The National:

WHILE we are all used to Scottish Labour being a little behind the curve, today they managed to miss the thing altogether.

Ahead of Labour MSP Iain Gray speaking on Good Morning Scotland today, host Gary Robertson tweeted: “Following the new restrictions being put in place @scottishlabour is calling on ministers to publish the evidence behind all its decisions. They say it's needed to ensure public consent and compliance. We'll speak to @IainGrayMSP #bbcgms 0715.”

Unlike some of Labour’s recent demands (like the vaccine rollout happening 70% faster than it currently is, a demand that caused the First Minister to point out that she is not “magic”) this one is quite reasonable.

READ MORE: Former Labour minister says independent Scotland 'can't come soon enough'

The request for the Scottish Government to publish the evidence behind its decisions is so reasonable it would be surprising if they refused. Scottish Labour however, were very surprised to find out the Government had in fact already done so.

Reminding the BBC journalist (who seems not to have bothered checking Labour’s attack line) of this fact, Nicola Sturgeon replied simply: “Here’s the evidence paper we published yesterday.”

She also included a link, presumably to save the BBC from having to do any research at all. (You can find the paper here by the way.) 

Incidentally, The National was sent that research paper ahead of the First Minister’s announcement at Holyrood on January 4, so it’s only fair to assume the BBC and Scottish Labour were privy to the same information.

When Gray, the Scottish Labour education spokesperson, spoke on Good Morning Scotland just 25 minutes after the First Minister's tweet, the topic was conspicuous in its absence.

What he did say was that the new restrictions were “regrettable, difficult, and necessary because of the huge increase of infections” - so we must assume he’d had a quick scan of the data.

The Labour MSP also said the new coronavirus variant had made lockdown “unavoidable”, adding: “Our colleagues in Westminster were calling for much stronger restrictions towards lockdown already last week and indeed before Christmas.”

READ MORE: 'Irresponsible' MSP attacks lockdown 'madness' in furious Facebook rant

This is an interesting claim. Yes, Keir Starmer did call for a national lockdown, but only after Boris Johnson had already said restrictions were “probably about to get tougher”. And that was on Sunday January 3, so whether that counts as “last week” is highly debatable.

The UK Labour leader also called for schools in England to be closed, but only hours before the Prime Minister went on TV to announce just that. What’s more, everyone already had a pretty good idea of what Johnson was going to say, thanks to the Tories’ propensity for leaks.

In fact, as host Laura Maxwell pointed out, Labour shadow ministers had been doing media interviews over the weekend saying schools should remain open. Gray dodged this question admirably, pretending his colleagues in London had been talking about closing schools altogether and learning coming to an end.

One last thing: why did Gray mention his colleagues in Westminster, and not those in Holyrood? Could it be because Richard Leonard actually seemed to call for an easing of lockdown, allowing the hospitality sector to serve alcohol across longer opening hours, just one week ago?

Surely not.