RIGHT to the heart of the issue we go. Will the prime minister tell this house the true nature of his feelings towards John Lewis?

"I love John Lewis," Boris Johnson told reporters yesterday. Ah, a straight answer. A true one? We'll never know, and precedent suggests it unlikely, but at least the PM is trying to put to bed one element of this week's scandal.

He certainly wasn't keen to give the leader of the opposition anything close to a transparent response. On Wednesday Sir Keir Starmer, in full QC mode, had a relaxed smile that told exactly how much he was enjoying Mr Johnson's PMQs meltdown.

Would the prime minister tell the house who paid the initial bill for the renovations to his Downing Street flat? Becoming increasingly jabby of finger, he would not tell. Agitated, blustering, thin-skinned - this was the Boris Johnson he tries so hard to hide behind a persona of affable bumbler.

The home decor saga might have slunk quietly from the headlines if it weren't so easily pun-able - cash for curtains, CashNCarrie, Carrie Antoinette.

And with such glorious quotes. There was Sarah Vine, columnist and wife of Michael Gove, on the TV opining that a prime minister could not be required to "live in a skip".

How Theresa May feels about her not so long ago vacated home being described as a skip is something I hope comes out in her biography.

No one particularly cares if Mrs May suffers emotional injury at her interiors choices being brutally slagged - but they do care about the abject snobbery of rejecting John Lewis furnishings as beneath the Prime Minister and Carrie Symonds.

This had come from a line in society magazine Tatler saying Ms Symonds desired to turn "Theresa May’s John Lewis furniture nightmare into a high-society haven."

If a line in the sand must be drawn, then John Lewis is it. The suggestion that the pinnacle of taste for a majority of British shoppers is non-U will not stand.

It's a double edged sword, that one. On one hand, the John Lewis quote helped give the scandal - who paid for the decorating, why, when, was the ministerial code broken, and etc. - additional airtime.

It's also assisting Boris Johnson in brushing the whole thing off. "The one thing I object to in this whole farrago of nonsense is I love John Lewis," he said yesterday. "But what I will say is what people want this government to do is focus on their priorities."

A ludicrous £30,000 is allocated each year for the tarting up of the Downing Street flat. That's 30,000 whopping pounds. Ms Symonds spent in the region of £200,000.

The waste of it. The throwaway profligacy of spending £200,000 on some temporary decorations. You could buy two houses on my mum's street for £200,000 and have ample spare change for the decor.

There has not been nearly enough said about the fact Douglas Ross's cheeks should be as pink as a damask rose. How swiftly he moved to call for Nicola Sturgeon's resignation when she was alleged to have broken the ministerial code, how persistently he kept at it. Now Mr Ross's boss is alleged to have done the same and what has he to say for it but very little.

Focus on priorities, Mr Johnson says, the man who knows the price of nothing and the value of nothing. In the same interview he said the government is "focusing on the stuff that really matters".

Honestly matters. Transparency matters. The suggestion the man in charge of the country might be able to balance his own budget matters.

But this attempted deflection from issues at hand is such a tired political trope.

The public is amply able to consider more than one issue at a time, whether frippery or necessity. And certainly politicians and their parties should be nimble enough to juggle multiple balls.

The Scottish election campaign has been chronic for this. "Has she forgotten there's a pandemic? She needs to focus on what matters," on any topic raised.

Has they forgotten that Nicola Sturgeon stood in front of the country on a daily basis and read out the death toll? I highly doubt memory is an issue.

While we're here, can we obliterate the phrase "cut through" from public life, please? If topics aren't "cutting through" to the public then perhaps the journalist commentators complaining of lack of engagement might consider whether they're reporting the subjects in an engaging way.

The Electoral Commission is now investigating the Downing Street flat scandal, ensuring it will stay in the headlines for a while longer - but likely to little effect. Certainly, the Commission can issue fines of up to £20,000 - but who will Mr Johnson approach to pay it for him?

On the same day the PM declined to answer Sir Keir's questions, the House of Lords voted against protecting homeowners from post-Grenfell fire safety costs that could stretch to £10 billion.

While the prime minister is throwing money away on arriviste furnishings, householders are facing financial ruin from vast bills that come as no fault of their own. It's estimated that 1.3m flats are now unmortgageable and lives at risk in unsafe buildings.

If Mr Johnson can only focus on one thing at a time, there's some renovations he might like to hone his efforts towards.

What we've discovered this week is nothing new. The Tory elite is out of touch with the average concerns of the average person - yup. The prime minister is being led by an unelected First Girlfriend - mmm hmm. There is sleaze and corruption at Westminster - check and check.

Boris Johnson can seemingly get away with anything, an attribute we saw reflected in his pal across the pond.

Britain Trump certainly has a touch of the Presidential about him. His recent £2.6 million refurbishment of a single room to be used for White House-style press briefings. Concerns that his partner is a pseudo First Lady, the power behind the throne room. His repeated statement that he paid for the Downing Street decor is all a bit "I did not have sexual relations with that woman".

Some advice for Mr Johnson might be "read the room" but it's too late for that and besides, this is a man doing a job for title and the cache, nothing else. His leadership is arrogant and self serving and no amount of gold wallpaper can cover those cracks.