So another 24 hours go by, and still absolutely nobody in the Scottish media thinks it at all newsworthy that the country's main opposition party has a deliberate policy of refusing to support ANY Parliamentary motion put forward by the SNP, regardless of its merits. We wish we were more surprised.
Scotland Tonight, which at least engages with its viewers on Twitter, claimed its reporting team were "not excited" by the astonishing revelation, openly and publicly made by a Labour MP, that Scotland's second-biggest political party was more interested in party advantage than the interests of the people. Newsnight Scotland and Reporting Scotland both ignored the story, as did all of the nation's newspapers.
The Herald and Scotsman did both run tiny pieces on the less-interesting prelude that brought the news to light (Labour's ham-fisted refusal to vote against George Osborne's 50p tax cut for the rich), but neither could find even half a sentence in passing to mention the much more significant discovery of the Bain Principle.
The other story covered by Wings over Scotland yesterday DID manage to secure a lot more media attention, though. Following on from the Telegraph and Caledonian Mercury, both Scottish broadsheets were able to find large amounts of space to repeat the powderpuff story about Alex Salmond offering a couple of long-standing SNP members a cup of tea and a biscuit in Bute House.
The Herald put it on the front page – in a piece so poorly researched and edited that it managed to knock £30m off the value of the Weirs' Euromillions jackpot (repeatedly giving the amount as £131m rather than the actual £161m) – and presented the story as dramatically as possible, giving plenty of space to Labour's Paul Martin to make lurid accusations which the paper depicted neutrally (Martin merely "said" things) while it portrayed the SNP spokesman's response as angry and defensive, using phrases like "The First Minister's most senior aide stormed…" and "reacted with fury" .
The Scotsman, meanwhile, outdid its rival with TWO separate stories, featuring on the front page of the website and as the lead item in each of the "Scotland", "UK" and "Politics" sections. And this, remarkably, happened despite the paper also running a leader column which explicitly noted that the Weirs' donation did NOT belong in the same category as those that have been solicited and/or covered up by Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems:
"At the heart of this affair there is a serious problem for political parties. They need money to run expensive campaigns. People who give large sums of money tend to be those who do not hand over cash without expecting something in return. There are people who simply believe in the party cause – the lottery winners who have given £1m to the SNP, for example – but they are few and far between."
It probably goes without saying that the Daily Record also managed to cover the Weirs' so-called "tea party", and it also ran it twice – though it should be noted that both pieces were handled rather more soberly and even-handedly than either of its two supposedly more grown-up counterparts – but didn't consider either Willie Bain's admission or Labour's tax-rate abstention to be worthy of even a few lines.
Supporters of independence are often accused of paranoia by the Scottish media, but no belief is paranoid if it's true. The embarrassingly transparent attempt by the press to bury the story of the Bain Principle, while devoting page after page after page to repeatedly casting aspersions on an entirely legitimate, open and above-board donation which the SNP conspicuously announced the moment it happened and which absolutely everyone accepts was not made with any ulterior motive or seeking any benefit, will do nothing but fuel the nationalists' fire.