THE Tories are still obsessed with Nicola Sturgeon's WhatsApp messages from during the pandemic – anything to deflect attention from the appalling mishandling of the Covid crisis by senior Conservatives. 

It's all so pathetically transparent given that no one is alleging that anyone in the Scottish Government indulged themselves in the kind of chaos and corruption which was characteristic of the Conservative government in Westminster

No one in the Scottish Government ranted that they'd rather let the bodies pile high than introduce new lockdown restrictions. No one in the Scottish Government gave corrupt Covid-related contracts to their mates. No one in the Scottish Government held drunken parties while telling the rest of us we had to stay at home. 

The desperation to find something with which to draw an equivalence between the Scottish Government and Boris Johnson is frankly pathetic. They are preaching to the Unionist choir – most reasonable people in Scotland understand that even though the Scottish Government committed errors in its handling of an unprecedented global emergency, it was not guilty of anything like the callous cruelty of Boris Johnson and his enablers, one of whom is the current Prime Minister. 

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The Tories constantly harp on about the Scottish Government supposedly using the pandemic to further the case for independence, although this is strongly denied by Nicola Sturgeon. Yet evidence presented to the pandemic makes it clear that Rishi Sunak was hell bent on using the pandemic to further his own career ambitions. 

Moreover, he deliberately ignored scientific advice and evidence as he persisted with his attention-seeking Eat Out to Help Out scheme, even though it resulted in an increase in infections and deaths. 

Even if the Scottish Government had continued to pursue independence during the pandemic, this was at least a goal which they sincerely believed to be in the best interests of Scotland. 

Rishi Sunak wanted to introduce his infection boosting scheme because of the selfish and self-serving reason that he thought it would boost his prospects of securing the leadership of the Conservative party. And he couldn't even manage that, losing out to the politically insane Liz Truss. 

‘I didn't delete some of the messages, no. I deleted all of them.’ 

The hypocrisy of the Tory faux outrage about WhatsApp messages was exposed when Scotland Secretary Alister Jack, a man who has consistently hidden from scrutiny, admitted that he had deleted every single one of his WhatsApp messages. I'm sure we can now expect days of pearl clutching coverage about this from the Scottish press. 

The National:

Jack previously tried to dodge appearing before the Inquiry and had repeatedly delayed submitting his written evidence. Today he appeared for a mere 80 minutes, fitting perhaps for a useless man whom other witnesses have alleged contributed absolutely nothing of use to Scotland's response to the pandemic. 

Deputy First Minister John Swinney previously told the Inquiry that Jack had contributed nothing of value to the handling of the pandemic. First Minister Humza Yousaf had told the Inquiry that although Jack habitually sat in on remote meetings, without making contributions. 

This, let us not forget, is the most senior politician representing Scotland in the UK Government. Yet for all the practical good he did, he could have been replaced by a cardboard cut-out. 

Jack's evidence ends the Edinburgh sessions of the UK Covid Inquiry. Now the Scottish media will now have to find something else to attack the Scottish Government about. Oh well, back to the ferries. 

The Tories created the housing crisis 

The "we're not nationalists we're British" Tory party, the one whose leader Douglas Ross regularly rails against divisive nationalism has been drinking the Kool-Aid of hypocrisy again. 

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In a post on social media, the Conservative party official account posted a graphic with the words "British homes for British people," adding: "We’re ensuring decent hard-working people are prioritised for the home they need." 

Presumably people who are not British are neither decent nor hard working in the eyes of the Conservative party. 

The post came after it was reported a couple of weeks ago that in s desperate bid to prevent the GBeebies viewership vote defecting to the far-right Reform party, the Government is considering a "British homes for British workers" scheme which would give British families a higher priority for social housing. 

The move, which has blatantly fascistic overtones, has been sharply criticised by the housing charity Shelter, which said: "This is deeply worrying language, that has historically been used to blame migrants for failings in society and to divide people and communities. It's a smokescreen designed to cover up the government's own failure to tackle the housing emergency." 

It's not migrants who have created the UK's housing crisis, it's decades of Conservative housing policy, but it's far easier to blame it all on immigrants.