Don’t believe the hype.

Yes, the Holyrood inquiry into the Alex Salmond affair has been imperfect and prone to leaks - at least the Titanic only leaked the once, as one member observed - but it is very far from the partisan twisted witch-hunt its critics claim it to be.

Rather, over 190 pages and almost always consensually, the cross-party committee of MSPs paints a detailed and devastating picture of dysfunction at the very top of Government.

There is criticism from start to finish of the way senior officials behaved.

The harassment complaints procedure developed in the wake of MeToo in late 2017 was rushed and amateurish.

The way it was used for two complaints made against Mr Salmond in January 2018 was then riddled with problems.

MSPs found it “astonishing” that no one identified the conflict in the person appointed to investigate the complaints also providing prior support to both accusers.

The multiple roles of Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans, including deciding officer on the investigation, were also an avoidable “significant organisational risk”.

When Mr Salmond challenged the process in a judicial review, Ms Evans was at the centre of that process too, despite her part in the events that led to it.

It was her office in charge when the Government failed to hand over the documents which showed the lethal conflict over the investigating officer, thus prolonging the case and racking up extra costs to taxpayers.

Squarely pointing the finger, the MSPs said that, given Ms Evans was one the few people who knew about the prior contact, “it must be questioned” why she didn’t ensure that information was passed to the court earlier.

“This individual failing is as significant as the general corporate failing,” they said.

Worse, the failure to be candid was repeated with the inquiry itself, when ministers as well as officials held up its work with delays, junk paperwork deluges and withholding the legal advice showing how shambolic it had all been until the last minute.

The women failed by the initial process were thus failed again by a circus that left them feeling others would be less likely to complain of harassment in future.

Yet no one has resigned. 

It is truly damning.