WHAT a do, eh? What – A – do! A bit of House Music. Really rowdy, really lively. Then on to a private bash at the ’22! Didn’t get home until……oh, who knows when?!

The ’22? Is that a club? In a way. In a way.

Well, all parties have an aftermath. Sometimes gossipy, sometimes tedious. You know the sort of thing. Who snogged who? Who was several over the eight?

It is a fixed social ritual. This, of course, is a bit different.

We are talking about the First Lord of the Treasury. And a succession of gatherings. At his Downing Street domain. During lockdown.

Just what is the aftermath today for Boris Johnson, at the close of a remarkable week?

Not sure if Mr J. is a particularly avid aficionado of Scots Law. But, right now, I reckon the best he can hope for is Not Proven. On a good day. With a fair wind.

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But if he is damaged – and he is – then the impact extends beyond the elegant black door of Number 10.

His neighbour Rishi Sunak has palpably lost political ground, partly for the lockdown party fine but more from the leaks to the media about his domestic fiscal arrangements.

The Chancellor no longer looks like a credible replacement for Boris Johnson.

Then there is Douglas Ross, he who leads the Scottish Tories. He is definitely afflicted by fall-out from Partygate.

I cannot help feeling a degree of sympathy for him. How would you like to cope with such a vacillating, unstable colleague / boss as BJ? But, you know, Mr Ross has decidedly made things worse for himself. His position on the Prime Minister is now, frankly, ludicrous.

Firstly, he called for the PM to stand down. I think he was somewhat precipitate in that regard. He could have held off.

For his trouble, he was lampooned as a lightweight by Gussie Fink-Nottle, or Jacob Rees-Mogg as he's also known.

Then, when the PM stubbornly refused to bow to the Scottish Tory verdict, Mr Ross changed tack. The PM should stay.

And now? Perhaps I misread the message – it has varied so much – but it seems as if he is placing the PM on probation. Until the end of the Ukraine war.

Boris should apparently stay for now, even although the UK is not directly involved in the conflict. But he should consider going when the fighting is over – and the world’s wealthy nations, including the UK, are needed to pick up the pieces.

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Again, to underline, I empathise. But this position is unpersuasive and nonsensical. I suspect Mr Ross knows that.

Certainly, he faced an immediate dose of rival retribution when he stood in his place at Holyrood.

He was pursuing, entirely legitimately, the issue of the delayed ferry contracts on the Lower Clyde.

In his dogged, determined way, he was chasing down John Swinney. (In the Covid-enforced absence of Nicola Sturgeon. Do get better soon, FM. This is no way to mark your record tenure in office.)

It was going reasonably well, as these things go. Until Mr Ross talked about the need for honesty. Mr Swinney rose slowly and magisterially, like an old school domine chastising a recalcitrant pupil.

He was, he indicated, less than inclined to take lessons on honesty and integrity from a man who was now supporting the retention of Boris Johnson in office.

It was, in its way, a ploy, a mischievous distraction. But it worked. On the day, it worked. And, if Mr Ross’s opponents have their way, it will bear repetition.

However, back to the main man, the PM. His statement this week was a masterpiece of coy obfuscation.

He contrived to apologise, to take responsibility for everything that happened on his watch – and yet to seek to distance himself from the core of the controversy.

Look at his language. He was, he said, “surprised and disappointed” to hear tales of drink, karaoke and casual vomiting.

Surprised? Disappointed? Those are the words of solemn parents, returning to find that the house has been trashed by their teenage offspring and chums.

But there was more. The PM insisted he was “not mitigating or extenuating” his culpability. Aye, as they say in Glasgow, right.

Rather he was providing “context”. Much as Mark Anthony did when characterising Brutus as an honourable man, while in reality excoriating him.

In essence, the PM was trying to provide an antidote to the principal accusation which confronts him. That his approach in this case, that his attitude overall, is one of arrogance.

Indeed, he even talked of humility. At first, by saying “we are humbled by the experience”. We. Plural.

Then, when chastised by opponents, he produced the personal touch. “I am humbled and I have learned a lesson.”

But was that delivered with sincerity? Or, again, like a cornered, resentful youth, was it offered up to get his persistent critics to desist?

So where now? Mr Johnson is keen to move on, to shift focus back to such issues as the economy, including the help for energy bills funded by a levy on power companies.

The passage of time may indeed reduce the degree of voter obloquy. The heat may subside somewhat. But I believe that a degree of lasting damage has been done.

More immediately, Mr Johnson faces an inquiry by the Commons Privileges Committee as to whether he misled Parliament. Not sure I see that being decisive.

There are two tough by-elections pending, in two Tory-held Westminster seats.

Defeat in either or both of those could convince a few more Conservative MPs to urge their boss to step aside.

Yet, ask yourself this. What further prompting do they really need, if they are reluctant to act when Sue Gray’s report said the culture in Downing Street was down to leadership, both political and official?

You know the bit that really sticks in my craw? The narrative of privileged party goers remonstrating with cleaners and security staff who tried to restore order, who tried to do their jobs.

They were cleaning up while their promoted colleagues were covering up.

One commented: “We seem to have got away with it.” Maybe. We shall see. We shall see.