A NEW Panelbase poll shows 63% of Scottish voters believe Scotland would vote Yes to independence if there is an independence referendum next year.

The BBC have aired, and repeated, The Trial of Alex Salmond, a trial-by-television piece following the acquittal of Alex Salmond by the High Court, which garnered 939 complaints of bias while the BBC robustly defends it.

Many in the Yes camp are delighted by the poll result but outraged by the depths the BBC are prepared to sink in their attempts to besmirch Alex Salmond, split the Yes camp and cling to the Union.

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Now, for those in the Yes camp who aren’t already wise to this: be aware this is but one of what will be an increasing barrage of Unionist endeavours to undermine, subvert, and divide the independence movement. Every British-state-funded and, therefore, Westminster establishment-backed institution and asset will be aligned, and mustered against Scottish emancipation in their defence of what they will describe as “the state”.

“The protection of national security from actions intended to overthrow or undermine parliamentary democracy by political, industrial or violent means” – so says the website of MI5, who work, they will tell you, closely with MI6 and GCHQ.

“The relationship between the Security Service and the Police Service, and Special Branches in particular, will remain of the greatest importance,” says another item on their page. So let’s consider the police. Have undercover police infiltrated the various factions of the Yes movement? One quick look at any history of the British security services, and their relationship with political parties and trade unions would emphasise the answer to that question is likely to be a resounding “Yes”!

What levels will they sink to? Consider some history. In the early hours of March 20 1920, in Cork city, agents of the Crown entered, by force, the home of the Lord Mayor of Cork and shot him dead. He was a member of a political party which advocated home rule for Ireland. This, of course, was an overt act of violence during a period of

armed conflict, something the SNP have eschewed since the party’s creation, and would be difficult for a state security service to justify or conceal in the current climate of information dissemination.

However, if we look at the actions of MI5 during the miners’ strike, and the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Willie McRae, it would, I contend, be the height of naivety to think this tool of the Westminster establishment won’t be deployed for the purpose of maintaining the “state”.

Now, the BBC: the word “British”, in the title, is a clue, here. This corporation has abandoned all pretence at impartiality and become the mouthpiece of the British State. “You wouldn’t get anything if you weren’t part of the Union, though, would you”, says Naga Munchetty as she interrupts Ian Blackford in a discussion about funding for the Western Isles: thus vocalising the Westminster mantra while securing her seat on the BBC Breakfast couch! All this, coupled with a look at the make-up of any BBC Question Time audience, from anywhere across the UK, and any pretence of balance becomes laughable!

The mainstream media, which has been bought and paid for, for the most part, by right-wing, Tory-supporting, media moguls and monopolies, know the value of retaining the status quo while those which have a centrist or left-of-centre bias are strongly supportive of maintaining control of Scotland because, they, too, know Westminster will struggle to make ends meet without Scotland so will echo the chorus of anti-independence deception and manoeuvrings.

Like a hymn being sung in church, the congregation of anti-independence have already heard the intro, started off at a vocal mumble and are heading for the chorus. When they get to verse two, expect the employment not just of louder voices, but the organ-pipes of every dirty trick a British establishment have pulled, in the past, as well as some new ones they haven’t tested yet! Those who think that the weight of a ballot box result will force the acquiescence of a Westminster Tory government sitting with an 80-seat majority are, I fear, sadly mistaken! Get ready; and don’t be surprised when they get to the second chorus!

This government is made up of far too many expensively educated mountebanks who will extol the virtues of their cricketing youth; “play up, play up and play the game”, while they have absolutely no intention of playing with a straight bat!

Ned Larkin