ONE of my very favourite films is Seven Days in May – a first-rate 1964 American political thriller about a military-political cabal, plotting a takeover of the United States government.

Based on the novel of the same name, it stars Burt Lancaster as a power-crazed general, Ava Gardner as a Washington vamp and Kirk Douglas as Lancaster’s nemesis, the major who finally stands by the constitution. Fredric March totally steals the picture as the kind of essentially decent man we would all like to see as president – a sort of compos mentis Joe Biden.

This movie bears no relationship whatsoever to the current Westminster political pantomime – it would be like comparing Othello with Trumpton.

However, there is but one point of comparison and that is to yet again demonstrate Harold Wilson’s dictum that “a week is a long time in politics”.

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In the fictional Washington’s week of drama, the balance of power flows back and forward as first the military and then the democrats gain the upper hand. In last week’s Westminster reality, all that happens is that the Prime Minister keeps drowning himself in a sea of sludge.

In his seven days in November, Johnson has taken his party from a comfortable mid-term lead over the comatose Keir Starmer, to well behind in the polls. He has gone from master of all he surveys in the Tory firmament to a liability looking for his Brutus to stab him in the front. All this in the space of a week.

The fact that the Prime Minister carried off this reverse achievement during a global summit makes it all the more remarkable. Instead of saving the planet, Johnson could not even save his pal Owen Paterson, such is his bumbling, upper crust, mal a droit insouciance.

Real politicians cannot lose from an international conference. The gravity of the occasion makes them look bigger and better than they are. Johnson is the exception. He is a graceless gadfly, a political lightweight in baggy breeks.

No-one should be surprised at this turn of events. Back in May, when “The Dom” Cummings told a Commons committee that there were “thousands” of people better suited to run the country than his old boss, I observed that stating the blindingly obvious should not come as a shock; that sooner rather than later this clueless charlatan would undo his own political trousers.

Let us all remember exactly what we are dealing with here.

This is someone who made Brexit happen, not because of some inner belief like Farage, but as a career move. How Boris must have agonised over his famous two articles attempting to work out what the sliding door futures offered Johnson.

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After much swithering, dithering, writing and then unwriting, Johnson realised that his self-interest could be fashioned to collide with ruling Britannia and he finally plumped for leading the Leave campaign.

Even Michael Gove, a man who has spent the last 25 years in deep mid-life crisis, could not, in a fleeting moment of sanity, stomach the naked opportunism of his partner in the Brexit crime.

But Boris still eventually ascended, and now having got Brexit done, he is busy undoing himself. He has been left dangling memorably on political high wire waving the Union Flag at disbelieving onlookers.

The question for Scotland is why are we not right now standing on our political high ground brandishing the saltire? There will not ever be a weaker, more ineffective, politically paralytic opponent than Johnson. There will never be a more opportune moment to assert Scottish sovereignty.

If the Scottish Government cannot face down Captain Pugwash and his motley crew, then we should get a grip of ourselves. Because the Tory party and Westminster power will repair itself soon enough and insert a much more formidable opponent. And time is really not on Scotland’s side.

Johnson’s true objective in his week of farce was not to rescue Paterson but to unturn the redoubtable Kathryn Stone OBE. Having failed to unseat the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, he is now totally at her mercy.

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Sooner or later he will be pressured into putting a figure on how much his Spanish holiday at the Goldsmith family’s villa was worth and that and the Downing Street refurbishments saga, currently dangling between the Electoral Commission and the Tory party, will end up in Ms Stone’s domain. If she then finds against the Prime Minister, even marginally, then he is finished.

The Tory party has one enduring principle which it has maintained through the ages - self-preservation. They are totally ruthless in dealing with electoral liabilities.

At various times in the entirely self-serving career of Boris De Pfeffel Johnson, it has often been thought to be all over. In all likelihood, it is now.