IN the last 12 months inflation has jumped from 1.5 to 9%. Gas has risen by 95%. Petrol and diesel bills have gone up by 35%. These are the biggest spikes in the cost of living since the 1980s.

However, wages have stagnated for the past 14 years. This is part of a deliberate strategy by the Tories to impoverish workers and send income flows up the way towards their corpulent billionaire donor class. Inflation for those on the lowest incomes is actually closer to 11%. The grim economic news has meant the pound has fallen over the last few weeks. It is now worth $1.20 which reflects the pessimism investors have of this zombie UK economy. In 2017 the Tories allowed the Rough gas storage facility in Yorkshire to close. This was owned by British Gas who said it was “too costly” to maintain. The Tories refused to nationalize it. Had the Tories under Thatcher not given away the energy utilities in the 1980’s to the private sector this would not have occurred. In a nationalized energy sector any profits made would be invested back into the country and not given to private shareholders as now.

Tory Burke and Hare Boris Johnson and his billionaire Chancellor Rishi Sunak have refused to tax the obscene profits of the fat cat energy companies. They argue this would “discourage investment” even though the boss of BP said it would not be the case. Johnson ludicrously claims the Tories are the party of “low taxation” even though they have raised taxes for ordinary workers to their highest level for 70 years.

READ MORE: 'Any more useless advice?': Mhairi Black destroys Tory cost-of-living 'tips'

Sky News commissioned a poll that found 27% of people in the UK aged 16-75 have missed out on meals in the month of April. This was to negate the rise in other costs. The same poll found 65% of people had not turned on their heating to try to save money.

Marks and Spencer warned that food prices could spike by another 10% by the end of the year. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey argued that the spike in inflation is causing great uncertainty within the economy.

The neoliberal capitalist system is rotten and corrupt to the core. It is leading the planet to ecological destruction. It needs to be overthrown and consigned to the dustbin of history. The first act of a newly independent Scotland should be to repudiate this system of greed and misery. Bank of England states Brexit has cost UK £80 billion. Liz Truss at the direction of and being guided the powerful European Research Group (ERG) will introduce legislation which in her words allow Britain to remove parts of the Protocol between UK and Northern Ireland, which to quote Mr Johnson is being used by the EU too strictly, and dancing was not mentioned.

Listening to these politicians, they want to introduce legislation as a “back stop”, aka an insurance policy, just in case the EU and UK cannot reach agreement. The legislation Ms Truss wants to enact actually is the end position that UK Government wants to achieve. what they the UK want.

Said another way.

I want X, lets negotiate.

By the way if I don’t get X by negotiation with you, I have laws that allow me to just ignore you and do X anyway.

So in addition to a climate crisis and a cost of living crisis and the existing Brexit crisis with mainland EU, this UK Government risks starting a trade war with the EU and the US Administration has already stated that causing a failure of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) will spike US / UK relationships.

Seriously, how can anyone in the UK support this UK Government?

Alistair Ballantyne
Birkhill, Angus

HARD lines Rangers, your magnificent efforts in the Europa league cup just failed at the final stage. Your cup run was an enormous credit to your club and to the standing of Scottish football. Rangers may be a whale in Scottish terms but are a minnow in European terms so their achievement was all the more remarkable. Rangers have made enormous progress since their fledgling days in the fourth tier of Scottish football only about a decade ago.

What was not good however is the continuing bigotry displayed by many of their supporters. The club appear to be following their gesture of taking the knee before games to demonstrate opposition to racism. The team is filled with players with a range of nationalities, colour and personal beliefs but many supporters continue to follow negative bigoted views.

Adopting the Union Jack as your emblem, as many do is no crime. It is the official flag of our “United” Kingdom. The meaning is clear however that these royalist, defenders of the faith (in power if not practice) are demonstrating an anti-Catholic stance. Their cry was no surrender from the terraces last night, celebrating the colonialist subjugation of Ireland by the new king on the block, William of Orange all those years ago.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon says Rangers 'did Scotland proud' in 'heartbreaking' final defeat

Having this group supporting Unionism, for this reason, is an impediment to Scotland achieving independence. More that that though, the continuance of this sectarian bigotry is a stain on our ambitions to become the inclusive, welcoming and tolerant society, different from the UK we are currently a part of.

Scotland viewed the match in Seville with both pride and embarrassment. We must act to wipe out such bigotry otherwise our gestures and legislation are meaningless.

If the footballing authorities won’t act then maybe it’s time for our parliament. Rangers playing their next European game in an empty Ibrox might send a meaningful message to supporters that such blatant displays of bigotry are unacceptable in our society.

Campbell Anderson