IT'S a tale of two tweets, or rather three. Earlier this week when news of Scottish school students’ exam results came out, Nicola Sturgeon sent a tweet congratulating them on their results, and that was pretty much that. It was a pleasantry, the sort of thing you expect from a politician.

Labour leadership contender Kezia Dugdale sent a tweet congratulating students on their exam success too. Only Kezia’s tweet went on to say it was a shame that the Scottish Government had made students’ lives so much harder. Kezia just can’t help herself, she suffers from what seems like a compulsive obsessive disorder and is obliged to turn every statement into a political attack on the SNP. She blames the SNP’s mismanagement of NHS Scotland for that.

A card from Kezia must be a joy if you’re misfortunate enough to be one of her friends or relatives. Congratulations on your engagement, it’s just a shame that 50 per cent of marriages end in bitter divorce thanks to the SNP. I’m so happy you’re having a baby, but labour pains last three times as long thanks to the SNP. Merry Christmas! What a pity that Santa won’t be visiting you because of the division among elves caused by the SNP.

Even when Kezia is asked to explain Labour policy, she uses the question as a launchpad into yet another attack on the SNP. Kezia talks about the SNP more than the SNP do, and that’s quite remarkable considering the party was formerly led by a man who was accused of everything under the sun except being too shy to do a bit of self promotion. The tweet spawned its own hashtag #TweetLikeKez, and the entire Twitter population of Scotland amused itself by sending tweets in the style of Kezia. The Scottish Government was condemned and asked to apologise for everything from the extinction of the dinosaurs, the real ones not the Labour ones, to milk going off in the fridge.

Kezia hasn’t apologised to the kids because their lives have been made harder by the austerity cuts that her party didn’t oppose, it’s only what the Scottish Government do that’s reprehensible in Kezia’s universe.

Labour’s failure to vote against the Tory cuts to the social security safety net, making it more hole than net, didn’t warrant an apology to the kids whose families will fall through those holes. It’s going to make their lives a whole lot harder, but then they’re not the strivey achievey voters in Lab-Con marginals in Middle Englandshire that most of the national Labour leadership candidates want to appeal to, so they can be safely ignored.

That didn’t stop Kezia demanding that the Scottish Government spell out what they were going to do to protect the poor and vulnerable of Scotland from the Tory policies that Kezia’s party didn’t oppose.

Anyway, even though the SNP are responsible for all human and inhuman evil, Osborne’s budget wasn’t the SNP’s fault, and if you can’t demand that Sturgeon apologise there’s no point in turning up for work. This probably explains why during the benefits cuts debate the Labour benches in the House of Commons were occupied by tumbleweed – otherwise known as the Honourable Member for Edinburgh South.

This is why Natalie McGarry, the SNP MP for Glasgow East, had the bright idea of occupying the unoccupied benches of the official opposition. The SNP are the only effective opposition anywhere in the UK right now. Kezia hasn’t apologised for that either.

This is the difference between a politician who understands statecraft, and an over-promoted councillor. Alicsammin might have been a master of self-promotion, but he’d never have used a congratulatory note to teenagers as an opportunity to score points. There’s a time and a place for criticising the Scottish exam system, it’s not when congratulating teenagers on their exam success.

This is the snide small mindedness that has driven Labour out of power at Holyrood, that wiped out their Scottish Westminster contingent, and looks set to keep them out for the foreseeable future.

Judging by the media reaction, you’d almost believe that they were hoping for bad results in order to criticise the Scottish Government for failing students being failed by the SNP. But that didn’t happen. This year Scottish students excelled themselves so instead we had carping that the exams were too easy and the maths exam was too hard and the pass rate had to be reduced.

So the exam was too hard but passing it was too easy. The SNP need to explain themselves. This was the lead story on Reporting Scotland, not the fact that a record number of Scottish students have been accepted for university this year. It’s not just Kezia Dugdale who suffers from Kezitis – the uncontrollable urge to blame the Scottish Government and the SNP for all and any failing.

Of course the SNP and the Scottish Government should be held to account. Of course they should be criticised when criticism is due, but we have a directionless opposition which is bereft of any clear idea of what it stands for apart from SNP Bad, and we have a media which is utterly unrepresentative of the population as a whole.

What your average Scottish political commentator defines as centre ground, approximately half the Scottish population would define as outright Tory. And this unrepresentative media is equally prone to screaming SNP Bad at the slightest provocation. The less the voting public listen to their not so sage advice, the louder they scream.

This has now become a serious problem for Scottish democracy. The instinctive reaction of much of the media is to condemn a party which is supported by over half of those who vote, and those voters are increasingly no longer listening to the cries of SNP wolf. In fact the denunciations are having the opposite effect, hundreds of thousands of perfectly reasonable people have switched off and should there be a really serious reason to criticise the SNP they’re not going to listen.

And that will have been the fault of a biased and unrepresentative media and an opposition party that confuses knee-jerk demands for resignations with effective opposition. Every time they call out SNP Bad, they’re hammering another nail in the coffin of their own credibility.