The National:

CONSERVATIVES of late have tended not to put much weight behind manifesto promises.

Take Boris Johnson’s 2019 pledge not to cut the international aid budget. That was broken in July.

Or the pledge not to raise National Insurance contributions. That was broken in September.

Or the manifesto promise to keep the triple-lock on pensions in place. That was broken in October.

Or take one of the other manifesto commitments the Tories in London have rowed back on since Boris Johnson took the helm.

But what are a few broken promises? They’re only the basis on which they were elected after all.

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The Scottish Government at least seems to have a firmer grasp of the importance of such manifesto commitments.

The issue came up in Holyrood on Thursday, when Tory MSP Maurice Golden asked what staffing resources the Scottish Government “has allocated to the preparation work for a new independence referendum”.


Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson thanked Golden for acknowledging there would be a new referendum, and outlined briefly that civil servants across departments would be working on it.

Next came the same old spiel from the Scottish Tory, who called a vote on independence “damaging, disruptive, and divisive”. Someone clearly hasn’t forgotten their rule of three from school.

Firing back, Robertson said that the question had been “settled”, before explaining to the MSP how elections work.

“Normally in democracies opposition parties try and hold the government to account to deliver what they have promised,” he said.

Quite why the Tories are so fixated on doing the opposite is anybody’s guess. They tell us the Union is strong and stable. Is it not?