It doesn’t, of course. (We have it on good authority that the old-school-Tory broadsheet considers the Islamic-fundamentalist terrorist organisation to be “a bit soft“ on homosexuality.) But as a headline, our statement is every bit as valid as the ridiculous one the paper has rather embarrassingly chosen to run on its front page today.
“SNP backs ‘devo-plus’ for independence vote”, hollers the once-august organ, possibly causing more naive readers to imagine that the SNP might have backed ‘devo-plus‘ for the independence vote. The marginally more wary would perhaps have been further persuaded by an opening paragraph which reads “The SNP wants the devo-plus option, which would see Holyrood take control of most taxes, included on the referendum ballot as an alternative to full independence.”
But of course, no such thing – or anything remotely close to it – has actually happened. Dig a few lines deeper and what you find is that some unnamed, unquoted “Nationalists” (who may or may not be in the SNP) have allegedly said that if “a strong body of opinion lines up behind devo-plus” (whatever that actually means), the Scottish Government might agree to include it on the referendum ballot.
(Despite the fact that on last night’s Newsnight Scotland, the proponents of devo-plus, including Jeremy Purvis and Tavish Scott, said that they didn’t want the option included in the vote at all. They want it to replace the status quo as the “No” choice.)
So to recap: some people who weren’t prepared to give their names have supposedly made comments which the paper has interpreted to mean that if certain vague conditions are met in the future something else might happen, in theory, despite that thing not being desired or supported even by the people who invented it. Quite the scoop for the Scotsman’s ace reporters – and for the high journalistic standards of the Scottish media as a whole – there, I’m sure we’d all agree.