NICOLA Sturgeon, the First Minister of the country which has BBC Scotland as its public service broadcaster, is on an official visit to the USA.

It's a two-day trip which aims to encourage investment and co-operation between Scotland and the US, and additionally to raise awareness of Scotland's unique position within the United Kingdom amongst American legislators.

It's a high profile visit during which the First Minister has met with the speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, one of the most important and influential politicians in the United States. Pelosi hailed the First Minister as a "real model to women everywhere".

The First Minister has also met with Wendy Sherman, the deputy Secretary of State and discussed the situation in Ukraine and the refugee crisis, as well as the Northern Ireland protocol, and of course Scottish independence and the constitutional future of the UK.

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While at least some of the most powerful and important politicians in the United States think that it's a high profile visit, the same cannot be said however of BBC Scotland, which has not deigned to mention it.

The visit of Rangers fans to Seville in order to watch twenty two men kick a ball around a field is considered by BBC Scotland to be a far more important and newsworthy event than a visit by the head of the Scottish Government to the USA in order to meet with some of that country's most powerful political leaders and to ensure that they are aware of Scotland's special circumstances as our country heads towards an independence referendum and the British Government threatens to unilaterally rip up the international deals which underpin peace in Northern Ireland and the UK's post-Brexit relationship with the European Union.

There was no mention at all of the First Minister's visit on the lunchtime edition of the BBC's "news where you are", and there is nothing about it on BBC Scotland's news website. There is however, plenty about that fitba match, just as there was plenty about it on the lunchtime TV news, because some man-children playing a game is of far greater import to the nation of Scotland than ensuring that powerful and influential American legislators are up to speed on the constitutional debate which defines modern Scottish politics. The BBC's current American editor is Sarah Smith, who was previously the Corporation's chief political editor in Scotland. She has been notable in her absence when it has come to reporting on the First Minister's American trip.

It is hard to escape the conclusion that the BBC has a fundamentally unserious view of Scotland and a desire to infantilise the country and prevent it from getting ideas of itself above those considered appropriate by an increasingly centralising British nationalist state. So instead of a proper and comprehensive news service we get a couthy and kitsch Och Aye the News.

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Appropriate topics for Scottish news consumption are murrdurrs, fitba, wee cute kittens, and of course anything that paints the Scottish Government in a bad light and undermines Scottish confidence in this country's ability to govern itself.

Meanwhile news stories which are good for independence, or which simply demonstrate that Scotland is taken seriously by the rest of the world are either ignored altogether or given a blink and you'd miss it treatment, while stories which are negative for independence or the Scottish Government dominate the news schedules for weeks on end.

This is not an isolated instance, it is part of a consistent pattern which has been evident ever since the SNP won a majority in the Holyrood elections of 2011 and the question of independence dominated the Scottish political scene.

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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