Scotland faces a media that in many cases is completely hostile to independence. News stories are spun to suggest Scots could never be trusted to run their own affairs. Good news is minimised, or just simply not reported and bad news for Scotland overblown and taken out of context. Contrast that to the measurable and quantifiable damage of Brexit where the UK national news almost never acknowledges that Brexit is one of the root causes of inflation and economic damage. That’s why increasing numbers are turning to “Believe in Scotland” and its sister site “Business for Scotland” to find news stories that are put in context and explained from a pro-independence viewpoint.
Most of our campaigning and engagement takes place on social media, via shareable graphics and on the streets and through leaflet drops etc but our blogs remain core to what we do. The most-read blogs on both our sites are shared far more often than almost all of the news stories on traditional, mainstream media. Take a look at the Facebook pages of The Times Scotland, The Scottish Daily Express, The Scotsman or BBC Scotland News and you will see that most stories are barely shared at all.
In contrast, the most popular Business for Scotland post in 2022 generated 9,000 likes and shares on Facebook alone with hundreds more shares on Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. One of our blogs that is updated every year has now been shared more than 81,000 times on Facebook alone. All of the others on this list got above 2,000 engagements on Facebook alone, most were higher than that. Obviously, the blogs get a lot more reads than shares, as only a small percentage of people share articles but its a good way to gauge the popularity as well as readership.
Business for Scotland, June. Facebook shares - 9,263
The Scottish media was filled in the summer with stories about ferries being late or overbooked, and issues with two ferries ordered from Ferguson Marine. This article looked behind the banner headlines to add some context.
- Scotland pays much more for its share of UK infrastructure projects which overrun or get into difficulties than it has for the 2 ferries
- Investment in Ferguson Marine is bringing it up to date as a publicly-owned yard with a future
- Flexible fares on CalMac ferries cost less than half similar ones in England
- The expansion of Road Equivalent Tariff (a popular policy) has massively increased traffic, demand and wear and tear on the ferry network.
Believe in Scotland, June. Facebook shares - 4,787
Unionists like to talk about the cost of independence - but staying in the UK is costing Scotland dear, both financially and in terms of lost opportunity This article looked at some of these.
Key costs of remaining in the Union
- The windfall tax on Scottish energy assets is bailing out the UK
- Scotland’s economy is visibly shrinking due to Brexit
- The UK has the worst economic growth in the G20 bar Russia
- The pound has lost 20% of its value – pushing inflation upwards
- The UK Government broke its promise on the triple lock, exposing pensioners to inflation (restoring it later has still left a lag)
Believe in Scotland, March. Facebook shares - 4,510
Norway with its sovereign wealth fund is one of the richest countries on the planet. But it has only been an independent country since 1905 – for 500 years before that it was it was in a union with Denmark and then with Sweden.
When Norway finally took the step of having a referendum on its independence, “there was no disagreement over arrangements as to borders, currency or trade. Norwegians had the confidence to believe they could they work those things out successfully – and they did.”
Key reasons why Norway became independent
- Norway’s people wanted to take control over foreign policy, after being dragged into other countries’ wars
- Norway had become a puppet state where power and control moved to an effective capital outside its borders, and the country suffered a long brain drain
- In a technologically advanced and innovative country, Norway’s people thought they could make better use of their rich natural assets.
Business for Scotland, March. Facebook shares - 4,059
With higher standing charges for energy and higher charges for Scottish energy companies to connect to the UK’s privatised and outdated National Grid, Scotland is paying too much for both creating energy and using it.
“That doesn’t seem fair because it isn’t fair. But regulation of the energy market is reserved. There is no way to change this without independence.”
Business for Scotland, August. Facebook shares - 3,389
Scotland has huge potential to produce renewable electricity. At the moment, that is constrained by the UK’s energy policy and producing more electricity won't noticeably affect Scots' bills
“An independent Scotland could operate as a zone, setting a price for electricity across Scotland, while still exporting to the rest of the UK through hubs, charging a higher price. That could tip the market balance towards more renewable production north of the border.”
Believe in Scotland, June. Facebook shares - 2,826
In an independent Scotland, the elected government would be able to manage the university sector in a more stable and financially responsible way, without the hiccups due to waiting on Barnett consequentials of policies deigned in another country with different priorities. It could access the EU fund Horizon, and also get EU support for peripheral areas such as the Highlands and Islands.
Believe in Scotland, April. Facebook shares - 2,752
This article compared the size of Scotland’s broadcasting sector with other independent EU countries. Scotland is powerless when it comes to how public sector broadcasting is regulated and funded. An independent Scotland would be in a much stronger position to support public service broadcasting. An overwhelming majority of Scots (75%) according to a recent poll would like to see power over broadcasting move from Westminster to the Scottish Government.
Believe in Scotland, October. Facebook shares - 2,713
This article explains which countries in the EU use the Euro and which don’t and looks at Scotland’s options.
"Yes, Scotland would have to pledge to being open to join the euro at some point in the future. It could take 15 years, like Bulgaria which is adopting the Euro in 2024, or much longer. Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Poland have no current plans to switch. But whether or not to join the Euro and the timing of that will be a matter for future governments. It will be a matter for debate after Scotland has: achieved a referendum, voted for independence, established a central bank, a Scottish currency and rejoined the EU. It’s a way down the road.
Read the article
Believe in Scotland, December. Facebook shares - 2,702
Keir Starmer, flanked by former-PM Gordon Brown, unveiled Labour’s plans for "UK constitutional reform".
"There is a clue in that first sentence as to why it’s not going to blunt moves towards Scottish independence. This report is about Labour reclaiming its so-called ‘Red Wall’ seats from the Tories and it offers nothing new for Scotland. In fact, it confirms that Labour are committed to Brexit and therefore the power grab that goes with it."
Business for Scotland, July. Facebook shares - 2,493
Anger mounted in Scotland across 2022 as energy prices soared for consumers while energy producers announce record profits. Scotland now pays the highest electricity bills in the world. This article compared the Scottish situation to Nordic countries such as Finland where bills are much lower thanks to plentiful, cheap renewable energy. Scotland has the capacity to produce even more energy than the average of the Nordic countries – and it could export this to the UK and EU.
Read the article
Other content that generated around 2,000 likes and shares includes:
- The day Britain died - rights ripped from Scotland's devolution settlement - 2,023
- Independence offers an alternative to chaos at Dover - 2308
- Mainstream media ignores Scottish health service patient safety success story - 2,118
- Scottish water - a victory for the Sottish people v the UK gov - 1,964
- The new economic case for independence – Five Key Takeaways - 1,857
- Media watch - Scotland's poorest students 50% more likely to get to Uni than in England - 1,577
- Five reasons why Scotland can be confident of rejoining the EU - 1,701
- - 1,608
- Too wee, too poor? Malta didn't think so - 1,567
- HOL report says “Anglocentric British nationalism” could end the union – We agree - 1,828
- Keir Starmer's "car-crash interview" dooms Labour in Scotland - 1,632