Just days after a historic Scottish election delivered an increased pro-independence majority and unequivocal democratic support for indyref 2 the British media has launched on onslaught of attacks arguing that the direct opposite happened.
Here’s a quick summary of just some of the most recent headlines:
1: The Independent’s Sean O’Grady insists independence is ‘dead in the water’.
2: Former Tory Prime Minister William Hague says ‘Scots need to know what independence means’.
3: Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown dismisses the election result and dreams up a result he's happier with, one showing imaginary support for an equally imaginary ‘more co-operative union’.
4: Andrew Neil in the Daily Mail ties himself in knots trying anything to interpret the election result as a failure to provide a mandate for indyref2 which allows the Union to survive to ‘fight another day’.
5: Michael Gove is reported in the Express as refusing to rule out a court fight over the Scottish government plans to hold indyref 2. This came just one day after viewers of the Andrew Marr show and BBC Scotland's Sunday Show heard Michael Gove rule out exactly such a court fight.
What do all these articles have in common? A determination to deny the truth of the election result and to deploy spin to twist the message the voters delivered through the ballot box.
The truth about the election is that the SNP returned more MSPs than in 2016 and increased its share of the vote with a manifesto expressly committing to hold an independence referendum within the next parliamentary term.
The SNP won 62 constituencies. Only 11 constituencies went to other parties. That's impossible to portray as anything other than a resounding victory.
The Scottish Greens won a record eight seats at Holyrood, two more than in 2016. The Greens manifesto also included a clear commitment to holding an independence referendum within the next five years.
Far from being ‘dead in the water’ the case for independence has never been stronger and the voters have emphatically backed the Scottish parliament’s right to call a referendum and agreed that they should do so.
Gordon Brown must surely know by now that this obsession with a federal UK option that is not and is never likely to be on the table has no support in Scotland
The time to put forward a detailed prospectus on what independence might mean is during the campaign which will follow the announcement of the referendum.
The 670-page White Paper described as an 'independence blueprint' was published in November 2013, less than a year before the referendum itself. It's worth mentioning that no equivalent document was published for Brexit, and any details which were supplied by the UK government turned out to be lies.
Opponents of independence like to accuse the Scottish government of spending too much time focusing on independence instead of the 'day job'. It's hardly consistent to argue that they should now be concentrating on a new White Paper while still fighting Covid and steering the recovery.
As for Gordon Brown, he must surely know by now that this obsession with a federal UK option that is not and is never likely to be on the table has no support in Scotland. The former Labour Prime Minister was an architect of the 2014 Vow, which promised as a raft of new powers if Scotland voted against independence.
After the vote Mr Brown has swithered between claiming that the Vow was delivered and complaining that it was not. He seems to have settled on the latter view as his latest shtick is to argue there is so much more to be done to create the idyllic union he says Scotland supports, despite voting for independence-supporting MSPs.
Mr Brown is becoming something of an expert in denying the evidence in front of his own eyes. The UK government has had since 2014 to deliver the new powers it promised. Even Gordon Brown admits it has not done so.
Andrew Neil’s attempt to move the democratic goal posts to insist on an SNP majority, or a majority of votes rather than MSPs, or any other criteria he can dream up, reeks of nothing more than desperation. Elections are won by the party with the most seats. It can get legislation through parliament with support from another party. Legislation paving the way for indyref 2 can be approved by the Scottish parliament with the support of the Greens. That is how democracy works. It’s not difficult.
The way the UK media is dismissing undeniable facts and arguing that black is white shows it acting as a Ministry for Propaganda for Westminster in a way which is a danger to democracy itself
A scan of international headlines reveals a real global interest in Scotland’s demand for indyref2 and a far clearer understanding of the mandate the Scottish government has.
The way the UK media is dismissing undeniable facts and arguing that black is white shows it acting as a Ministry for Propaganda for Westminster in a way which is a danger to democracy itself and is reminiscent of the George Orwell's novel 1984.
This behaviour will only get worse as indyref2 comes ever closer. It cannot go unchallenged and we at Believe in Scotland pledge to ensure these blatant attempts to deny the facts are highlighted and shown up as the lies they are.