THE Conservatives and their pals are getting pretty desperate. In a transparent attempt to stir up some badly needed SNPbaddery in order to provide an "Oh look, a squirrel!" moment to distract public attention from their mounting troubles with the widespread anger about their sleaze, corruption and destruction of decent standards of behaviour in public office, they have set loose not one but two diversionary squirrels, both of which died of mange almost as soon as they were set free upon the dead tree media.

The first deceased squirrel was the attempt by the Conservatives' pals in the right-wing press to put pressure on the First Minister by accusing her of “abandoning” her duties at the Scottish Parliament. Only in the diminished and county-councilfied Scotland of the imaginations of net curtain twitching British nationalists could it possibly be considered a bad thing that the leader of a nation's government should have the temerity to meet with world leaders attending a vital international conference being held in that nation's largest city.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon hits back at claims she 'abandoned' Holyrood

The truly remarkable thing here is not that the leader of the Scottish Government, along with the leaders of the other significant parties represented at Holyrood, and Alex Cole-Hamilton as well, showed their faces at a globally important conference which is actually being held in Scotland. Of course, the Scottish First Minister should be there, it would be incredible if she were not.

What is truly remarkable is that members of the press which purports to inform the people of Scotland about what is newsworthy and important seriously thought that the Scottish First Minister needed to justify her presence. That speaks volumes about the limited, trivial and narrow place that certain apologists for the British state believe Scotland ought to occupy.

The second dead squirrel was the attempt by Tory defence secretary Ben Wallace to distract from his party's woes by accusing two SNP MPs, David Linden and Drew Hendry, of being drunk and disorderly on an official trip to Gibraltar to participate in Armistice Day commemorations. Because everyone knows that Scottish people are violent and abusive alcoholics, right?

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Wallace presumably "forgot" that a couple of his Tory colleagues on the visit were out drinking heavily until the wee small hours and were visibly hungover at the official ceremony. The SNP MPs have strongly denied the accusation and say that it's clear that Wallace is simply making an attempt to distract from the Conservatives' difficulties. Naturally the story was picked up by the BBC, so job done.

Meanwhile the Scottish Tories are nursing the self-inflicted wounds caused by the sleaze and corruption scandal.

They are not upset that their party is fuelled by dodgy money from anonymous donors, nor that too many Conservative MPs have well-paid second jobs which create a clear conflict of interest. They are not upset by the attack on democracy due to their leaders' attempts to abolish independent scrutiny and oversight. They are certainly not upset that that leader is a serial liar driven solely by his own self-interest. They're not upset by the way in which pals and associates of senior government figures are routinely given lucrative government contracts without proper oversight.

No, what's upsetting them is that the public outcry about all these things is making them look bad because it draws attention to the fact that they have been perfectly happy to acquiesce in the transformation of the UK into a failed democracy and a corrupt kleptocracy.

This piece is an extract from today's REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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