The closer we get to winning independence the more desperate the unionists’ arguments against it become.
We’ve already seen a number of faked ‘polls’ using various tactics to undermine the Yes lead, including ditching a weighting filter which could have significantly changed the result and changing the wording of the question in a way which would have confused respondents.
Now an article on the Telegraph website yesterday took the fake news flood to a new low by scraping together a ragbag of disinformation purporting to show that independence risks ‘economic havoc for Scots’.
The article wastes no time in shattering any confidence the reader might have in its conclusions by hilariously comparing the Border between Scotland and England in the 18th century to the situation today.
Historically, it states, crossing the Border meant ‘entering a lawless territory plagued by raiders, livestock rustlers and other ne-er do wells’ in what it describes as a ‘blood-soaked age’.
But, it adds reassuringly, modern travellers are ‘more likely’ to find a welcoming sign at the Scottish border. Well, that’s a relief.
Except for the grim warning: ‘Political strife threatens to return’.
Nothing like the spectre of border skirmishes to preface a serious article on independence. And this is nothing like a serious article on independence
The Telegraph portrays that strife, I doubt you’ll be surprised to learn, as ‘a major push for a second independence referendum’. Nothing like the spectre of border skirmishes to preface a serious article on independence. And this is nothing like a serious article on independence.
Brexit is first on the list of 'developments' since the first independence referendum in 2014 which make independence ‘significantly more challenging’.
Now you might expect at least a nod to the problems since Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit was introduced on January 1. Problems which have decimated Britain’s and particularly Scotland’s exports and brought our fishing industry to its knees.
You might expect at least some reference to the fact that Scotland voted against Brexit, is disproportionately suffering from its disastrous effects and is increasingly looking at independence as the only way to avoid catastrophe. But no … not a mention.
After that many words are wasted on a London School of Economic report published in February, which has already been dismissed by serious analysts because it takes no account of an independent Scotland’s potential for growth.
The Telegraph article then quotes one of the LSE report authors, Hanwei Huang – in fact a PhD student at the school – stating independence would come at a ‘substantial economic cost’ while providing precisely no evidence to support that.
There’s just time for a reference to oil ‘draining away ‘ before we predictably alight on the usual Gers figures. The Telegraph’s assertion that these show a ‘notional’ deficit for Scotland is undermined later in the same article by Mairi Spowage at the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute, who says:
So an entire article has been built on facts which have previously been debunked, not least by Business for Scotland’s Scotland the Brief
“They [these figures] tell us little about the long-term sustainability of the public finances of an independent Scotland, because presumably there would be different choices made, different priorities and perhaps things that they would choose not to spend money on as well.”
So an entire article has been built on facts which have previously been debunked, not least by Business for Scotland’s Scotland the Brief, which lays out exactly why Scotland’s economy is damaged by remaining within the UK.
This unionist onslaught of fake news and misleading nonsense is steadily getting worse the closer we get to the Scottish elections in May.
In the weeks ahead you can rely on Believe in Scotland to counter Unionist attempts to resuscitate Project Fear’s predictions of doom with the positive benefits of taking control of our own future.
With even senior Tory figures such as John Major warning Boris Johnson not to block Scotland’s desire for indyref2 the Prime Minister’s opposition to that referendum will be washed away by a decisive pro-independence majority at the May elections.