AS Boris Johnson continues with his own unique interpretation of government the reasons why Scotland should leave the United Kingdom pile up.

Brexit was obviously a red flag that the Union was no longer working for us but each week brings new Westminster disgraces that by rights should have us queueing up for the exit.

In recent days alone these have included:

a) A reduction of Britain’s foreign aid so shameful that its own MPs – even Theresa May – are revolting against it;

b) A threat to peace in Northern Ireland so serious that the president of the United States feels compelled to speak out against it;

c) The ongoing disaster of Brexit which yesterday saw “peace talks” between Britain and the EU end with no agreement as European patience “wear thin” while a trade war looms over, of all things, sausages.

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Each one of these should be enough to push support of independence towards the 60% mark and yet it still sits somewhat below that. Independence supporters become increasingly irate at Westminster’s behaviour but those outside that bubble seem to shrug and move on.

I’m becoming more certain, however, that apathy won’t last for long. Westminster blunders, mishaps and scandals are contributing to the slow destruction of Boris Johnson’s moral authority to govern, not just in Scotland but in the UK as a whole.

Yesterday saw the Westminster government being found wanting yet again, this time over cronyism and the appearance of bias in the awarding of Covid contracts.

There was a time when a ruling by a high court judge that the British Government broke the law over the awarding of contracts would have shaken the pillars of government.

Yet ministers pretty much decided to ignore yesterday’s court decision that the government acted unlawfully when Michael Grove awarded a £560,000 contract to a company run by former colleagues of his.

The contract went to the market research agency Public First, whose founding partners Rachel Wolf and James Frayne, both had links to senior Tory government figures.

Frayne worked alongside Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings at the Department of Education. Wolf had worked as an adviser to Michael Gove and Cummings.

The Good Law Project took legal action against Gove’s decision, claiming that the contract was awarded because that was exactly what Cummings wanted to happen.

Yesterday Mrs Justice O’Farrell backed the Good Law Project position. She said: “The claimant is entitled to a declaration that the decision of June 5 2020 to award the contract to Public First gave rise to apparent bias and was unlawful.”

And she added: “The defendant’s failure to consider any other research agency, by reference to experience, expertise, availability or capacity, would lead a fair-minded and informed observer to conclude that there was a real possibility, or a real danger, that the decision-maker was biased.”

You might think that such a verdict was pretty damning for a government but you would be seriously underestimating the current British Government’s talent for deception and skill.

The Cabinet Office claimed the judgment makes clear there was no suggestion of actual bias and that the decision to award the contract was not due to any personal or professional connections.

I think most people would agree instead with Good Law Project director Jo Maugham (below) when he said: “This is not government for the public good – it is government for the good of friends of the Conservative Party.’’

The National:

If it’s no longer necessary for the British Government to remain within the law in its dealing with public money what laws - or even moral code – does it have to obey?

This and other failures to live up to the moral standards expected of those in high public office will eventually erode public trust in the British Government. And once trust is gone the government’s authority will crumble.

Scotland is lucky in that it has another government to compare Westminster to … and when it does so Boris Johnson will be found wanting.

That’s not to suggest that the Scottish Government has done everything right in its response to the pandemic and in particular to the difficulties of managing the re-emergence from lockdown.

The hospitality industry in particular has been deeply unhappy, particularly in Glasgow, at the length of time restrictions have been imposed on businesses.

And there has been confusion over plans for a Euro 2020 fanzone at Glasgow Green, where 6000 ticketholders a day will be able to watch matches on large screens.

There’s certainly a perception that the Scottish Government has gone from a very cautious position to a surprisingly relaxed one.

But there is also an acknowledgment that the Covid pandemic is an unprecedented crisis and there is no rule book to follow for best practice. The public can tell the difference between a government trying its best to do the right thing and a government which takes advantage of a terrible situation to help out its friends.

This has not been the only way in which Westminster has sought to use Covid to its own advantage. While demanding that the SNP “gets on with the day job” the Tories divert energy and time to devising ever more ludicrous plans to undermine any campaign for independence.

They have, for example, found the time to enlist the support of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge to underline what it imagines are the benefits of the Union.

They have somehow managed to dream up a “save the Union” strategy which includes ordering diplomats to portray the UK as a single entity rather than a combination of different countries – to lie, in other words.

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While demanding the SNP put the campaign for independence on the back burner Westminster is very much ramping up its own campaign.

You don’t have to think very hard to imagine the reaction of Unionist parties of the SNP were to use the same tactics as the Tories. Look, for example, at the loud braying from opposition MSPs when SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson had the temerity to even mention independence at Holyrood yesterday.

The Tories will do anything to stop all discussion on independence – including ignoring a democratic mandate for a second referendum – while at the same time enlisting all the help it can muster to support the Union.

But then I suppose it’s not surprising that a government that thinks nothing of breaking the law indulges in dirty tricks to stem the tide of support for independence.

But these behaviours will undoubtedly erode public trust in this government to such an extent that we no longer believe a word its ministers utter.

This is a government for whom time is running out. The argument for independence is a campaign whose time is about to arrive.