BRITANNIA is increasingly nasty and brutish, say a growing chorus of voices. If these assertions were from independence supporters, they might be easily ignored.

But they are not. Instead, it is increasingly English accents that rue the actions of this immoral Government, aided and abetted by a supine media.

It is reported that BBC News has lost one million viewers. Scots, in particular, will be horrified by the corporation’s bias and switching off in droves. This is hardly surprising when we learn that one of its Tory chiefs, Sir Robbie Gibb, told a news director not to investigate the Leave campaign’s notorious lie on the side of a bus promising Brexit would generate £350 million every week for the NHS.

Of course, it is always wise to take little of BBC Scotland’s news output at face value. Political stories are apt to be manipulated. Misleading language, missing context, pejorative tone, omissions, exaggerations and innuendo are often used in part or in full. Then again, professionalism is unlikely from members of an editorial team who have a record of incompetence elsewhere.

READ MORE: We must question the priorities of Scotland's media

And, finally exploding the myth that the BBC is free of government control, Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer, in response to Sophy Ridge of Sky News talking of the media, says: “I’m in charge of the BBC.”

Despite this rare outbreak of truth, lies are a commonplace for the Westminster government. It is now rare for a government minister to tell the truth, either by design or accident. As renowned novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn said of the extreme Stalinist regime: “We know they are lying.

“They know they are lying, “They know that we know they are lying.

“We know that they know that we know they are lying.

“And still, they continue to lie.”

This Tory government is not only mendacious, it also lacks humanity. Take this recent interview.

Robert Jenrick, the immigration minister, says of refugees: “They’re essentially asylum shoppers.” Journalist: “No, it is their right under the Refugee Convention to apply for asylum anywhere.” Jenrick replies, “the Refugee Convention says to seek asylum in the first safe country”. Journalist: “No it doesn’t, that is not true.”

Later, he doubled down on xenophobic language, saying people crossing the Channel “undermine cultural cohesiveness”. A description that may apply to many of you reading this column, by the way.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, claims the Illegal Migration Bill is not only in breach of international law, but is also deeply immoral.

He says international rules on the protection of refugees are not inconvenient obstructions to be got round by governments. Even if this bill were to stop the boats, which Welby thinks unlikely, it will not stop climate change, or international conflict.

The UNHCR has warned this could lead to the collapse of the international system for protecting refugees. “Is that what we want?” Welby asks. He agrees that the UK cannot take all refugees. But the legislation ignores the need to address the problem of refugees.

He goes on: “It is isolationist, it is morally unacceptable and politically impractical to let the poorest countries deal with the refugee crisis alone.”

He was saying this in the House of Lords that has 175 Labour peers. But few of them agreed with the cleric when it came to a vote. As so often happens when it comes to principles, the Labour Party are missing.

As Labour search around for a moral backbone, there is now growing alarm in the business community over the shambles that is Brexit.

Guy Hands, a leading City figure, and a former Tory donor, has called Brexit a “complete disaster” and a “bunch of total lies” that has harmed large parts of the economy.

Speaking on the third anniversary of the UK’s departure from the EU, he said: “It’s been a complete disaster. The reality is it’s been a lose-lose situation for us and Europe. Europe has lost, but we’ve lost as well.

“What Brexit was largely about was people at the top being able to employ the rest of the country for a lot less and pay a lot less tax.”

READ MORE: John Drummond: Monarchy fails to gain support from majority of Scots

The promised land for many Brexiters is a return to the days of a mythic British Empire. For example, lots of them believe that Britain conquered India to benefit Indians.

Here is the reality from Sir Charles Napier, governor of British India: “Our object in conquering India, the object of all our cruelties, was money. We shall yet suffer for the crime as sure as there is a God in heaven.”

India will soon overtake China as the most populous country in the world.

Jane McAllister is next week’s TNT show guest on IndyLive. Join us at 7pm on Wednesday May 17 for news of her exciting new film.