’m a complete control freak.  Those caveats apart, I’ll do my best, and if I can’t find a place for something I’ll see if anyone else I know can.  You’ll not receive any payment other than kudos, and the occasional brickbat if you’re unlucky, but then neither do I.

If you’d like to send me something, just drop a line to william_duguid [at], replacing the [at] with @ when you mail.  Or you can just copy and paste the e-mail address from the top right-hand corner of the blog! 

Now, something else important.

There’s a lot of discussion going on at the moment, as the grand panjandrums of the Yes movement figure out how best to enhance our “media presence”, about sharing and co-operation.  Newsnet Scotland, who made their own content freely available to all-comers in the run-up to the referendum, waxed lyrical about this on Monday in an article that gave a tantalising glimpse of the future.

That sounds a pretty neat idea, so in response I’d like to state, quite explicitly, that anyone is welcome to reproduce the posts on this blog without seeking advance permission from me.  (That includes guest posts, so be warned, aspiring scribblers!)  All I ask is that you credit the blog as your source and, if you possibly can, let me know when you’ve done it, so that I can Tweet the blazes out of it.  Hey, I’m a self-promoter at heart, not a total altruist!

Oh, and if anybody involved with plans for a brilliant new media platform needs any help or contributions from middle-aged fat blokes, yoo-hoo, I’m right here!  I’ll wear my bright yellow Yestival shirt through the winter so that you can find me in the fog.

That’s about yer lot, readers, apart from one or two surprises I’m hoping to inflict on you in the next few weeks, which are so secret even I don’t know about them yet.  Now I’m off to boak my way through BBC iPlayer coverage of the Tory party conference, about which I expect to unleash a rant some time before the end of the week.  After an extended session of word-chiselling, of course.

Ocean of possibilities, here we come.  Inflatable armbands at the ready!

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