EVENTS at Westminster this week leave a massive unanswered question over how long we will have to endure the idiocy of the current Prime Minister: are there any imaginable circumstance which would persuade the majority of English Conservative MPs to kick out Boris Johnson from No 10?

If he has not yet proved to enough of his own party that he is not fit to remain in office, what on earth would he need to do to convince them?

Look at the charge sheet so far. Everything he has touched has turned to excrement in his hands. Brexit? He got it done, and what an unmitigated disaster it has proved. Not only has leaving the EU seriously damaged our economy – dangerously undermining Scotland’s export industry in the process – he has put peace in Northern Ireland at risk and threatened to break international law.

Standard of living? His mismanagement of the economy has helped push prices to stratospheric levels. No sooner had we recovered from rises of more than 200% in our fuel bills than we had to cope with continually rising food process at the shop tills. It is no longer a choice between heating and eating … it is becoming ever more difficult to do either.

The National: Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak (Yui Mok/PA)

Like rabbits in the headlights, the Prime Minister and his hapless Chancellor (above) were unable to put together any meaningful response to the crisis until mounting fury forced them to act, albeit in a way which goes nowhere near the steps needed to make any impression on the gaping hole in family budgets.

Yet even now, with prices sky-high and expected to rise even higher, Johnson remains comfortable with raising National Insurance, further increasing pressure on ordinary people struggling to make ends meet, rather than trying to protect them at a time of almost unprecedented difficulty. He’s now hoping to bribe voters in England with an ill-thought-through plan to allow those claiming benefits to get a mortgage, as if buying a house is their top priority right now.

Moral authority? The very suggestion is laughable. Johnson’s tactics to dampen the public outcry at the boozy parties held at his office and his home while the rest of the country sacrificed for the common good were transparently devious and cynical.

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Not only did he continually change his story about the parties themselves – they weren’t held, then they were held but didn’t break any rules, he wasn’t there, he was there but not for long, they were work meetings, somebody else organised them – but he continually moved the line which would warrant his resignation.

He said we should wait for police inquiries before claiming he broke the law. When the police fined him, his Chancellor and his wife for attending a party, he somehow moved the resignation line to whether he would be fined twice. He told us to wait for the Sue Gray report. When Sue Gray’s report depicted a culture of drinking, partying and deplorable leadership inside No 10, he simply ignored it.

And yet after all this, most Conservative MPs thought the Prime Minister’s sins were not bad enough to justify sacking him. This is one of the most shameful verdicts passed by the Tories in a long line of shameful misdeeds. The vote being closer than expected makes it no less so. The fact that four of Scotland’s six Tory MPs voted against Boris Johnson is a mitigating factor only if they resign from the party. If they do not, their votes were simply a cynical bid to save their own political skins by attempting to convince the electorate they had a working backbone.

The National: Douglas Ross

How can Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross (above) continue in his post when his own lack of confidence in his boss is not shared by the majority of his party colleagues? In particular it is not shared by Alister Jack, the man appointed by Johnson to be his number-one Tory lackey north of the Border, and who repaid the “compliment” by praising the Prime Minister’s “tremendous leadership”.

Ross’s suggestion that Johnson should consider his position after the vote suggests that he hasn’t quite grasped the true character of the man he continues to serve despite his obvious disdain.

But the Tories’ leader in Scotland isn’t the only one to underestimate the arrogance and inanity of the man at the helm of the UK. Labour leader “Sir” Keir Starmer obviously considered the whole shambles unworthy of serious comment at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, when Tories could scarcely believe their luck at his failure to strike.

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It is to Labour’s eternal shame that they have failed to provide anything like an effective opposition at Westminster while the worst Prime Minister since Margaret Thatcher throws us to the economic wolves, takes our standard of living back decades and makes anyone who believes in morality feel like a mug.

It’s been left to the SNP to show that there is an alternative to the naked greed, incompetence and immorality of the Tories, which isn’t really their job given that the ongoing governance of the UK isn’t a major concern of a party dedicated to leaving it. But I guess someone has to do it, even if only to remind those living in Scotland that we don’t actually need to put up with these numpties.

Boris Johnson has been – correctly – called the most effective recruiting agent to the ranks of those who see independence as offering the best future for our country. But it bears repeating that independence would still offer exactly that, no matter who was in the Prime Minister’s job.

We want independence not just because Boris Johnson is a clueless but dangerous idiot, but because such a man can be elected Prime Minister without our support, can take irrevocable and catastrophic steps we are opposed to and can ignore the wishes of those we have elected to represent us at Westminster – while there is not a damn thing we can do about it.

We want independence not just because of Boris Johnson, but because of the long list of other prime ministers for whom we did not vote; because of the long list of actions taken which were so obviously against our best interests; because of Trident; because of the poll tax; because the gift of our oil was squandered; because the benefits of renewables will be similarly wasted; because we generate almost all the energy we consume and yet we are still squeezed to pay more and more for it; because our land has been taken and used as a playground for the rich and indolent; because our culture has been trivialised and mocked; because refugees we welcome and accept as our own can be taken away and sent god knows where with no permission needed; because we should be filled with fury and shame and, yes, regret that Scotland did not take its chance when we had it in 2014 … but not, never, anger at those who voted No because they were hoodwinked by the false promises of Better Together.

Scotland voted No in 2014 because we didn’t convince enough to vote Yes. As we set our sights on indyref2 before the end of next year, let’s work tirelessly to make sure that we don’t make the same mistake again.