The holier than thou sneer, sadly, comes easily to many of our politicians when they see things of which they’re sometimes guilty but which they declare to be beneath contempt when committed by others. This has never been so apparent than in relation to President Donald Trump’s war with the press. His ban, or at least exclusion from official briefings, of certain media outlets could never, ever, happen here, say some British politicians from the saddles of their high horses.

The truth is, of course, somewhat different. It is a fact that as of now there is no formal outlawing of any branch of the British media, so far as I know, by any of our political parties but things have only got to get a bit, well, nasty – from their point of view – for our tribunes to reach for the big stick.

Older political correspondents than your author will remember the days – happily short-lived – when press secretary Jo Haines suspended Number Ten lobby briefings after Prime Minister Harold Wilson got fed up with the press he’d been receiving.

But there was a much more recent ban perpetrated, interestingly enough, by a one-time bosom buddy of Mr Trump. The evening of Friday, September 19, 2014 saw then First Minister Alex Salmond convene a press conference at Bute House, his official Edinburgh residence, to respond to the defeat he’d just experienced in the referendum on Scottish independence.

It was at this event that he announced his resignation as head of the Scottish Government and leader of the SNP. But I could only watch the departure of Wee Eck, to use his widely used nickname, on television for the simple reason that I and all my colleagues on the Daily Telegraph were formally excluded from the press conference. We weren’t the only ones. The Daily Mail suffered a similar fate, as did the Scottish correspondent of the Guardian.

The latter case was perhaps strangest of all. Mr Salmond would not have Severin Carrell at his presser but named another Guardian hack who could be accommodated. It is to the everlasting credit of that newspaper that it decided to tell Mr Salmond, metaphorically of course, to get stuffed and refused to replace Mr Carrell.

From my point of view, as then Scottish editor of The Daily Telegraph, I had little doubt as to my best course of action. When the first two Telegraph reporters were turned away by Mr Salmond at the door of Bute House, I sent two more to see if one of them could slip past the “bouncers”. One of them videoed Mr Salmond’s “goons” – Scottish government civil servants – turning away those dubbed undesirable by the then First Minister. Sad to say the video also shows – to their everlasting shame – other Scottish journalists walking past their banned colleagues and into the Salmond press conference.

The official reason for the ban was that there wasn’t enough room for everyone in the Bute House briefing room. That was complete nonsense, as the situation viz-a-viz the Guardian proves conclusively.

The simple truth was that Mr Salmond couldn’t bear the idea of those who had most opposed him throughout the referendum campaign – and I speak only for myself and my Telegraph colleagues in this respect – sitting there, gloating at his downfall.

I’m bound to say that whilst I certainly wouldn’t have gloated – I was too knackered for that – I will admit that I might have managed a smirk.

British, including Scottish, politicians should desist from the high moral tone they’ve adopted over President Trump and the Press.

They can’t ever admit it but in their heart of hearts they know they’d love to do the same.