WE are watching the implosion of the Conservative Party, and the shock waves will have a profound effect on our whole political and economic system. I pray that one of the casualties will be the Union that currently keeps Scotland imprisoned.

There is no way back from this for the Tories. It does not matter who becomes the next Prime Minister or what half-arsed plan they cobble together in a desperate bid to survive. There is nothing they can do to avoid being kicked out of power for years when an election is finally held. Liz Trust’s resignation yesterday means that everything we have been told to believe about the Tories is wrong and has been for years. Their reputation as the natural party of fiscal competence has been blown up and scattered to the four winds. It can no longer be restored.

There has never been such a disastrous mishandling of the economy as we have seen not just in the last few nightmarish days, but in the years in which austerity has been held up as the solution to our financial woes rather than the cause.

The Tories now stand revealed as not just financially incompetent but as bullying, inhumane, organisationally dysfunctional and irreversibly divided.

The meltdown has been wondrous to behold. A woefully incompetent Prime Minister was torn apart by the same wolves who put her in power and then almost instantly changed their minds. The same monsters who have made mistake after disastrous mistake when a fundamentally flawed democracy handed them the power to dictate the head of government. Theresa May. Boris Johnson. Liz Truss. Each one is worse than the last. Each one is more useless, more clueless and more dangerous than their predecessor.

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It has been a long road to the current ruin. It is impossible to overstate the chaos which has enveloped the Westminster parliament. After Wednesday night’s extraordinary scenes in the House of Commons, all we can be sure of is that the bloodletting is not over yet. This drama at least has some way to run, even if the same cannot be said of Liz Truss’s career.

In the past week or so, no political commentator has been able to appear on the broadcast media without being asked the same question: “How long has Liz Truss got? “. Not one suggested she would be in place within a month, but few guessed it would be so short.

“I’m a fighter, not a quitter,” she told a fractious Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday. She hardly had the boxing gloves on days earlier when she seemed to be in hiding as the British economy teetered on the brink. She had desperately tried to avoid the finger of blame for the mini-Budget disaster, but in the end, there was no escaping it. She had thrown in her lot with Kwasi Kwarteng as they unveiled their doomed master plan to convince the markets they had what it takes to tackle the cost of living crisis. She took her shot and missed.

Even then, it looked as if she had had enough. As the markets plunged into meltdown, the Prime Minister threw her right-hand man to the hungry wolves and sought shelter from the critics baying for her blood. When she reappeared, it seemed she had been busy digging up the corpse of Jeremy Hunt’s political ambition and sending out its zombie to devour almost every one of the initiatives his predecessor had dragged into the daylight just hours earlier.

Why did she bother? It certainly wasn’t to revive her economic policy, which by that time was the equivalent of sticking a tale on the donkey. If she had succeeded, it would have been a matter of luck rather than skill.

Nor was it to preserve a “legacy”. Her reputation is now unsalvageable. History will regard Liz Truss as a hopeless failure, elected by a tiny number of voters to a job she was incapable of doing and lost in record time. Her life in Number 10 looked so utterly miserable that it’s unfathomable why she would want to remain there.

Before Wednesday was over, a senior adviser – Jason Stein – had been suspended, allegedly for describing Sajid Javid as “shit”, and her home secretary Suella Braverman had resigned with a brutal swipe at people not “accepting responsibility for their mistake”.

The Tory chief whip and her deputy had to be begged to withdraw their resignations.

There was confusion over whether the Government was poised to scrap the triple lock on pensions. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly hinted in a TV interview that it would. Truss denied it. By that time, it was all over, bar the shouting. That quickly followed in angry scenes in the House over a fracking debate which saw Tory MPs virtually frogmarched into voting with the Government.

It was tempting to laugh out loud if not for the fact that these insane political machinations were taking place against a background of real human suffering. Food prices are soaring, households can’t properly heat their homes, mortgages are close to unaffordable and pensioners are being pushed further into poverty.

Who will take over now? There are some obvious front runners to become the new Prime Minister, Truss’s opponent in the last leadership tussle Rishi Sunak being foremost among them. Other names in the frame include Penny Mordaunt, Ben Wallace and even Michael Gove.

One more name has been pushed into the frame. In a normal world, the merest suggestion that Boris Johnson could be on his way back to Downing Street would be greeted with uproarious laughter … but normal is not a word to use to describe the world in which we live. The return of Johnson would be a sign that the Tory party is in the grip of collective madness, which is exactly the reason not to rule it out.

The truth is it hardly matters anymore. The game is a bogey, even if the final whistle has yet to be blown. The Tories will try to limp on, but they are firmly in the borrowed time zone. They will not want to call a General Election because the polls are showing such a substantial Labour lead that they know they won’t win it.

READ MORE: This one Scots word best sums up chaos – The REAL Scottish Politics

But how many blows can they sustain without an election becoming unavoidable? When do the ruins of this UK Government become so beyond repair that someone must step in to call a halt?

Yet, for now, the power to decide who will be Britain’s next prime minister is still being kept out of the hands of those who are suffering the most from decades of wrong-headed economics. Once again, we will have a prime minister imposed on us by the same Tory party members who have shown so dramatically that they cannot be trusted to decide what time it is, never mind the future of a country.

Of course, this should stop. Of course, there should be a General Election. And there should be a referendum to allow Scotland to decide if the lies and deceptions inflicted on our country in 2014 are so profound they merit a reconsideration of independence.

Of course, democracy must triumph. But how?

There is no prime ministerial candidate who is likely to recognise Scotland’s right to have its voice heard, a terrible indictment of the standard of modern Conservative and Labour politicians. It has been a long, slow and painful descent for the Labour Party, which once ruled Scotland almost unchallenged until its lack of guts, ideas, and principles became too obvious to ignore. It’s particularly shameful that the response from what passes as Scottish Labour to the rejection of Scotland’s democratic right is to join forces with those denying that right.

This is not, of course, an argument against the urgency of an election. A General Election would at least remove the Tories from power, even if a replacement Labour government would hardly be the transformative breath of fresh air the country so desperately needs.

If recent events have proved anything, it is that a political and economic system which places continual growth above the well-being of the population has the wrong set of priorities. Simply replacing one government committed to such a system with another will mean we will not address the fundamental causes of the current crisis. We have seen all too clearly how the markets respond to problems such as the cost of living crisis: protect the pound and let the people go hungry and cold. That is no way to run a country.

Keir Starmer has yet to display the courage needed to fundamentally change the priorities of the UK Government, and to all intents and purposes, a Labour government with him in 10 Downing Street would be a slightly more humane version of the Conservative government it will replace.

Better than nothing but falling far short of the potential for real change offered to Scotland by independence There is one fact that will remain true regardless of which candidate ends up at Number 10. It is the driving force that unites every possible Tory prime minister and every possible candidate with a serious chance of becoming prime minister. It has nothing to do with pensions, economic strategy, how to alleviate the suffering of millions struggling to keep their lives afloat, worker’s rights or how to stop capitalism from eating itself.

The one unifying factor is a bonkers determination that Scotland must on no account ever become independent or even have the opportunity to voice its opinion.

At a time when we need independence as never before, this is a democratic affront that Scotland must surely unite to ensure does not stand.