ANYONE tuning into the launch of the SNP conference this weekend might have expected Scotland’s party of government to be talking about serious matters.

After all, we’re in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, NHS waiting times are diabolical and parents are increasingly worried about the standard of education in schools.

Instead, the leading members of the SNP saw fit to spend hours wrangling over the wording of their latest independence ruse.

The coming and going around the phraseology of the party’s official new policy on the break-up of Britain was excruciating.

They now believe they can go into the next General Election and claim, if they win the majority of seats in Scotland, it will automatically trigger independence negotiations with the UK Government.

The scheme is utterly absurd on a number of levels.

People don’t participate in General Elections on single issues – they want to make their voices heard on a range of matters.

My constituents in Glasgow are forever telling me they’re sick of the constitution and want everyday issues addressed as a matter of urgency.

Even if this latest version of the ludicrous proxy referendum goes the way the SNP expect, what do they think will happen next?

That a UK Government will roll over and accept their demand for separation negotiations?

It’s a meaningless campaign, and one designed with a single intention – to drive up gripe and grievance between Scotland and England, a shameless tactic from a tired party flat out of ideas.

It’s not just the UK Government which, rightly, wouldn’t take these demands seriously.

The international community, which is already sceptical of the SNP’s ongoing obsession for breaking up one of the world’s fairest and most successful countries, would take a dim view of this gerrymandering.

But the bickering about the wording of this motion at conference betrayed the real problem with the SNP.

They are quite happy to wrestle over the most intricate of details so long as it’s the topic of independence on the cards.

Ask them to discuss any other matter and there’s nothing but inaction, disinterest and neglect.

Imagine the Scottish Government put this level of focus into sorting out our NHS?

Could the SNP representatives, from the First Minister down, consider placing this level of scrutiny on drug deaths?

And what about Nicola Sturgeon and her supposed number one priority of education?

Since that declaration was made things have only got worse.

You can observe these failures in almost any area of devolved government, and backdate the decline to when the nationalists came to power in 2007. Their time is up and they know it.

The only thing that could get the MSPs who did bother to attend excited was the minutiae of an irrelevant independence clause which will never come to fruition.

The SNP may have survived on the oxygen of break-up for the past decade in office, but it can’t go on for any longer.

People have moved on and want a government which concentrates on the things that impact their everyday lives.

You’d think the party of government would be alive to these demands.

But as this conference shows, the SNP have never been further away from the mood of Scots.

Until the leadership realise this, the areas that matter so much – education, jobs, the NHS – will continue to suffer.