IF you think you’ve had quite a week, be glad at least you’re not our new Prime Minister Liz Truss. In my last column, I congratulated her on her victory in the vote among Tory party members, and committed that if she gets serious about tackling the problems facing the people we all serve, then I and the rest of the SNP are game to muck in.

The SNP’s plan is clear – we have democratically earned a referendum, we want to win it, and with independence, rejoin the EU and join Nato and the UN as an independent state. We don’t want these things for the sake of it: we want them precisely because they will help us tackle the problems we’re all facing and that are causing millions of us great stress.

Rejoining the EU will put rocket boosters on our recovery from Covid and give us all the tools (not least the benefits of EU solidarity) to tackle the energy and cost of living crisis Westminster has delivered to our energy-rich nation.

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So what are the odds Truss will get serious? Will Prime Minister Truss be different from candidate Truss and be honest about the challenges and, indeed, the causes of them? As I’ve written before, I’ve shadowed Truss as the Westminster SNP foreign affairs spokesperson for the last couple of years, and I hae ma doots.

She was one of Boris Johnson’s key cheerleaders for the last few years as foreign secretary and international trade secretary before that, key roles in the “Global Britain” Brexit fantasy that the world revolves around dear old Blighty and countries will form an orderly queue to do us favours.

She even, I suspect, went beyond her brief on the odious Northern Ireland Protocol Bill presently before the House of Lords, playing fast and loose with peace in Northern Ireland and trashing the UK’s reputation as a reliable partner who implements what it signs, but it was a good wheeze to make her look tough on Europe for the backwoods Tory members.

She certainly went where no serious person would go in her comments during the campaign that she was not sure if President Macron and France is an ally. I can’t overstate how wrong a thing this was to say, in every possible sense. It was gratuitously offensive, personally and politically, it was flat wrong in that France (and this president in particular) are great allies of the UK, even if they do put EU solidarity first. But more to the point. it was not something anyone who took their responsibilities as foreign secretary seriously would be able to say.

And that’s before you get into some of the wired to the moon stuff she came out with on policy.

But, I feel a little more hopeful when considering her over her predecessor for one simple reason: she lacks the wherewithal to be such a shameless bluffer. Don’t get me wrong, that is a good thing, and to her credit, I don’t think she’ll be a serial liar the way he was.

If she tries those tactics, she’ll be caught out. She was able to argue black is white and up is down when the occupant of 10 Downing Street demanded it, but now it is her, I’m not sure that bluffing will be anything like as forceful. Good. That means we might be able to have a more honest discussion about what’s wrong and how to fix it, and the political differences, and choices, facing the voters will become clearer and clearer rather than drowned out in a wall of noise and froth.

I hate Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) with a passion. It is reductive, performative, repels voters and is, to my mind, the worst of politics anywhere (as well as not actually reflecting how politics works).

But it is a key test of how Westminster does business, and in her first outing at PMQs the week before last, she was a marked contrast to her predecessor: she actually did give a pretence of trying to answer the question. It was the answers we didn’t like.

She admitted that the UK energy package will essentially cap today’s domestic bills for future generations of taxpayers to pay off while allowing the energy companies to make exceptional (and, in my opinion, grossly excessive) profit.

To my mind, a windfall tax is fair, proportionate and justified.

Don’t take my word for it – the EU has just announced a windfall tax and other measures aiming to raise €140 billion to help consumers and businesses.

But the UK under Truss has decided instead, for the moment, to support everyone whether they need it or not, to mortgage future taxpayers with the bill while allowing the shareholders to enjoy themselves. This is a clear policy difference in what the UK is doing relative to what an independent Scotland in the EU would be part of.

Take yesterday’s revelation too, as she flew to the US for talks, that there is no prospect of a US-UK trade deal. This is slaughtering the holiest of Brexit sacred cows and deserves a lot more comment than it has had so far.

It was obvious to anyone actually paying attention that there was no prospect of a deal. The US is far more interested in an EU deal as the UK’s actions over Northern Ireland have scuppered any talks, and yet, they all pretended because it was easier to go along with Johnson’s bluff than admit the truth.

So Truss blowing the gaff is perhaps a good thing.

If she keeps going like this, perhaps she’ll also get real about the solutions – Brexit has been an unmitigated disaster, and getting Scotland back into the EU as an independent state will help us get past it, but also the UK rejoining the single market and the customs union will help them get through it too.