WELL, they’re at it again: social care and its “reform” in England.

Theresa May tried it: remember her and the “dementia tax”? Actually it was Corbyn who branded it “a tax on dementia” and the LibDem-er Tim Farron (another has-been) called it a “callous blow.” Do they never learn?

This was after Gordon Brown got bogged down even earlier with his attempts at reform. The opposition, headed up by David Cameron, claimed Brown’s reform was a “death tax”, so cleverly exploited on a poster complete with a tombstone stating “RIP OFF”. Brown lost the next election, May lost her majority at her next election and had to bring in the DUP to prop her up.

READ MORE: Why the National Insurance increase will succeed at creating yet more inequality

So perhaps this could herald the end for PM Johnson? Don’t bank on it. Brexit shambles and Covid incompetence haven’t brought about his downfall, so this won’t in the immediate future. But in the meantime, Scotland suffers setback after setback from the multiple issues that Westminster cannot cope with. Don’t forget to add in the climate crisis, and our former allies and partners realigning after the chaos that is Afghanistan.

All that’s before we consider the continuing chipping away of our devolved status.

Both Alison Thewliss MP and Andrew Tickell have reported in recent editions of The National about the rip-off that a National Insurance increase will now mean for younger workers here in Scotland, before we consider the plight of the same demographics across rUK. And to cap it all (no pun intended) there is the £20-a-week Universal Credit top-up being removed from the beginning of October. It has been estimated by charities across the UK that this will mean households could face a loss of approximately £1,040 a year. Which households? Those about to pay higher NI.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson refuses to rule out more tax hikes after National Insurance rise

And they hadn’t finished, because Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey followed by ditching the triple lock on pensions. That triple lock was a guarantee that state pensions would increase in line with whichever is highest: inflation, earnings, or 2.5%. The double lock will now exclude “earnings”. Haven’t pensions been fiddled with so severely already? Go ask the WASPI women, who have suffered grievously over the loss of their state pensions. These actions this week are nothing more than cynical manoeuvring, putting out regressive taxation, policy change and breaking two manifesto pledged in a one-day hit, hoping to convince the gullible that in this instance there is equity applied to both the younger and older generations. But in reality, if there was ever any doubt about incompetence mixed with Tory ideology producing increased use of food banks, in-work poverty, and the rise of inequality across generations, that doubt is well and truly being demolished now.

What holds the doubters, the soft Nos, from believing in Scotland, from recognising that independence is normal? Look around – to mainland Europe, the Baltics, then wider world.

Overall, this week will not remove the PM and the Tories from power, but here in Scotland we cannot allow these fiscal decisions to be carried out without our capitalising on the ineptitude of the Tory government and the failure of Labour and LibDems to provide credible alternatives in England. When you have no alternative, you to tend to stick with what you’ve got. A “better the devil you know” attitude. And so Tory rule will continue south of the Border. That rUK is no longer viable as a functioning state, governing for all its people, is obvious.

We have our credible alternative, a viable future.

It’s independence or a continuing state of servitude.

Selma Rahman