THE Speaker of the House of Commons has agreed to a Labour motion seeking a debate on whether Boris Johnson misled Parliament with his repeated assertions that there were no lockdown-busting parties in Downing Street, that he had been assured there were no parties, and if there were any, it was someone else's fault.

Also that any gatherings which took place were at all times within the rules, that it can't have been a party because the men were wearing suits, that Johnson had been ambushed by a cake which had at all times remained in a tupperware box, that it didn't count anyway because Downing Street is both his residence and his place of work, and a slew of other lies and excuses.

Now he tells us that he accepts the judgement of the police but he thinks they got it wrong, and his apologists insist that – in any event – it's no worse than a parking ticket.

The debate is due to take place on Thursday. Its purpose is not to establish whether Johnson lied. We all know that Johnson lied. He lied to Parliament, he lied to his own party and to the Cabinet, he lied to the press, he lied to the public. At this point, it would be easier to find someone that he hadn't lied to than finding someone who would trust Prince Andrew around their teenage daughter.

However, the problem here is not establishing that Johnson lied – of course he lied. It's getting Conservative MPs to hold him to account for it and to stop enabling his shocking disdain for the law and for the rules that the rest of us must abide by.

Unfortunately, for the rest of us, the careers of those Tory MPs depend upon ensuring that Johnson gets away with it. They will only move against him if they think that their seats are at risk because of him, and they are waiting to assess the extent of the damage the Conservatives suffer in May's council elections before deciding whether to unseat him.

They are reluctant to do so in no small measure because there is no obvious successor now that Rishi Sunak's prospects have crashed and burned in a binfire of his own arrogant entitlement.

The aim of Thursday's debate will be to force Conservative MPs either to debase themselves before the coming election by continuing to support Johnson and make more pathetic excuses for him, continuing to trash their own reputations in the process, or to come out against him and to undermine him.

However, what is most likely to happen is that the Tories will be at their braying and jeering worst, as they try to drown out the Opposition with distractions and spurious appeals to the need for unity in war time, even though the UK is not actually at war.

Nicola Sturgeon's momentary lapse in putting on her mask on a campaign visit to a barbershop in East Kilbride will most certainly be brought up, as will any other imagined sin of Opposition parties as the Conservatives attempt to deflect and distract.

Since the Conservatives have a majority of close to 80, it would take an unprecedented backbench rebellion for the debate to conclude with a vote affirming that Johnson did lie to the House and must resign. It will not happen, because Douglas Ross is not the only unprincipled jellyfish careerist in the Conservative Party. The Tories are full of them.

If Johnson remains in office after this week – as it is most likely that he will – then it only proves that the political and constitutional systems of the British state are woefully inadequate and are unable to hold power to account, making them unfit for purpose, and that the Conservative party is morally, politically and democratically bankrupt.

The problem with having a pathological, entitled liar occupying the most powerful office in the land is that the rest of his party and the government follow his lead. The UK is a cheatocracy.

Lying is the only thing Johnson can be trusted to do. When Johnson does eventually shuffle off this mortal coil, the epitaph on his tombstone will say "Here lies Boris Johnson." In his case, it won't be to identify the grave. It will be a summation of his time on earth.

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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