TO go public or maintain a dignified silence? That was the question confronting us last week in the face of the latest intimidatory tactics employed by Carmarthenshire county council.

Newspapers occasionally display an over-inflated sense of their own importance so, in going public on County Hall’s advertising boycott would we ourselves be guilty of navel-gazing?

In the end, the decision was effectively made for us. For a number of weeks now there has been mounting speculation about the Guardian’s relationship with County Hall – the odd tweet here and there, the occasional enquiry from a reader.

Then the story hit the blogosphere (the full sorry saga can be read on Y Cneifiwr) and, finally, attracted the attention of the national media.

So, in a sense, our hand was forced.Yet the fact a local business is suffering as a result of the county council’s actions surely constitutes news?

This unofficial advertising boycott was a direct response to our no-holds-barred editorial condemning a county council press release accusing Plaid politicians Jonathan Edwards and Rhodri Morgan of “deliberately sabotaging” Sainsbury’s Llandeilo planning application by getting it called-in by the Welsh Assembly.

We rightly anticipated repercussions, voiced our concerns to the county council’s press office - and have the e-mails to prove it. Sure enough, council leader Kevin Madge was duly reported to the Ombudsman.

The backlash against us was swift, but in striking back at the Guardian the council has scored an own goal.

The paper is still read my most people in its Amman Valley heartlands and, by not advertising local events, the council is effectively shooting itself in the foot.