BORIS Johnson’s attempt to greenwash Margaret Thatcher’s role in decimating coal mining communities on his visit to Scotland this week was undeniably crass, but sadly it was not especially surprising.

More than just being another wince-inducing gaffe for his Scottish party colleagues (who must dread his forays north), this was a display of how out-of-touch the Conservatives still are from the impact of their policies, both past and present, on low income and working-class communities.

No-one, for a single second, thinks what Thatcher did to the miners was a “big easy start” towards decarbonisation. It was entirely motivated by her desire to crush trade unionism, regardless of the cost on communities, who were left high and dry.

Let’s be clear – transition from fossil fuels is urgent but it must be a just transition, with investment in clean jobs, so we leave not one single person behind.

The Scottish Greens are committed to exactly that – giving a jobs guarantee for fossil fuel workers in our most recent Holyrood manifesto.

The Conservatives talk about “levelling up” but their words and their deeds continue to expose their distance from reality, no more so than in how they’ve managed the Covid-19 pandemic. While ministers face court probes into how they awarded multi-million-pound PPE contracts, millions of people on Universal Credit face scathing cuts to their income.

An economic cliff edge awaits with furlough ending.

That will hit young people, particularly young women and hospitality workers the hardest.

Anger is growing about the planned cut to Universal Credit, which the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has described as the biggest overnight removal of a social security safety net in the history of the modern welfare state. For most people, that will mean losing £85 a month.

Inflation, meanwhile, looks set to hit 4%, more than double the Bank of England’s target.

This is on top of already brutal policies like the two-child cap, which took money away from 1.1 million children throughout the pandemic.

The Scottish Greens will continue to oppose such cruelty, as well as doing all we can to mitigate its impact.

In the last Scottish Budget, we secured emergency measures like the £130 low-income pandemic payments, which will start being paid out shortly, as well as long-term anti-poverty measures like universal free school meals for P1-7 and free bus travel for under 22s, which starts next year.

In the council, we have created a dedicated Covid recovery budget to help those in greatest need, whether that’s helping people who are completely new to the social security system to maximise every penny they are entitled to, or whether it’s help with housing costs, especially in the private rented sector, where poverty is rising fastest.

Unlike Boris Johnson, we know that the harm Tory policies do to working class communities is no laughing matter. His crass-but-telling comments are yet another reason why the people of Scotland must soon have their chance to chart a future away from his brutalising vision for Britain.