TODAY is the first Prime Minister’s Questions of the new parliamentary session.

And the question on Westminster lips is: “What’s wrong with Boris?” Last week he emerged blinking from his Highland holiday having to blame the exam fiasco on a “rogue algorithm” – more like a rogue Prime Minister.

After a summer of disastrous U-turns, with certain heads rolling and other heads staying attached to less than broad shoulders, Johnson will not be relishing the single-handed parliamentary combat ahead. He’s also battling with critical headlines in the normally Tory supportive press and polls that show a significant drop in popularity. Boris, boo hoo.

But the tough questions will not go away. This is not a case of see, hear or speak no evil. Given a possible second wave of Covid this winter and the coming storm of Brexit, deal or no deal, Johnson is going to have to face the music. If he thinks he can put the Corona health crisis behind him with a fingers-crossed attitude in order to save the economy, then he’ll need to get his head out of the sand quick. With the Brexit transition countdown under way, the economy is teetering on the brink of a precipice.

As for our global standing, the UK is a sad joke, the truculent teenager in a room full of grown-ups (and the Donald) refusing to accept that the party is over and no, he’s not allowed another drink. Things were bad already because of Brexit behavioural issues even before Johnson and Cummings made a mess of protecting the public from the pandemic.

Now Sir David King, the former chief scientific adviser and founder of the Independent Scientific Advisory Group (SAGE), has waded back into the fray describing the Government’s official response to Covid as “a complete cock-up”, with Johnson’s team “consciously” allowing the virus to spread.

“Consciously” allowing the deaths of more than 50,000 people is some accusation – and some legacy for Johnson to defend in Parliament.

King thinks the reason behind the Government’s lack of transparency on the SAGE decision-making process was because Johnson didn’t want the public to know that his senior adviser was involved in their meetings and decision-making process – that is the same adviser who drove all the way to Barnard Castle, that well-known centre of ocular testing.

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The fact that Cummings remains in place regardless of his lack of care defies all convention, all notions of the responsibility of public office and all ideas of any old-fashioned gentleman’s agreement to do the right thing.

But Johnson seems to be drawn to rogue agents with their own agenda who don’t care if they ruffle feathers along the way. Not content with going all out to shield the controversial Cummings, Johnson is now rumoured to have made the “conscious” decision to hire former PM, Tony Abbott, the infamous Australian all-round climate denier. Perhaps that’s what endears him to Johnson; with rumours of a crisis in confidence in their leader’s abilities amid Tory rank and file, Johnson may feel some parity of work experience with the Trump-loving Mr Abbott. Those of us with long memories will recall Abbott’s ham-fisted intervention in the Scottish referendum campaign, leading some Aussie Scots to adopt the slogan ABA – anyone but Abbot, before a chap bearing the name of Turnbull finished him off.

A brilliant and excoriating piece on Boris Johnson written by Jonathan Lis for Byline Times describes Johnson as the “anti-Prime Minister”, where his intention was never to do the actual job of prime minister, the nuts and bolts of running the country and protecting its citizens, but to just be Boris Johnson. For “personal sport”, for the ride of his life. Ouch.

And of course, Johnson can’t do this on his own, hence Cummings’s position of power amidst this Billy Bunter chaos, all these jolly japes – he he he. Adding Abbott to the mix is just for pure mischievous fun, a two-finger salute to all those already shocked and horrified by the lack of calibre or moral fibre in this Number 10 theatre of the macabre.

No wonder Johnson looks so uncomfortable at PMQs. He’s actually having to work, he’s actually having to be more than just his bluffing buffoon persona, he’s forced to look in the mirror at the monster he and his party have created. So what if he doesn’t care, if it’s all a big joke?

Well if the midges can move him from his bell tent overlooking the Sound of Raasay then surely we can democratically dislodge him from the rest of the country? Otherwise the joke is very much on us.