The press attacks on Nicola Sturgeon, for having the audacity to lead a party which may enjoy increased influence within the House of Commons when the dust settles after the upcoming General Election, have been pretty nasty, and often deeply misogynistic, for some weeks now: for papers like the Daily Mail, there is rather less attention given to her politics than to the way she dresses.
Dangerous? Come off it
But today the Super Soaraway Currant Bun has gone way beyond that: in a barrage of pure spite, and in a move that is only going to increase hostility, and not just across Scotland, towards the cheaper end of the Fourth Estate and the party it wants to win - that would be the Tories - the paper has dredged up a decades-old suggestion that a young Nicola, er, cut the hair off her sister’s doll.
“Earlier this week, Ms Sturgeon offered the rest of the UK a ‘hand of friendship’ as she said the Scottish National Party was ready to put Ed Miliband into Downing Street … But today The Sun reveals the lengths to which the 44-year-old has gone in her quest for power - which prove she will stop at nothing to achieve her ultimate goal of Scottish independence”. Like, er, becoming Alex Salmond’s deputy.
[UPDATE 1705 hours: as the BBC's Glenn Campbell has noted, this story is in fact more than five months old, having been reported by the Corporation on 19 November last, so good to see the Sun acknowledging that it lifted it - or rather not.
Worse, the line about cutting the hair off her younger sister's doll was selectively edited by the Murdoch faithful to make Ms Sturgeon's relationship with Gillian Owens look worse. This is the full version: "She used to tease me quite a bit and she used to cut the hair off my Barbie dolls, but apart from that she was a lovely sister" [my emphasis].
Anyone might think that the Sun's assembled hacks and pundits are desperate - as well as being unable to credit the hated BBC]