ONE would think a renowned Greek scholar might be alert to the dangers of hubris.

Certainly there is an abundance of myths from which to fill a person with caution at this lethal shortcoming. Icarus, famously flying too close to the sun. Achilles struck by Paris’s arrow.

Bellerophon, with his ignorance of his own limitations. Or Niobe, who saw her legacy destroyed thanks to arrogance. Though Niobe only had 14 children.

Was Boris Johnson gazing at the bust of his political hero Pericles as he sat in 10 Downing Street trying to fathom yet another way to slither back from the brink?

Perhaps, yet it wasn't Greek myth to which the gentleman turned during his unabashed, poor-me speech yesterday. It was to Darwinian theory.

"And my friends in politics," the resigning prime minister said at the podium yesterday, "No one is remotely indispensable and our brilliant and Darwinian system will produce another leader."

The analogy was telling: survival of the fittest, a battle to be at the apex of competition. Not for public service, not for the greater good, but for one's own success.

As a political animal, Johnson was tooth and claw mendacity, nose to tail dishonesty. There has been a fearful symmetry to his rise and fall - lies on the way up, and lies on the way down with no remorse shown in either direction.

If Darwinian theory is correct then these non-useful traits should be left behind in the next generation of prime minister but will they? That only remains to be seen.

Yesterday's inelegant speech, a non-resignation resignation, showed just how overblown has been talk of his powers as an orator. It included a pop at those in government who have moved, finally, to bring him down, criticising their "herd mentality".

He gave a brief run down of his supposed greatest hits while framing the entire affair as a plot against him, a travesty for him and for the public.

A masterclass in self-delusion and gaslighting, what it emphatically did not contain was an apology.

Johnson has made a career of surviving on non-apology apologies – he either doesn't bother to apologise at all, or he's sorry that you're offended.

A heartfelt apology is a tricky gamble for a politician. On one hand, voters claim to admire honesty and responsibility. Apologise and move on, goes the advice.

On the other, an admission of wrongdoing can be a difficult thing to shake off, a thing that can sharply end a tenure.

Johnson, naturally, was aware of this balance. What tipped him towards a position of bullish non-apology was a lifetime without consequences. A rundown of his behaviours over several decades is astonishing - from classist bullying in the Bullington club to lying throughout a variety of jobs to racist column writing to grubby behaviour in his personal life.

And yet the only follow on from this was continuous promotion.

An apologetic Johnson is so rare that it is easy to call from memory times he has said he is sorry. At the Owen Paterson lobbying affair he finally said he "accepted it was a mistake and it was my mistake".

Finally, after much probing, he said of the lockdown garden party, "I want to apologise". Asked about partying the night before the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh he said, with pause, "I can only renew my apologies".

On Tuesday this week he gambled again and squeezed out another. "It was a mistake," he said of the Chris Pincher appointment “and I apologise for it.”

The resignations began to domino in almost immediately afterwards from colleagues wearied, not by ineptitude and a complete unsuitability for high office, not by disgust at his unperturbed reaction to alleged sexual offending, but by having to keep covering for the man.

Self-interest was Johnson's fatal flaw and it has been his undoing. Both his own self-interest and that of colleagues aware they looked increasingly ridiculous with every toadying Today programme appearance.

Exhausted with making excuses for Johnson, they turned on him.

Tuesday's sorry clearly took it out of him and he retreated to type for the Downing Street speech. So much of it was aimed at stirring his fanbase, energising their support, rather than any contrition at the end of a disastrous job, appallingly done.

The speech serves as a warning that Johnson will not go quietly and sees himself as the injured party, deserving of amends.

Even as he claimed to be standing down – it remains to be seen how long he will have as "caretaker prime minister" and whether he will use this time to attempt to rally round and stay on – more scandal emerged.

One of the reasons he wants to stay in No.10, and this seems extraordinary enough just to be true, is that he and Carrie Johnson plan to have a wedding party at Chequers. Imagine clinging to premiership rather than doing a ring-round of alternative venues.

How very, very Johnson.

In response to the story, a prime ministerial spokesperson said Chequers had nothing to do with it and his failure to immediately budge is because Johnson has a "strong sense of duty". To use his own words against him, what pyramidal inverted piffle.

Who cares, now, whether Johnson apologises. He is done, and his actions are moot.

Now what is needed is an apology from the Conservative party. An apology for foisting on the country a leader so without depth, so lacking in shame, so desperate to cling to power without altruism. Johnson's continuous promotion was aided and abetted by the party, allowing his destructive behaviour to carry on for too long.

An apology is a starting point to forgiveness. Can voters forgive the party? Without extended contrition and meaningful shame it seems unlikely.

The Tories will suffer long under the shadow of Boris Johnson, a man who has erred so relentlessly and luxuriously, so unabashed by wrongdoing.

But, as Homer may or may not have said, them's the breaks.