The National:

IF there’s one thing Anas Sarwar doesn’t like, it’s politicians putting the blame on others. He told the BBC Question Time audience as much during a broadcast from Kelso in the Borders on Thursday.

However, when it comes to blaming the Tories for the economic situation an incoming Labour government will have to deal with, well, Sarwar didn’t mind doing that.

And when it comes to blaming the SNP for Scotland's sliding scores on international educational league tables, well, of course he didn't mind that either.

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Another thing Sarwar apparently doesn’t like is audience members having the nerve to point out that the UK Government really does pay much attention to what people in Scotland have to say.

You would think that dealing with Keir Starmer on a semi-regular basis had taught the Scottish Labour “leader” all about that.

It might be that experience which made the tetchy Labour boss jump in after one audience member raised concerns about how little the government in London seems to listen to Scots.

“The English government does not listen to the Scots, they just don't seem to want to talk,” an audience member told the BBC show.

She had been responding to a fellow audience member who not long before had claimed Scottish independence in the EU would be useless “if we’ve got the Germans and the French telling us what to do”.

“At least with the UK Government we have influence, we have MPs there,” he had said, apparently forgetting about MEPs – and using a touch of imagination.

But while the nonsense about the EU and UK elicited nothing from Sarwar, the suggestion that the “English government does not listen to the Scots” was more than he could take.

“Can I just, can I just…” he began, cutting over others to speak.

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“I think we just need to be really careful because, I know you’re not doing that, but I know sometimes our political opponents do it, where they try and conflate Westminster to people everywhere all across the country," Sarwar went on.

“The problem is not just Westminster or England. The problem is this rotten Tory government.”

The Scottish Labour boss seems to have forgotten that the real problem with the “rotten Tory government” is that people in Scotland never voted for them. The people of Wales didn't either.

And yet, Scotland and Wales are both stuck with a Conservative national secretaries who can unilaterally prevent their parliaments from creating new laws.

It's been more than sixty years since Scotland voted Conservative, but it's seen four Tory prime ministers in the last four years.

Maybe the UK's problems run deeper than “this” Tory government. 

But Sarwar wouldn’t want to upset Starmer by saying as much.