The Scottish Greens might not always be on the money when it comes to the economy but finance spokesman Ross Greer was spot on last week with his summation of what Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross had to deliver on this front.

There had been quite the media hullabaloo ahead of Mr Ross actually delivering his speech, which was meant to be a grand plan for the Scottish economy. And this plan turned out to be called “grasping the thistle”. You got the impression there was excitement in some quarters ahead of Mr Ross delivering his speech, probably more among Conservative supporters, that he was actually going to come out with something profound.

Seasoned observers would, of course, surely have thought this a most unlikely scenario. And they would have been right.

Not only did Mr Ross fail to deliver anything profound but his speech lacked anything of perceptible substance at all. There was talk of economic growth being important, which seems an obvious enough point. And there was talk from Mr Ross about the issue of Scottish independence. He comes across as a broken record on constitutional matters, and something of an obsessive on the independence issue. This could be convenient for him, you would suppose, given he might otherwise have to actually talk about the economy and how his party has caused it great damage.

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Mr Ross tried to big up the levers the Scottish Government has when it comes to the economy. In reality, these are not great at all. The power when it comes to the major things affecting the Scottish economy lie at Westminster. In this context, the Conservatives have delivered a hugely damaging and counter-productive austerity drive, and Brexit. Their policies have weighed heavily on the economy in Scotland and other parts of the UK.

Returning to what Mr Greer had to say about Mr Ross’s offering, the Scottish Greens’ finance spokesman described the Tory leader’s supposed economic vision as a “meaningless shambles”.

He declared: “This isn’t an economic vision for Scotland, it's a shambolic tribute act to Liz Truss and her disastrous few weeks in office. The last thing Scotland’s public services and economy need is more incompetent Conservative policymaking.”

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Mr Greer added: “Douglas Ross has a shocking economic record. He backed Boris Johnson and his disastrous Brexit and then Liz Truss and her catastrophic economic experiments. He must take his share of responsibility for the soaring costs of food, energy and mortgages caused by their policies.”

It was difficult to find any fault with what Mr Greer had to say.

Ms Truss was, of course, replaced some time ago as prime minister by Rishi Sunak. However, Mr Sunak has continued the dismal economic track record and policymaking we have seen from the Conservatives since 2010.

Mr Greer is absolutely right – Mr Ross must take responsibility for the soaring costs households are facing as a result of Tory incompetence on the economy. That said, we should not expect that he will, based on past experience. Mr Ross, it seems, would far rather talk about the constitution.

My columns in The Herald last week took in the challenges facing the Scottish hospitality sector and the fact that the drop in the energy price cap unveiled late last month is not particularly significant and will leave UK households facing another miserable winter of sky-high household fuel bills.

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Brian Sheldon, hospitality director for property agent Christie & Co in Scotland, highlighted staff shortages and costs as a “constant problem” for hospitality businesses in Scotland.

On the question of whether he had solutions to suggest to address the staffing issues, he replied: “Without going down the political landscape, probably not.”

While noting that “perhaps on occasion hospitality is not viewed as passionately as it was”, and flagging the impact of the pandemic, Mr Sheldon added: “Dare I say it, Brexit as well – Europeans who are no longer here, not as many as there once was.”

Brexit was, of course, not something that the Scottish Government could guard the nation against, with those modest levers it has at its disposal which Mr Ross seems to think are so powerful.

Leaving the European Union has wreaked great damage on the economy in Scotland and the rest of the UK, and continues to do so.

On the energy front, the Conservatives must also bear responsibility for presiding over a situation in which the prices that households are having to pay for electricity and gas have been allowed to surge to the extent they have, and for their failure to ensure security of supply and provide adequate support.

Of course, some of the current calamitous situation in the UK’s energy supply market has its roots in the Tories’ privatisation extravaganza of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

That said, the Conservatives have been in government since 2010 and have the power to provide adequate assistance now and to reform the market to make it less dysfunctional. No mention of that from Mr Ross either.

Mr Greer is right to take Mr Ross to task over the economy.

The Scottish Greens do not always get it right on economic matters but their failures on this front surely pale into insignificance relative to the havoc caused by Tory ineptitude in this area.