IT is sometimes said that in any argument it is inevitable that someone, sooner or later, will mention Hitler – in fact, there is a name for the phenomenon: Godwin’s Law.

However, would anyone in the Conservative party have anticipated the chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum, Mohammed Amin, making a comparison between Hitler and the Tory leadership contender Boris Johnson? Mr Johnson has been subject to some pretty robust attacks in the last few days, but this latest one by Mr Amin is surely one of the most serious.

Mr Amin made his comments on the Radio 4 Today programme when asked about Mr Johnson’s popularity with grassroots Conservatives. “There are many horrible people who have been popular,” he said. “Popularity is not the test. A lot of Germans thought that Hitler was the right man for them.”

Mr Amin did go on to make the limits of his comparison clear – “I am not saying Boris Johnson wants to send people to the gas chamber” – but he also said he believed Mr Johnson had insufficient concern about the nature of truth and that he could never serve in a party that the former Foreign Secretary led.

Will Mr Amin’s comments have an effect on the leadership race? It seems unlikely, with Mr Johnson almost certain to make the final two names to go forward to the party members. We also know that most of those members are staunch Brexiters, which means Mr Johnson’s ascendancy to Prime Minister looks almost certain and, with it, the resignation of Mr Amin and presumably others who have concerns about the favourite’s suitability for the top job.

Their concerns are well placed. Firstly, whatever your views on Mr Johnson’s competency, morality and fallibility – and you could argue he fails all three of those tests – the new Prime Minister clearly needs to be a figure with the potential to transcend the divisions that the European referendum created. However, Mr Johnson was the de facto leader of the campaign to leave the EU and says that the UK will leave come what may on October 31. Mr Johnson is many things, but a unity candidate is not one of them.

And what about the divisions created by the Scottish referendum? Again, Mr Johnson is a worry in this area. Not only did his promise to raise the threshold for higher rate income tax from £50,000 to £80,000 show an apparent ignorance of, or immunity to, the consequences for taxpayers in Scotland, he is yet to show that he recognises the nature of the constitutional debate north of the border, or his ability to make a meaningful and positive contribution to it. Many Scottish Conservatives must also worry that Mr Johnson could undo all the political progress that has been made by Ruth Davidson.

The hope now must be that the concerns of Conservatives and non-Conservatives alike can be put to the test over the next few days. Mr Johnson has at least agreed to take part in a television debate, and that presents an interesting possibility: will this contest be won by a rival who finds a way to challenge the frontrunner, or, given his talent for gaffes, will it instead be lost by the frontrunner himself?

Equality Scots-style

IN some ways, it is the old familiar story of Scottish football – analysing why our national side has lost a game – but in other ways Scotland’s match against Japan in the Women’s World Cup represents the most remarkable change.

It is disappointing, of course, that Scotland did not win, but the levels of interest and excitement in the game demonstrate the kind of progress we are making at last: in pubs, on the television, and in The Herald’s live coverage, there were the same emotions as there would be in any game played by men. There was delight in victory and respect in defeat: equality Scottish-style.