Michael Moore (aka "the man who gave us votes at 16 by opposing it") furiously spins for Blighty in the US edition of the Huffington Post -
"Scotland is facing an historic decision in 2014: whether to remain as part of the United Kingdom or to leave and go it alone."
Unionistspeak-to-English translation - Scotland is facing an historic decision in 2014: whether it wants to be an independent country...or not.
"Scotland's nationalist First Minister Alex Salmond is in America this week and will seek to persuade Americans that Scots want independence, that it is our destiny and that U.S. relations with Scotland will only improve should it happen. On all counts, I believe that this analysis is flawed."
Well, Scottish relations with the US will actually exist if independence happens, so presumably that would represent an improvement of sorts. On the other points, would it be too cynical of me to suggest that Mr Moore is attempting to set up a straw man, roughly analogous to the following -
"Nick Clegg is in Canberra this week, and will seek to persuade Australians that the people of Britain are positively gagging for majority Lib Dem rule, and that it is his own personal destiny to become President Eternal. I believe his analysis is somewhat flawed."
"As a UK Government Minister, living in Scotland, representing Scottish interests at a UK level..."
People who 'represent Scottish interests' are, as a general rule, elected to do so by the people of Scotland. Conversely, someone handpicked by David Cameron and Nick Clegg is rather more likely to be representing UK interests at a Scottish level. To give Mr Moore his due, he carries out that role diligently.
"Leaving the UK has always been the ambition of Mr Salmond and his Scottish National Party. But polls have always shown that this is not the case for most Scots. Around two-thirds of people in Scotland are always in the 'no' column when asked to express a view on breaking up Britain."
Hmmm. This is what is technically known as a "lie", Michael. No ifs, no buts, no ambiguity. There has not been a single poll on independence in the last two decades that has shown anything even close to two-thirds of people in the No column. Indeed, roughly half of polls this year have shown that fewer than 50% of the electorate support Mr Moore's desire for Scotland to remain in the UK. The highest figure for the No side has been 55% with Ipsos-Mori, and the lowest was just 46% with Panelbase.
What Mr Moore apparently thinks is perfectly OK to do is to treat a response of 'Don't Know' as if it was identical to a 'No'. If I was someone who was genuinely undecided about independence, and who was weighing up how to vote with the seriousness that such an important decision deserves, I would be hopping mad at this man's breathtaking arrogance in thinking he can declare on my behalf that I'm simply a 'slow-learning No voter'.
"With huge challenges facing the global economy, it doesn't make sense to most of us to erect market barriers with our largest market and nearest neighbours -- England, Wales and Northern Ireland."
There's a thing called the European Single Market, isn't there? Or did I just dream that?
"With a strong position in Europe, it doesn't make sense either to have to negotiate new entry terms to the European Union, casting doubt over our opt-out from the euro."
As someone brilliantly put it the other day - "if Scotland becomes independent, we'll be thrown out of the European Union and forced to join the euro!" That'll be a neat trick, even by the standards of those beastly Eurocrats.
Of course, if we really want to maintain a "strong position in Europe", it might be best not to remain as part of a country that, if current polls are anything to go by, is fairly likely to leave the EU after an in/out referendum in a few years' time. Just a thought.
"And with emerging security threats -- North Korea, Iran, Syria -- it doesn't make sense to us to split up our Armed Forces and adopt a divided stance on foreign policy."
Another UK government minister who thinks we mustn't become independent just in case North Korea decides to invade Scotland in 2043. Yes, folks, they really think we're that stupid.
"I am part of the overwhelming majority in Scotland who believe we are stronger, safer and better off together within the family of the United Kingdom."
Would that "overwhelming majority" be the same imaginary two-thirds majority you mentioned earlier? Yes, that'll be the one.
"Scots are sceptical of the SNP's assurances that, after independence, everything would either stay the same, or be better."
Would it be horrid of me to point out that Scots are even more sceptical of the unionist parties' claims that everything would be better and somehow totally different to what has gone before if we vote for the no change option in 2014?
* * *
I have a small confession to make. I was at the Glasgow 'Thatcher party' yesterday - for about thirty seconds, by complete accident. My eye was caught by the colourful communist flags and a TV van, so I wandered over to find out what was going on.
* * *
I have a new article at the International Business Times. It was written a couple of weeks ago, in case it doesn't seem entirely topical! You can read it HERE.