PAUL Kavanagh – the National columnist who writes as the Wee Ginger Dug – has thanked the supporters who have given him an “enormous boost mentally and emotionally” after he successfully hit his crowdfunder target for 2023.

Kavanagh said he had been “especially nervous” about launching the crowdfunder this year, which alongside the work he does for the National helps him to focus full-time on writing, due to health issues impacting on the regularity with which he can update his blog.

In 2020, Kavanagh suffered a stroke which has left him suffering with lifelong disabilities.

But he told this paper that the success of the crowdfunder – which is still open for anyone wishing to support him – had given him strength after at one point being on the “verge of packing it in”.

Kavanagh said: “I was especially nervous about launching the crowdfunder this year as my health issues mean that I can no longer update the blog daily, and of course because of the recent issues with the SNP. I thought that the crowdfunder would struggle badly.

“I had set a target of £5000 which together with what I earn from writing for The National would give me an annual income more or less equivalent to a full-time job paying the minimum wage. It's not much but it's enough to live on.

“I launched the crowdfunder on June 5 and am delighted to report that it has now exceeded its target. Between the GoFundMe page, and direct donations via Paypal or by other means, the total is now a tad over £5900.”

Saying that he will keep running his pro-independence blog for “as long as it takes”, Kavanagh added: “I would like to give huge thanks to everyone who values my work and wants it to continue.

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“I had been on the verge of packing it all in earlier this year due to the realisation that I will not make any more improvements in my mobility or sensation following my stroke late in 2020 and that the significant degree of disability I have been left with will be lifelong.

“However, the success of this year's crowdfunder has given me an enormous boost mentally and emotionally, knowing that so many people have been willing to put their money where my mouth is.”

Kavanagh said he was keen to continue running a blog that focused on the positives in Scotland, not the negatives.

“We have a whole industry dedicated to that in the shape of Scotland's overwhelmingly anti-independence media,” he said. “That's their job not mine. I continue to attack the anti-independence parties and the many shortcomings of Westminster, and on making a positive case for independence.”

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Paul writes a newsletter for The National every weekday, where he unpacks the latest stories from Scotland's politics. You can sign up to the Real Scottish Politics newsletter here