LIZ Truss has been a terrible Prime Minister. Her time in office hasn’t just been an omnishambles, it’s been so much worse.

She may only have been in 10 Downing Street for a matter of weeks (the lettuce won!), but she did a huge amount of damage. And she didn’t act alone. She couldn’t have done what she did without the backing of her Cabinet, a huge number of Tory MPs and a party membership which elected her.

Even by the standards of Truss’s short time as Prime Minister, however, the last week has been chaotic. It has seen the sacking of a chancellor, the loss of a home secretary and the shredding of her entire economic agenda by a new Chancellor who effectively made himself PM despite coming last out of eight candidates in the leadership contest only two months ago.

Few will miss Truss, Kwasi Kwarteng or the experiments they inflicted on our economy, but if the Tories’ answer is Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt, then the wrong question is being asked. Sunak supported Boris Johnson’s disastrous Brexit and inflicted austerity and cuts on many of the most vulnerable people in society, including taking £1000 a year away from Universal Credit recipients.

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As for Hunt, he was a terrible health secretary who gleefully went to war with doctors and nurses and privatised even more of the English NHS. His response to the crisis in the health service was to do everything he could to turn it into a cash cow for privateers.

Last Sunday, in his first major interview since becoming Chancellor, he made clear that “nothing will be off the table” in terms of so-called “efficiency savings” – Tory talk for cuts.

Whatever happens in the days ahead, there will be plenty of the usual talk of “tough choices” and “difficult decisions”. But you can guarantee that none of the results will be tough or difficult for their millionaire donors or wealthy friends.

Truss had a short and disastrous tenure, but she didn’t come from nowhere. She was allowed to serve in senior Cabinet roles for almost a decade. She may have been at the wheel and sped up the crash, but the track was already broken.

Her implosion as Prime Minister was not the result of any strong ideological disagreement or particular principle. Even the failed mini-Budget was trying to deliver the kind of low-tax and low-regulation fantasy that Tories have always wanted to turn into a reality.

These are the policies she stood on in the leadership contest and the reason why so many Tory members voted for her. They greeted the mini-Budget with huge levels of enthusiasm. Scottish leader Douglas Ross even went as far as calling for the Scottish Government to replicate the exact same disastrous policies.

The problem came when Tory fan fiction clashed with reality. Away from the champagne receptions of the bankers and hedge fund managers and the whims and desires of the dark money think tanks, Tory economics will always fail. That is why they have put our economy into an endless cycle of crisis.

We have seen years of cuts and austerity; a reckless and reactionary Brexit that has cost jobs and hammered businesses; racist and anti-LGBTQIA+ moral panics; a crackdown on the right to protest with the authoritarian Public Order Bill; and a vast and growing chasm between the super-rich and everyone else. These were not just quirks of Tory rule – they are key planks of it and will be no matter who succeeds Truss.

In comparison, this week also saw the publication of the Scottish Government’s economic prospectus for independence. It was a positive, optimistic and forward-looking vision that puts well-being and the planet at the heart of our recovery.

The proposals include major improvements to workers’ rights, specifically proposing a significant expansion of collective bargaining to improve pay and conditions, enhancing the minimum wage to reflect the cost of living and repealing of the UK Government’s anti-worker 2016 Trade Union Act.

It also includes a £20 billion New Scotland Fund focused on transitioning to a zero-carbon future through measures such as a substantial home energy efficiency programme, helping households cut bills and reduce their energy use.

It reflects the impact of Greens and the wider radical independence movement, with many of the principles and policies that we have called for forming the bedrock of the prospectus.

Independence is not just about tinkering around with Tory policies, it is about doing things differently. It will allow us to deal with the persistent crisis of low pay and develop a proper industrial strategy to rebuild our economy in a way that can deal with the climate crisis.

The economy is not just numbers on a spreadsheet, it is all of us.

This is one of the wealthiest societies there has ever been. We have the money and resources to do things better and allow everyone to live happily – the problem is with their distribution.

By managing the economy differently, we can share the benefits of our work and empower and support people in all of our communities.

The independent Scotland that I want to see is one that focuses on wellbeing, with a universal basic income to ensure that everyone can have a good minimum standard of living and a move to a four-day working week.

Whoever replaces Liz Truss, it is vital that we do not allow things to go back to business as usual with the Tories. If either Sunak or Penny Mordaunt takes over, then the presentation and press coverage may improve, but the driving ideology will be the same, and the outcomes will continue to punish ordinary people.

We are at a crossroads. Westminster is collapsing in on itself in real-time, and the decisions that we make now will have an impact for years to come.

Next year’s independence referendum offers us to build a fairer, greener and better future.

We need to grasp it with both hands.