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Is 'The Sun' a Different Colour in Scotland?

22/04/2015 16:55 BST | Updated 21/06/2015 10:59 BST

Pick up a copy of The Sun in England today and you can read the sort of Labour-bashing front page that Britain's biggest tabloid newspaper has been doing pretty well for months. "Slave Labour" tells the story of a would-be MP paying interns less than the minimum wage.

Inside a two-page spread warns there is "fury at blackmail by Scots", with SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon branded "Stur Crazy" for her "crackpot plans [set] to cost £140m". The piece includes a clear warning that a vote for Ed Miliband is a vote for the Nats' left wing agenda.

All pretty much as you would expect.

According to today's Independent, proprietor Rupert Murdoch lambasted The Sun for not kicking Labour enough in the run-up to the General Election. An (inevitably) unnamed source said: "Rupert made it very clear he was unhappy with The Sun's coverage of the election. He basically said the future of the company was at stake and they need to get their act together."

He has a point.

Labour's unequivocal pledge to implement in full the recommendations by the Leveson Inquiry mean News UK would have to sell off one of its newspaper titles to get below a new threshold that would limit media companies from controlling more than 34% of the UK media market.

It's not surprising Mr Murdoch wants to see his biggest media asset, The Sun, to be working tirelessly to get the Conservatives into government.

But it's a tall order, even for Britain's biggest daily paper.

And you might think that Rupert Murdoch was undermining his own cause if you were in Scotland this morning.

There, the front page couldn't be different. "Sturgeon's vow to Britain" is "We can make it better together."

North of the border, the Scottish Sun's editorial line is markedly different - with coverage of the SNP generally positive.

Given that the Nationalists are running at 50 per cent in the polls in Scotland, the Sun is less inclined to alienate its readers.

But, surely it's appalling hypocrisy to lampoon a party in one country and give it free publicity in another?

In my opinion, Rupert Murdoch has some distinctive qualities. Investing in journalism is one and loyalty is another.

Many of his journalists who have recently faced trial over paying public officials will strongly and rightly dispute his loyalty. But he has long admired Alex Salmond, once employing him as a columnist and frequently dining with him. He admires the Scot's fierce intellect and his disregard for the Establishment.

Also, it's important to remember that the SNP won't get a single vote from England and therefore don't care two hoots about what the press here say about them there.

Finally, and most importantly, if Ed Miliband does make it to Downing Street will that firm commitment to implement the Leveson reforms be backed by the SNP?

I wouldn't count on it.