THE spectacle of this fourth Chancellor in so many months grandstanding his way through fiscal and monetary decisions which will create total misery for us all for years to come left me in total despair and anger.

Negative growth, spiralling inflation, interest-rate increases, massive increases in basic foodstuffs, energy costs going through the roof, the effects of Brexit destroying our exports, living standards plummeting, a collapse in the pound and a recession about to descend upon us all not seen since the 1920s.

Of course, the effects of the Covid pandemic and the terrible war in the Ukraine have created global market instability, as the Tories are quick to point out as the major cause of our economic woes. Let’s be clear, the last 12 years of Tory economic mismanagement has been the major CAUSE of the economic catastrophe facing Scotland.

READ MORE: Scottish cities are being hit ‘particularly hard’ by the cost of living crisis

The Osborne era of austerity, which went on for years, pales in relation to the last three years of Tory rule. In the last three months we have watched in disbelief the revolving door of the SAME Tory politicians occupying the key ministries of government including Prime Minister, in some cases for only weeks, creating mayhem and uncertainty both at home and globally.

The Truss fiscal “go for growth” decisions based on “trickle-down economics” funded by £45 billion of public borrowing not only destabilised the value of the pound but lost the confidence of global markets and earned an unprecedented warning from the IMF! As we now know, the consequences for the rest of us is a £54bn austerity package of increased taxation and cuts in public expenditure.

The whole sorry episode has laid bare what Toryism is all about. Rob the poor to pay the rich, right-wing British nationalism, draconian immigration policies, imperialistic foreign policies and for us Scots a continuing denial of our democratic right to hold a referendum. What is even more striking is the “selective amnesia “ of the Tory party who are attempting to “rub out” their actions of the past 12 months as if they never happened. Very much the Dallas Bobby Ewing moment as expressed by the shadow chancellor.

READ MORE: Ruth Wishart: Jeremy Hunt's budget is proof Tories can’t be trusted with the economy

Closer to home, the Holyrood SNP government are facing monumental challenges in a plethora of political and economic areas. What is now consistent is that at every FMQs the Tory, Labour and LibDem opposition are hell-bent on painting the Scottish Government as incompetent at every level of policy implementation, in particular the NHS, education, social care, transport, policing and of course ferries! Much of their criticism is unfounded and downright lies and misinformation. It’s all they have left.

The “strong shoulders” of the UK; “the better together” antics of the Tories and Labour ; the “benefits of Brexit” can no longer be used as anti-independence slogans. Unfortunately, the label “incompetence” will not wash as an anti-independence strategy. All the voters of Scotland have been watching political incompetence of mammoth proportions from the Westminster Tories for at least 18 months and the continuing acquiescence of Starmer and the Labour Party to Brexit and the Tory solutions to the poverty crisis. No amount of deflection by the Ross, Sarwar, Jack, Bowie and Cole- Hamilton and their attempts to ” cry incompetence” will resonate with anyone in Scotland except diehard Tories and Labour supporters.

With the Tory economic disaster laid bare before us and our Scottish nation about to be impoverished for years to come, we cannot simply stand idly by. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to act now! A united public outcry for our Independence must start NOW!

Dan Wood