DISAGRACED former Conservative prime minister Liz Truss - we are now at a point with the Conservative Party when you have to specify which disgraced former prime minister it is that you're talking about - has given a speech at the Institute for Government think tank in which she doubles down on her mad plan to slash taxes and burn down government regulation.

Truss said that it wasn't her fault that she crashed the economy during her thankfully brief tenure in number 10 Downing Street.

Over the summer she insisted that it was all the fault of those well-known left wingers in the Bank of England and the international money markets.

She does not appear to have shifted from that delusional and self-serving view, only going so far as to admit that there were "presentational" issues with her policies. Well, of course, if you are going to serve up a pile of horse manure to people who are expecting a nourishing dinner, you're going to have "presentational" issues.

Truss displays not a shred of remorse, will give no apologies, and she joins the long list of British politicians like Theresa May, Matt Hancock, Iain Duncan Smith, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson and Gordon Brown who are now confidently telling us how to fix everything that they mysteriously failed to fix when they were in power.

The National: The short-lived tenure of Liz Truss wrought huge economic damage on the UK - yet she refuses to apologiseThe short-lived tenure of Liz Truss wrought huge economic damage on the UK - yet she refuses to apologise

What is alarming about Truss is that her extreme ideas still have adherents in the Conservative party.

Perhaps one of the most concerning ideas that she came out with during her speech was that the UK should not only be exploiting fossil fuels in the North Sea to the max but that it should also be enthusiastically pursuing fracking while ripping up carbon reduction commitments and abandoning subsidies for renewable energy.

It was a speech for climate change deniers, of whom there are many within the Conservative Party. Never mind the fate of humanity on a planet, which is rapidly becoming unsuitable for the continuation of life and civilisation as we know it. Just think about the potential for short term profiteering. That's modern Conservative philosophy in a nutshell.

Should, as seems increasingly likely, the Conservatives lose the next general election, the party will seek to regroup and rebuild itself, Liz Truss was not making a speech today in order to influence Rishi Sunak, she was putting down markers for that post-election Conservative Party.

That's a party which looks set to tack even further to the right than the extreme right position it currently occupies; and it will push the Overton Window into a yet more extreme right wing Anglo-British nationalist position, dragging the Labour Party along in its wake.

Labour refuse to say what would amount to a mandate for indyref 2

Over the weekend Labour's Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves dismissed the SNP plan to open independence negotiations with the UK Government should the SNP win the next Westminster general election in Scotland. Reeves dismissed the plan out of hand, asserting: "That's not a mandate to have another referendum."

Tellingly, Reeves did not say what she believed would actually constitute a mandate.

The SNP believes that should it win a majority of Westminster seats in Scotland then this means it can rightfully claim to have won the election in Scotland.

Indeed, this is precisely how the winners of elections in the UK are generally determined.

The current Conservative government has a majority in Westminster even though it won less than 50% of votes cast in the 2019 general election. The Tories claim this gave them a mandate to "get Brexit done."

READ MORE: Liz Truss shrugs off mortgage rate hike after shameless speech

Likewise, the Labour Party will claim that it has a mandate to implement its policies should it win a majority of seats in the House of Commons even if it fails to win a majority of votes cast.

Yet for strange and unspecified reasons an entirely different set of rules applies in Scotland: a set of rules which we are being kept in the dark about.

If winning a majority of seats does not count as winning the election, then what does? Labour isn't saying, even though winning a majority of seats is the standard that both Labour and the Conservatives set for themselves.

This refusal of the two British parties to apply the same rules in Scotland as they apply to themselves – and moreover to compound that by refusing to set out precisely how a democratic mandate can be won in Scotland – effectively turns elections in Scotland into a meaningless charade, the performance of democracy without any of the substance of democracy.

Of course, we all know what the Labour and Conservative parties are really saying, even if they will not say so out loud. They will only accept the choices made by the people of Scotland at the ballot box if those are choices which are to the liking of the parties of Brexit and Anglo-British nationalism. That is effectively indistinguishable from authoritarianism.

This tactic by Labour and the Conservatives is not the killer argument against independence that they think it is. Rather, it is a powerful argument in favour of independence because it proves that Scotland can never get what it votes for within the democratic black hole of the United Kingdom.

Keir Starmer and politics of ‘delusion’

In more proof that Keir Starmer is peddling fantasy politics every bit as much as Liz Truss, his claim that he can get Britain a better Brexit deal while remaining outside the Single Market and Customs Union has been branded "delusional" by Wolfgang Münchau, director of the EU policy website Eurointelligence.

Münchau said: "Sir Keir Starmer's attempt to re-write the relationship is based on a delusion of a similar kind [to previous UK policy], that it is possible to stay outside the single market and the customs union, and get a better deal. This is a political lie."

He added: “Probably the biggest delusion yet to be unpicked is Sir Keir's repeated assertion that there is a better deal with the EU out there. This is simply not true. There was a lot of vindictive commentary from the EU during the entire Brexit process, but the deal that was eventually agreed was a reasonable third-country trade deal."

The UK: fantasy politics and the fantasy of democracy.