LAST week, I examined Prime Minister Truss and Chancellor Kwarteng’s calamitous economic incompetence, fearing worse was to come.

I was proved right almost immediately when tax cuts for the rich – that Douglas Ross had urged Nicola Sturgeon to copy – were ditched but left the economy, interest rates and mortgages mortally damaged, and East Lothian facing the consequences and hard questions.

At the Tory conference, Liz Truss identified an imaginary ‘anti-growth coalition’, dismissing the elected SNP Government alongside trade unionists, Remainers, and climate change activists.

Ignoring the anti-growth impact of Brexit and deregulated development’s threat to the environment, Ms Truss lumped the SNP together with Labour and the Lib Dems, failing to recognise the gulf between the pro-independence SNP and other pro-UK and pro-Brexit parties. Truss told the British people “I believe you know best how to realise your ambitions” but disregarded Scotland’s ambitions for self-determination and our own economic and moral choices.

READ MORE: Paul McLennan MSP column: One of the most bizarre weeks in UK political history

Two sessions at the SNP’s conference focussed on independence and the kindness and respect that should govern campaigning, while 29 other debates addressed new rail and ferry links, climate change and the environment, expanding kindergarten provision, tackling homelessness and poverty, opposing immoral Rwanda deportations – and other policies that demand independence.

For Nicola Sturgeon the choice is clearer than ever in her lifetime: “Independence is essential to escape Westminster control; get the governments we vote for; create a new partnership of nations in these islands; and be back in the EU”.

All this poses questions for East Lothian voters who backed May’s “strong and stable” Tory rule (2017) or Johnson’s “oven-ready Brexit” (2019): did you expect a fourth UK PM in six years to crash the economy? Do No voters still believe Better Together’s promise (June 2014) to protect UK jobs and mortgages?

Deputy First Minister John Swinney declared Scotland could be a powerhouse of green energy expertise, but “Scotland has the energy, but Westminster has the power”.

We don’t need Greenpeace protestors to tell us Scotland didn’t vote for the UK economic turmoil of Truss and Kwarteng gambling with our money and pursuing blindly ideological goals. The inclusive, fair, wellbeing economy possible only with independence is now essential.