IT’S not every day that you see the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party adopt a phrase created by the only daily newspaper that supports independence.

In another failure by the Tories to stand up for Scotland, they have admitted that the phenomenon of Union Jackery exists.

READ MORE: Victory for National reader as M&S back down over 'Great British' whisky

The National has been running a campaign to Save Our Scotland Brand after readers spotted large numbers of items, mostly food and drink, on which retailers had slapped a Union Flag on items made in Scotland.

That’s despite the evidence that Scottish produce is much more sought after than “British” goods. We dubbed it “Union Jackery”.

One of the most blatant examples was brought to our attention by Dr Stewart Brown, who complained that on the Marks and Spencer website, the company had listed its whisky and gin as coming from the US, Ireland, India, England and Great Britain.

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No mention of Scotland – even though the whisky is Scotch. Now the Scottish Tories, in yet another spectacular own goal, have criticised the Scottish Government for tackling M&S on the issue.

Here’s their press release (with our thoughts in brackets):

SNP government officials pressured Marks and Spencer amid a ‘Union Jackery’ (© The National, 2017) row over food and drink labelling, it has emerged.

Nationalists were furious when the retailer listed whisky and Scottish gin under the ‘United Kingdom’ section of their website.

And after this was reported by a pro-independence publication (that’s us, folks) the SNP government immediately contacted M&S to demand an explanation.

Documents obtained under Freedom of Information by the Scottish Conservatives have revealed Rural Affairs Secretary Fergus Ewing was then briefed on the conversation with M&S.

He was told by officials: “Scottish Government officials spoke to M&S to seek clarity on the situation with regard to the status of these products on their website. M&S urgently investigated this and reverted back confirming that this was indeed an error which they immediately rectified and sent out a tweet apologising for their error.” (So M&S admitted they were wrong. Interesting...)

After M&S agreed to back down, the Scottish Government official then asked: “Do you guys plan to send any tweets or something to clarify the situation? Just wondering as I’m sure if you did Mr Ewing would respond positively.”

The FoI response also reveals First Minister Nicola Sturgeon received similar briefings over Tesco’s decision to sell Scottish strawberries under a Union Flag logo in 2016.

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser said: “There’s not a person in the world who doesn’t know whisky is Scottish (only if it is branded Scotch, Murdo!)

“But for the SNP to actively pressure a leading retailer in this way is petty and, frankly, a waste of public resources (or maybe it's the Scottish Government doing its job).

“It shows just how parochial the SNP government is, that it would sooner berate businesses for daring to refer to the UK, than actually help them create jobs and grow the economy. Instead of obsessing about Saltires and pandering to the extreme elements of the Yes movement (us extreme? have your read the Daily Express?) the SNP government should be getting on with representing the whole country.” (which country will that be Murdo?)

A Scottish Government spokesperson said last night: “We appreciate the commitment that M&S and many other major retailers make to Scottish high-quality food and drink. These documents show we raised concerns with the company in a constructive manner which were being expressed by the public – exactly as people would expect. Scotland’s food and drink sector is a huge international success story and it’s vital it’s promoted appropriately.”

The National will continue to expose Union Jackery to save Scotland’s brand. We invite anyone who cares for Scottish produce to do the same.