OK, so let's just briefly recap.
* In 2015, the Catalan people freely elected a parliament in which the absolute majority of members were pro-independence.
* In the popular vote in the 2015 election, pro-independence parties comfortably outpolled anti-independence parties by 48% to 39%.
* The elected pro-independence government held a referendum last month to definitively determine whether the population wanted independence or not.
* The pro-independence campaign won the referendum by an overwhelming margin of 92% to 8%.
* In spite of violence, intimidation and vote theft by the Spanish authorities, 38.5% of the entire registered electorate successfully cast a vote in favour of independence, meaning that even had there been a very high overall turnout of as much as 76%, a victory for the pro-independence campaign would have been statistically certain.
* Braving a very real threat to their own personal liberty, government ministers acted to respect the will of the electorate by declaring an independent republic.
* An opinion poll published this week shows that there continues to be a majority in favour of independence (roughly 53% to 47%).
* Two very recent voting intention polls suggest that the pro-independence parties are on course to retain their overall majority in parliament in the December elections, and to win the popular vote once again.
Presumably aware of most or all of the above, Anne McElvoy of The Economist somehow felt able to indulge in the following musings on the BBC's Question Time tonight: "The facts are that there is not an overall appetite in Catalonia for independence, and sometimes the debate is conducted as if there were. And sometimes some of the framing of news reporting seems to suggest that there is. AND THERE IS NOT. If you want a LEGITIMATE pro-independence movement, then go out there, campaign for it, and get people on your side. The push for independence is, I think, over for the moment."
There comes a point where it's actually quite difficult to know how to argue with stupidity like that. What's truly inexplicable is that the host David Dimbleby didn't step in to correct (or at least challenge) such an obvious factual inaccuracy, and instead simply allowed viewers to be grossly misled.
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I touch on the subject of Catalonia in my article for this month's iScot magazine, which is now available. A preview of the article has been posted HERE, and you can purchase a digital copy of the magazine HERE.