AS the second day of the Supreme Court's hearing of the independence referendum case got under way, Liz Truss appeared in the House of Commons for her second Prime Minister's Questions since becoming Prime Minister. Her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, whose mini-budget was the immediate cause of the recent economic turmoil, was noticeably absent from the front benches.

It's safe to say that it was a truly bizarre performance. A flavour of the proceedings can best be summed up by Truss's exchange with SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford who asked Truss about the average 2-year fixed rate mortgage jumping from 4.5% to 6.5% after her mini-budget and when she was going to stop scapegoating the Bank of England. She replied by asking why the Scottish Government doesn't support new nuclear power plants. 

Completely unrelated non-sequiturs were Truss's response to every question. She'd have been as well reading out the cooking instructions from the back of a packet of frozen lasagna, in response to every question, which would at least have had the benefit of providing useful information, even if it was of limited value given that no one can afford their energy bills.

At one point Truss began her response by saying, "I am genuinely unclear..." Which was at least one thing we could all agree on.

PMQs are an embarrassing waste of everyone's time. This is the big Commons set piece event which is the most important means that MPs, as representatives of the public, have to hold the Prime Minister to account in a Westminster system which affords that Prime Minister almost unlimited power.

Yet like so much else about the Westminster system it is woefully unfit for purpose. Usually during these proceedings the Tory benches howl in approval and loudly jeer opposition MPs. For most of today's PMQs, Conservative MPs sat in stony silence as the magnitude of their party's disaster made itself clear. Thousands are facing penury, hundreds of thousands could face a freezing winter and struggle to put food on the table, people could lose their homes. It's a high price to pay for seeing the smug look wiped off Andrew Bowie's face as he sat on the Tory benches and contemplated the loss of his job in the next General Election.

Truss had no answers to any question, however she did announce that there will be no spending cuts to balance the books and fund her and Kwarteng's £45 billion package of tax cut. So either she is going to abandon her tax cuts in yet another U-turn, or the markets will crash on Friday after the Bank of England's intervention comes to an end.

The economist Richard Murphy tweeted: "Kwarteng may have no choice but reverse all his tax cuts before the weekend to stabilise the pound. If that happens I can’t see how he and Truss can survive into next week." Though it must be said that this sounds like a very unlikely option for a modern Tory to consider. Admit a mistake? Care about those suffering or the wider UK population?

Of course they won't resign, of course they won't admit to a mistake. They are so arrogant and personally financially secure that they'd rather throw us all to the dogs than admit they called this wrong and have to step down. More likely Truss could sack Kwarteng and do a U-turn on the whole shambles, which might just save her for the time being. She has already blamed Kwarteng for virtually the whole mess during the recent Conservative Party conference.

However all this is of course assuming that Kwarteng wants to stabilise the pound, Kwarteng's friends in the City made millions by shorting the pound before its catastrophic fall following his disaster of a mini-budget. His budget was an abject lesson in putting the greed of the wealthy before the needs of the many, just one more illustration of why the Tories are indeed detestable.

This Tory-made economic and political catastrophe is not proof that the quest for Scottish independence is a “distraction”. It is proof that independence is more necessary than ever. We have a government which Scotland didn't vote for implementing policies that no one voted for, policies which are causing economic havoc and widespread misery, and as the farce of today's PMQs proved, the Westminster system provides no effective means of holding these political vandals to account.

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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