Bad losers are never an edifying sight. It’s far better to take it on the chin like a grown-up, and move on.

That’s why it’s so surprising that the Grangemouth petrochemical giant, Ineos, decided to sue the Scottish Government for banning fracking. And it’s downright cheeky of the £40 billion company to demand a multi-million pound sum in damages.

The government’s prolonged and sometimes painful public debate on whether or not to ban fracking for underground shale gas across the central belt was open, fair and quintessentially democratic. It was to be applauded. All sides were consulted, all views taken into account and a clear decision reached.

More than 60,000 people responded to the consultation, virtually all of them opposed to fracking. Expert reports were commissioned, with mixed conclusions. It difficult to see what more ministers could have done to help them come to a reasoned conclusion.

Yet, Ineos decided that it had to take the government to court, with proceedings beginning this week. The government’s “effective ban” on fracking was “a misuse of ministerial power” and “financially costly”, the company said.

It’s true of course that the Scottish ban may make it more politically difficult for Ineos to win the multiple arguments it’s now having over its plans to frack parts of England. It’s notable that the company has also resorted to two legal actions against its opponents south of the border.

But Ineos should accept that in Scotland it has lost the argument, and gracefully withdraw its claim for damages.