FOLLOWING the release of photos showing Boris Johnson having a rare old time at a lockdown-busting party at Downing Street on November 13, 2020, it seems that Douglas Ross is having second thoughts about his U-turn.

After having first demanded Johnson's resignation, he decided that the Prime Law-Breaker was a fine fellow after all. Now, Ross is not so sure again, and has called on Johnson to explain himself. How many U-turns does Ross have to make before he turns into a revolving door?

What use is it if Johnson does explain himself, when every word that comes out of his mouth is a lie? The evidence that Johnson lied to Parliament is now overwhelming, yet Conservative ministers continue to be trotted out for TV interviews and insult everyone's intelligence by defending him. But spineless Tories keep finding another excuse to avoid the inevitable.

First, we had to wait for the police inquiry to conclude, now we must wait for the publication of the Sue Gray report, and after that we will doubtless be told to wait until the Parliamentary Standards Committee has carried out its investigation. But we already know that Johnson broke the law on more occasions than he has been fined for and then repeatedly lied about it. The BBC has reported that staff at Downing Street claim that lockdown-busting parties were routine.

Today it is being alleged that Johnson tried to convince Sue Gray that her report was no longer necessary because of Scotland Yard’s investigation into the parties. This comes after Downing Street was forced to admit it requested a meeting between the Prime Minister and Ms Gray earlier this month. Johnson is easily the most corrupt Prime Minister that the UK has ever had in modern times, yet the sclerotic and inadequate British constitution means that we must rely on members of his own party to do something about it – a party formed in his own corrupt, entitled, lying and self-serving image. It's like expecting an East London gangster to grass on the Krays.

On a personal level. I am deeply angered and upset by these photos. On November 13, 2020, I was lying in a bed in Glasgow's Stobhill hospital, having suffered a massive stroke a few weeks before. The stroke left me paralysed down the entire left side of my body. I did not know if I would ever walk again, or even be able to function on a most basic level. At that point, I still needed help with basic personal care. I needed help to wash, dress and go to the toilet. Almost a year and a half later I still struggle with disabilities which are likely to be lifelong.

Despite the kindness and care of the hospital staff, it was a truly terrifying experience, yet because of Covid restrictions no visitors were allowed into the hospital. There were no supportive, loving embraces from loved ones, no hands to hold, no shoulders to cry on, no one to hold me and tell me it was going to be OK. There was just isolation and the lonely terror of nights on a hospital ward, alone with dark thoughts and fear.

During the entire time I was in hospital, I saw my husband and mother just once, glimpsed from a first-floor window as they stood waving in the rain in the darkness of the car park below. I have never felt more alone or more afraid, and I was far from being the only person put through that dreadful terror. I accepted the situation, as others did, because we knew it was for the greater good. Other people died alone, without the comfort of loved ones. Families were unable to say a final farewell to their nearest and dearest. Yet as all this was going on, Johnson was having a party in Downing Street, enjoying a drink with his cronies, laughing and joking as he lied to us that we’re all in this together.

And having displayed contempt for the laws that he himself had imposed on the rest of us, laws that took an immense toll on our emotional wellbeing and mental health, Johnson then lied blatantly and shamelessly about it. He threw some minor functionaries under the bus and still senior Conservatives continue to defend this shambling, abandoned mattress, stuffed with lies, deceit and entitlement.

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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