The UK Covid Inquiry sitting in Edinburgh has been revealing. The view that the Scottish Government did a better, more honest and transparent job than the UK Government of dealing with the Covid pandemic has been shown to be entirely untrue. The truth is both governments struggled as did those all around the world.

The UK Government has one shining credit on its record which is the effective and speedy way it led on vaccines. Vaccines were the real game changer, saving many lives.

The Scottish Government's triumph was PR. Like President Zelensky's nightly broadcast to the people of Ukraine, Nicola Sturgeon was genuinely good at coming into our living rooms on television telling us what the Scottish Government was doing. To be good at PR is an achievement but it is not a real thing, it may make people feel good but it saves few lives.

READ MORE: Scottish income tax in spotlight as Kate Forbes wades in

What the Covid inquiry has also shown is the troubling fact that our government in Scotland does not work well.

This is a new thing. When the Labour/LibDem coalition was in power but had the humility to call itself an executive rather than, pompously, a government, things actually worked quite well. There was no manufactured conflict with the UK government and our leaders in Scotland, instead of trying to compete with Westminster, worked in co-operation to address real issues.

Under the SNP the mission to break up the UK is everything; roads, railways, hospitals and schools are secondary.

Part of the problem with the SNP Government is the low calibre of people in it, look for people of real stature and talent and you have to look very hard.

The other part of what has gone wrong with the Scottish Government is that it has too much power. The problem is not the areas of policy which it is responsible for, by and large those are reasonable, but the lack of checks and balances on its use of the power it does have is dangerous.

In the UK parliament, MPs can and regularly do vote against their party whip and that is a good thing for a healthy democracy. The SNP's grip on its MSPs, reinforced by the mechanics of the list electoral system, is so strong that such defiance is extremely rare.

The Herald: Nicola Sturgeon 'talked a good game'Nicola Sturgeon 'talked a good game' (Image: free)

The same problem infects the Committee system in the Scottish Parliament. These Committees are supposed to scrutinise proposed legislation in order to improve it. They have proved ineffective in that role and the SNP/Green members of the Committees think their job is not to scrutinise and alter poor legislation but to defend it. The result is bad laws .

The civil service has failed in its key role to act impartially. Of course the job of a senior civil servant is to assist the government of the day but Leslie Evans went too far, in my view, and became part of the government. Why was there no minutes of key meetings? Why was there a secretive Gold Command decision-making body during Covid which was hidden from the Cabinet ? What on earth was going on with WhatsApp?

Local authorities, the part of government which most affects our daily lives, is regularly crushed by the Scottish Government. Increasingly, councils can only spend money on what the Scottish Government wants them to rather than being able to set local priorities. The council tax freeze, plucked out of the air by Humza Yousaf, cuts across democracy as well as being stupid.

Something needs to be done to stop this growing misuse of power. We should not have to rely on the UK Government intervening to prevent the most egregious follies, such as the Gender Recognition Reform bill.

Scottish councils should be able to set their own levels of council tax and spending priorities. Let local electorates decide what should be done and what level of council tax they will support – rather than Edinburgh dictating.

The impartiality and robustness of the civil service in Scotland needs to be improved. They are part of the UK-wide civil service and their day-to-day performance should be made more directly subject to the scrutiny of the UK civil service.

The Scottish Parliament needs to contain within it some mechanism to stop the passage of poor and contentious laws. There should be no more badly worded and unworkable nonsense such as the Hate Crime Act. In the UK Parliament, quirky though its membership may be, the House of Lords does a highly effective job at scrutinising and improving legislation. In Scotland we need to create something, which is beyond the control of the government of the day, whose role is to approve or not the legislation passed by the main legislative body.

READ MORE: Highland depopulation: Environmental elite want a desert

The key is that the members of that body, call it a Senate if you wish, are not elected on the same basis or on the same electoral timetable as MSPs. This Senate could perhaps comprise two people from each of Scotland's eight electoral regions, elected directly for 10-year terms with elections for one of the representatives from each region every five years. The Senate would have no power to propose or amend legislation, just to say Yes or No to bills put before it. MSPs would be forced to pull their socks up.

There are clearly other variations possible on the theme but the key point is that all is not well with our Scottish Parliament. Something is needed to make it more effective and stop the Scottish Government acting as it pleases.