DOUGLAS Ross has had a busy few weeks. The Scottish Tory leader has taken on yet another job, this time as the self-appointed mascot for transparency in politics.

His new-found interest in this most noble cause was notably absent during his own party’s well-documented troubles with secrecy and scandal.

It wasn’t anywhere to be found when the Conservative Party was doing shady backroom deals with its donors and setting up a VIP lane for the awarding of Covid contracts.

But now the SNP has become mired in a financial and governance crisis and suddenly Ross has decided enough is enough. Everybody has their limit and it seems a campervan is what tipped him over the edge.

At First Minister’s Questions last week, Douglas Ross was indignant. He said the SNP were “engulfed in scandal and secrecy” and demanded things change.

We all want to see greater transparency from – and scrutiny of – the people we elect to represent us. And it would be really nice to have a period of time where our politics is scandal-free, as a wee treat.

But Ross is probably in the wrong party if he has now decided that transparency in politics is his jam.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross jabs BBC host after ‘what would you change’ question

You have to feel for the Scottish Tories though. In “End The Culture of Secrecy” they’ve finally found a campaigning strapline to replace the rather worn “Say No To indyref2”. Unfortunately for them, Westminster Tories wasted no time in totally undermining everything their Scottish counterparts had been saying for weeks.

It’s almost as if they don’t pay them very much attention …

At the Scottish Tory conference last week there was an attempt to block a contingent of Scottish journalists from joining a Q&A with the Prime Minister.

Only a select few journalists from supportive media outlets were invited to meet with him. You can imagine how well that went down.

It says a lot about just how out of touch the Tory spin doctors and press officers are that they presumably thought a bunch of crabbit, probably hungover, Scottish hacks were going to allow such a blatant attempt to evade scrutiny. When the excluded journalists simply ignored the ban and marched onward towards the room Rishi Sunak was hiding in, the press officer admitted defeat and declared: “OK, you know what? Let them all in.”

What an embarrassing display of weakness from Sunak. It was a total own goal and one Ross is clearly furious about.

You can almost hear the First Minister’s response to any question Ross has about SNP finances at the next FMQs already: “I’ll take no lessons in transparency from the party that tries to block journalists from asking questions because they don’t have the guts to answer them …’’ etc etc.

Responding to the furore, Ross said the attempted media ban was “totally unnecessary” and “shouldn’t have happened”.

Which, incidentally, is also how party staffers summarised Michael Gove’s efforts at conference karaoke.

Ross went further, bless his heart, and insisted he would be making the “strongest possible representations” to Downing Street.

It’s amazing that Number 10 staffers managed to piss off so many people during what was a very short visit. It is especially impressive when you remember that the party conference was held in a venue the size of a small paddling pool.

It’s obvious that not much thought goes into the UK Tories’ begrudged visits up north.

Sunak might parrot the mandatory lines about the UK being a family of nations and how the Union is a precious thing that must be protected at all costs. But he doesn’t believe them any more than Boris Johnson or Liz Truss did.

Scotland regularly gets the petrol station flowers treatment from the UK Government. It’s no surprise that the Scottish Tories are treated with the same disdain.

If they had hoped that the Prime Minister might have delivered a speech of such impact and importance that it distracted from his attempted media ban, they would have found themselves sorely disappointed.

The National: Rishi Sunak

At this point, speeches to the Scottish Tory conference are pretty much a copy and paste job. Save for a few topical lines that are changeable, the bones of the speech always remain unchanged.

Hold the front page: Sunak doesn’t think independence is the best course of action for Scotland. And he’s not that keen on further devolution, either.

He says that Holyrood is the most “powerful devolved assembly anywhere in the world” and doesn’t need any more powers.

He said the Scottish Government should be ‘’held to account’’ for underusing existing powers and that it is right that the UK Government sidesteps the Scottish Parliament to directly fund initiatives in areas that are devolved.

The Westminster Tories came, they saw, and they caused a fair amount of chaos. The Scottish Tories, like the rest of us, must be glad to see the back of them.