What's the big story today? The Independent gives the answer in its headline and lead story - MPs and expenses: the final damning verdict - 'Culture of dishonesty at Westminster allowed politicians to line their pockets
The figures tell the sorry tale - a majority of MPs (52%) are named by Legg as making excessive claims, and a total of £1.16m must be repaid. In other words, most of our elected representatives in this corrupt Parliament and decaying democracy are guilty of ripping off the people who elected them. This cesspit was presided over and defended by one Michael Martin, a Labour MP who held the office of Speaker, who resigned in disgrace, and who is now a Lord.
The highest dodgy claim was made by a Labour Baroness, Barbara Follett. A number of Labour MPs, including notable Scottish examples, are in disgrace over their claims, and will not contest their seats at the general election. Some may face criminal prosecution.
Is this the big story in the Herald? Of course not - something had to be found to obscure the evidence of the rotten political system in this United Kingdom; the Scottish people had to be focused on something else and quickly, and the Herald rose to the challenge, closely followed as always by STV.
The STV newsreader quaintly described the number of MPs on the fiddle as "over 300". Well, yes - if you regard 390 as simply being "over 300". Perhaps "almost 400" might have been closer to the truth.
The First Minister and the Deputy First Minister had been fund raising for the SNP through a method used by political parties everywhere throughout political history - fund raising lunches and dinners with senior party figures. I was going to say time-honoured - or hallowed by time - but frankly these practices are neither honourable nor hallowed. I wish my party wouldn't use them, especially when they involve the use of Parliamentary premises. However honourable the intent or the implementation, they smack of favours for cash.
But this example must be placed in context. The SNP is faced with hostile media, biased to the Union. The kind of donors eagerly and profitably solicited by the major parties would not support the SNP, nor would the SNP accept their tarnished support. But the Tories have a long record of this, indeed one might almost say it is what Tories are all about. Labour is up to its neck in it, through its noble Lords and its MPs and Cabinet Ministers, often getting into bed with the very people that are profiting from the UK's lunatic and suicidal wars. The LibDems recently accepted a massive donation from a convicted criminal and refused point blank to give the money back.
Nonetheless, this kind of thing is a bit of an own goal. Gonnae no dae that again, Alex and Nicola?