WE’RE living in a parallel universe. Here we are struggling and striving away but in the Tory conference bubble in the heart of Manchester, they are living in a different land entirely.

I can only imagine they are all transported daily into the conference hall from another planet. Or carefully guided in from the hotels and B&Bs with their eyes shut and their fingers in their ears, lest the unpleasant reality of life for ordinary folk intrudes.

I mean real lives lived in a country where Tory tax credit cuts will directly hurt 13 million people, three million of whom will lose more than £1,000 a year, every year, for the next five. A country where more and more children will be born into and grow up in poverty. A place where the Tory answer to the rising daily worries of how to afford food and accommodation and fares and children’s clothes is to “work harder”.

Theirs is a planet where, according to Theresa May, immigrants are stealing your job, ruining your country and making you poorer. Except that the Tory Government’s own assessment is that immigrants are not forcing people out of jobs or forcing wages down.

In fact, for people in low-paid jobs, those 13 million, it will be George Osborne’s cut to tax credits that will force them down even further. And grindingly so.

Nor is it immigration that makes it “impossible to build a cohesive society”. It is the neo-liberal economic ideology, to which this Tory Government is so thirled that heaps hardship and misery on those least able and least responsible for our country’s economic woes. It is cuts to tax credits and failure to invest in public services that contribute to economic health. The failure to lift a finger to help the growing numbers toiling in the face of in-work poverty, or to end the system of penalising sick and disabled people with ill conceived and failure ridden benefit assessments whose only noticeable feature is their lack of compassion. It is the cynical spin that trumpets increased house building, while promoting the sell-off of affordable homes, and takes not one step to curtail landlord profiteering.

All of this, and much more besides, makes social cohesion impossible. It’s not immigration. It’s Tory ideology. But just when the Tory conference was playing out true to form with Osborne and May along comes first Boris with his new cloak as “Mr Social Justice” and then David with his “all-out assault on poverty” and his intention to tackle“deep social problems” and increase social mobility.

How is that possible when everything the Tory Government does is an attack on the poorest and the most vulnerable? When every stroke of Osborne’s budget pen sees services cut and wages reduced? When coming down their legislation line is a Bill to remove what remaining rights working people have to protect themselves and their livelihoods? And when tucked in their back pocket is an intent to remove basic human rights from every one of us? The answer is that all of this, all the words and the apparent contradictions and the standing ovations, are about power. Who will have it when David goes as he has said he will? May, Johnson, Osborne, all setting out their stall and pitching to be next in line.

So the soft words about social justice and attacks on poverty are just that – words. Words to cajole and deflect, words to soothe and calm. So we won’t notice our neighbours struggling. We’ll accept rising numbers of food banks and more families forced to rely on them. We’ll believe that Ruth’s brighter dawn is coming and that Osborne really is “George the Builder”. All we have to do is knuckle down and work harder. And if anyone around us is suffering, well they’re either not trying hard enough or they’ve been put in that position by “immigrants”.

Cynical, exploitative, manipulative. That’s the politics we’ve seen writ large in the Tories’ Manchester bubble. Right-wing action in government, centre ground words in public.

We’ve been here before, facing manipulative, cynical politics. The politics that told us Scotland mattered, that Scotland and all who live and work here are a valued and valuable part of the United Kingdom. We were love-bombed. Wearyingly so. But only for a wee while.

Now, we are so “valued” that the promises are ditched, the agreements torn up and the warm words abandoned. The Scotland Bill is a sham and every attempt to bring it even a little closer to what we were told it would bring us that has so far been made by those we elected to represent us, has been dismissed by Tory MPs who don’t even bother to listen to the arguments.

So we won’t be fooled by the soft cloak of words Boris or David or George try to throw over their actions. We’ll keep on pointing to the truth of what they are doing to millions of people and pointing out the lies they are telling. And we’ll keep doing that to make sure we won’t be fooled again.