WITH just over a week to go until Scotland heads to the polls, most people will have already made up their minds about how they are going to vote, with some already even having done so by post.

I wonder if the events of the past week will have any impact on those who remain undecided. In this election, as in every election since 2014, the Scottish Tories have fought a one-issue campaign.

Their central policy of “No, nay, never” to indyref2 cosmetically inflates their voter base. It helps them win the votes of people who are more pro-UK that pro-Tory. These unenthusiastic Tory voters helped the party move to second place in the last Holyrood election, but will they be so willing to back Douglas Ross this time around?

Or will the stench of corruption emanating from Westminster make it impossible for them to do so in good conscience? Tory sleaze hit the headlines again last week and over the weekend. At this point it would be more newsworthy if there was a week where we didn’t hear about alleged dodgy dealings in the heart of government.

It started, as so many of these stories do, with a leak. It can be hard to keep up with which leak is which. A plumber should be sent to Downing Street as soon as restrictions allow.

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This one was the James Dyson leak. The one where the millionaire businessman texted Boris Johnson to ask him to look at some tax rules around the manufacture of ventilators. The Prime Minister said he would, because no isn’t in his vocabulary unless he’s telling voters in Scotland that they’re not allowed another referendum.

The texts somehow made their way to the BBC and Boris Johnson was criticised for his lack of transparency. Once the commentary around the story reached a pitch that was uncomfortable to the ears of the UK Government spin machine, out came the predictable diversionary tactic. Somebody, on behalf of somebody – let’s call him Joris Bohnson – briefed the newspapers that the Dyson leaker was none other than the Dark Overlord himself, Dominic Cummings.

As a dead cat strategy, it worked. But only briefly. While certain journalists told the tale with all the breathless enthusiasm that Joris Bohnson was hoping for, the reaction from most people was “so what?”.

Who cares if it was the PM’s former friend and adviser that leaked the Dyson (below)m texts? That fact (if true) wouldn’t do anything to stop the legitimate questions that the texts themselves raised about Boris Johnson’s professional conduct.

Ironically, if Downing Street had just left the story alone, it would probably have died down relatively quickly, as all the other Tory sleaze stories have. When you’ve already racked up an inglorious back catalogue of alleged crooked dealings, what harm would one more do? But you have to remember what a comically thin-skinned, narcissistic and immature Prime Minister we have. He doesn’t apologise and he doesn’t reflect. He only works on “attack” mode.

Unfortunately for Boris Johnson, few are better placed to exploit his inherent weakness of character more than Dominic Cummings.

So, Mr Cummings fought back and released an 800-word blog in which he denied he was the source of the Dyson leak. For those of you who are eager to get to the pub for its grand re-opening, I’ll save you the bother of reading it and just give you the highlights.

Mr Cummings alleges the Prime Minister tried to intervene to stop an inquiry which is ongoing into ANOTHER leak (the one involving details about the second lockdown) because Boris Johnson thought he knew who the leaker was and the leaker is apparently best friends with the Prime Minister’s girlfriend. Mr Cummings also claims the Prime minister had “possibly illegal” plans to get Tory donors to fund the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat.

Today, Labour hope to be granted an Urgent Question in Parliament so that a senior Government minister can be called to the House of Commons to answer questions about the allegations.

In a stinging editorial yesterday, The Observer newspaper said Boris Johnson brings the office of prime minister into “utter disrepute”.

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“There are two main claims, either of which if true should be sufficient to spell the end of Johnson as Prime Minister.’’

What makes this story potentially dicey for Johnson is not only the seriousness of the allegations but also the circus that surrounds the person that alleges them.

The UK tabloids love the cartoon villain character that Dominic Cummings has become. While this story at its heart is one about standards in public life and transparency in government: it is the personalities involved that could sustain it and keep it alive for long enough to do real damage.

Douglas Ross couldn’t have been dealt a worse hand for the start of the last full week of election campaigning.

His whole pitch is that only the Scottish Tories can save the Union.

I suspect more than a few 2014 No voters might this week finally decide that the Union doesn’t look like it’s worth saving.