THE myth that the Conservatives are the party of fiscal responsibility has been roundly busted in recent years. They wasted billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money during the coronavirus crisis through a combination of incompetence and cronyism.

The Baroness Mone saga is just the latest example of a government that saw Covid as a perfect opportunity to funnel cash to party friends and donors.

If that wasn’t enough, the sheer idiocy of the prime minister who came next nearly crashed the economy at a time when living standards were already falling. We’re all now living with the consequences of those decisions.

The yearly debate about when it’s appropriate to put the heating on has never been so high-stakes. Under this failing UK government, we have people who won’t be able to afford to heat their homes at all this winter.

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With sky-high inflation, rising costs of food and energy costs that have priced millions of people out of such basic necessities, things can’t get much worse.

When Rishi Sunak was crowned Prime Minister, he promised to do things differently. He said his government would be one of good judgment, good character and integrity. The subtext was clear: I’m nothing like the last lot.

The problem is, everything we’ve seen so far proves that, despite his insistence, he’s no better than Liz Truss or Boris Johnson. His own poor judgement is already costing the public purse money it can ill afford.

We’ve already had the Suella Braverman fiasco, in which a home secretary who was sacked for risking our national security was brought back into the fold. Sunak is allowing her to preside over a shambolic and inhumane asylum system that prioritises the demonisation of desperate people over processing claims in a timely manner.

Because of delays in the system, people seeking sanctuary are housed in hotels at considerable cost. We hear a lot of complaints from Tory MPs and the Home Secretary about these costs, as though they are the fault of asylum seekers themselves. We hear much less about the Tory failures that mean we need to use hotels to house these people. In addition to this, reports at the weekend suggested that millions of pounds in compensation may have to be paid out to migrants who were illegally detained at Manston asylum centre.

It’s clear that the decisions taken by a succession of Tory prime ministers to give allies and idiots undeserved roles in government has cost us a fortune.

Last week we learnt that the investigation into alleged bullying by Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has been expanded to include a third complaint. A lawyer was already investigating two other complaints, relating to Raab’s behaviour during his time as foreign secretary and justice secretary under Boris Johnson.

The latest complaint is from 2018, when he was Brexit Secretary.

It appears Raab has been consistently awful across a range of government roles.

The lawyer investigating the complaint will make the final decision about whether Raab broke the ministerial code and will report his findings to the Prime Minister.

Time is money, and that phrase is never more true than when we’re talking about lawyers.

Since the story broke, sources at the Ministry of Justice say they have been ‘’inundated’’ with complaints about bullying by Raab.

Under the terms of reference, the scope of the inquiry can be widened at any time. With the way things are going, this looks to be a lengthy – and expensive – investigation.

This is far from a one-off. Think back over the last few years. How many inquiries and investigations have we had over the behaviour of Conservative MPs and ministers?

How much hard cash has this cesspit of sleaze and stupidity cost us in total?

When you add in the considerable costs that are incurred every time a minister is sacked or shuffled out, it’s surely more than enough to provide every adult in the country with their own 1kg tub of Lurpak.

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I don’t dispute the fact that Rishi Sunak has better presentation skills than his two immediate predecessors. It’s just that when it comes down to it, that doesn’t matter a jot. Expensive media training and a well-cut suit don’t lead to better governance.

We are long past the point where this government can be reset or refreshed. There will be no culture change within the Tories before the next General Election because they still haven’t learnt anything from their many mistakes.

Despite the warm words and false promises, this is still a party that cares more about its own survival than anything else. Competent leadership and the needs of ordinary people will always come second to that.

Scotland didn’t vote for this party and it can’t afford for them to remain in power much longer.