IF all political careers end in failure, it is more obvious with some than others. Assuming we have seen the last of

Mr Johnson (and I have to say I’m unconvinced he will quit the stage to grow potatoes), this week drew a line, of sorts, under his awful time in government.

Monday saw the investigation into whether Johnson intentionally misled Parliament come to a close – 354 MPs voted in favour of the committee’s findings that yes, he did. Only seven voted against, though with a few hundred abstentions for various reasons. For a man who has never been shy of boosterism and bravado, the date of his 59th birthday passed with him being roundly condemned by all sides of the House of Commons.

Our then Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, was of course evicted from the House of Commons for daring to say what we all knew to be true – that the PM, as he was then, was a liar. Nothing could ever be his fault, for he himself was faultless. When the emperor stood up with no clothes on, it was the SNP who called him out.

There were so many scandals that it is often easier to forget than to remember. Under Johnson, Parliament was illegally prorogued back in 2019. Under his administration, his government sat on their hands whilst we warned about threats to our democracy from nefarious outside actors mentioned in the Russia Report.

He empowered his cronies by putting them in the Lords for life, wasted billions of public money on botched PPE contracts, and presided over a culture of corruption, impropriety and decadence in public life.

Less high-profile but even more telling, the Owen Paterson scandal exposed how many of Johnson’s acolytes were earning vast fortunes from second jobs or being paid to lobby for private interests without first declaring it. Nor should we talk about how his government bungled up the withdrawal from Afghanistan leaving many of those who tried to help build a new country behind.

And we cannot possibly ignore the greatest failure of all, Brexit. That disaster was a deeply dishonest project which is now leaving millions across these islands poorer and worse off than ever before.

Much as Trump wrecked standards in public life and governance across the pond, his British caricature has also overseen similarly corrosive damage to public trust in politicians. The ramifications of Brexit are coming home to roost as businesses deal with excessive bureaucracy in trading with the EU and food costs surge as farmers cannot find enough staff to pick their crops.

And it’s not just farmers. The NHS is struggling with recruitment for similar reasons while Tory austerity had already hammered out its delivery before the pandemic hit with a crushing force on the institution.

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Not to mention that the damage caused by Johnson led to the human hand grenade of Liz Truss’s premiership, whose reckless economic “mini-Budget” cost us all £30 billion in one day and has directly resulted in interest rates surging for homeowners paying their mortgages.

I’d be wary, though, of saying Johnson, or Johnsonianism, is finished. His new platform in the odious Daily Mail gives him an opportunity to continue poisoning the well of public discourse. His vindictive pride also means that he genuinely believes that he has been wronged.

Johnson seems to think that he is above the law (something which in Scotland, rightly, is not the case, as we in the SNP know only too well just now). Meanwhile, he will continue to rake in the millions from speaking circuits, as he has done since being kicked out of office last year.

All this allows him the chance to watch and wait, sniping from the sidelines, as the Tories struggle to deal with the crises caused by him.

In English politics, there’s plenty of scope to see him back riding a wave of populist anger (that he was responsible for, but that won’t matter to him) creating an even uglier politics than we have now.

That is all hypothetical, though, and the question remains about what is to be done.

The point of independence is not to repeat the mistakes of the past but to improve upon what we have done before. The same forces which allowed someone like Johnson to rise to the top also exist in Scotland.

As this week’s latest Building A New Scotland paper outlined, independence gives our citizens a constitutional reset, to build in a system of checks and balances which is representative, democratic and ensures that the people of Scotland can live their lives with dignity and opportunities to pursue their dreams and ambitions.

In the new Scotland we are striving to build, let’s ensure that the Johnsons remain where they deserve – in the circus, not public office.