That last sentence in this article is very important.
The SNP said it already had a mandate for a second referendum.
Indeed it does. However hard the British parties try to undermine the legitimacy of Scotland’s democratic institutions and processes, there is absolutely no doubt that the SNP were given a mandate for a new independence referendum at the 2016 Holyrood election.
So why does this mandate need to be confirmed? Precisely because it is being denied. Hardly an hour goes by without Ruth Davidson or Kezia Dugdale or Willie Rennie shrilly asserting that the majority of people in Scotland don’t want a new referendum. This in blatant denial of all evidence.
The intention is to convince some significant part of the electorate that #ScotRef is being ‘imposed’ on an unwilling Scotland by the SNP. As the British nationalists can count on the mainstream media to collude with them in this effort, they are likely to succeed. We cannot afford to simply disregard this. Some point out that the British nationalists ‘will say this anyway’, regardless of what the Yes campaign does. And that is true. But it isn’t a reason to give up on trying to counter their lies. It is a reason to make an even greater effort in that regard.
We have to confirm our demand for a new referendum, in part for the obvious reason that, if we don’t, we won’t get it. Theresa May is desperately trying to create a basis for refusing a section 30 order. And, in all probability, going even further to stop the referendum happening – up to and including suspending the Scottish Parliament and imposing direct rule from Westminster.
But there is another reason. As urgently as the British nationalists want to deceive people into thinking the referendum is being forced on Scotland against the wishes of the people, we must expose this deception. We must make it very clear that they have been lying. We must leave absolutely no doubt about their dishonesty. By doing this we undermine the unthinking trust that many people have in the British state. We create doubt in the mind of those unionists who yet retain a capacity for rational thought and open-mindedness.
And doubt is a massively powerful weapon. It’s what won it for the British nationalists the last time we had an independence referendum.
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