ASK yourself this. Do you feel ready to heed the Prime Minister’s entreaties and simply “move on” from Partygate and the motion of confidence in his leadership?

Thought you might say that. Sundry waves of backwash are still arriving on our political shores, at the close of a tumultuous week.

For example, among Scots Tories, there is a degree of dark humour around, perhaps to counter the inevitable gloom.

One senior Conservative said to me: “For our party in Scotland, virtually anybody would be better than Boris Johnson as Prime Minister right now.”

A slight pause. Then the sardonic supplement. “Except, perhaps, Jacob Rees-Mogg.”

Surely you remember Mr Rees-Mogg’s contribution to the leadership debate? He characterised Douglas Ross, the Scottish Conservative leader, as a “lightweight”, demanding that he display loyalty to Boris Johnson.

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As I noted at the time, this remark summed up the dichotomy for Scots Tories. They have to work within a distinct polity, a devolved Scottish Parliament, while simultaneously operating as a subsidiary of the GB party.

So here is another question for you? Would the Scottish Tories work better – and appeal more to the voters – if they were detached from that London-based party?

It is an idea with history. Might it be considered again? However, before we get into all of that, let us reflect on a few other waves in the backwash.

Firstly, the survival of the Prime Minister himself. Self-evidently, his position is vulnerable, his grip on the leadership precarious.

A little more than 41 per cent of Tory MPs declared a lack of confidence in him. Scarcely solid support. There are now definable factors working against him and other factors which might assist.

Factors against include two pending by-elections. Lose one or both of those and the No camp may swell in determination, and in numbers.

Mr Johnson also faces the verdict of the Commons Privileges Committee as to whether he misled the House regarding jollity at Number 10. If that finds against him, he is finished.

Among the factors against, we may also count momentum. He achieved a poorer result than predecessors such as Theresa May, John Major and Margaret Thatcher, although admittedly in circumstances which are not entirely comparable.

However, among the factors potentially in his favour, we may also count…..momentum. Or, as Harold Macmillan put it, “events, dear boy, events”.

The news cycle may indeed “move on” to the next caravanserai on the journey. Number 10 may encourage such a shift, seeking to distract our attention.

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This week’s speech on housing in Blackpool was just such an endeavour. On this occasion, notably unsuccessful. Too early, too insignificant.

But what if Boris Johnson were to deliver, for example, a crowd-pleasing cut in taxation? (I am using the word “crowd” there in its early Anglo-Saxon meaning of “Tory backbenchers.”)

Seeking to “move on”, Mr Johnson has already indicated such an ambition.

But what might the Treasury do? They will no doubt advocate caution, alert to the OECD forecast that UK growth next year will stagnate entirely, lagging other developed nations.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, says he is an instinctive tax-cutter. But, bruised as he is by leaks about his own domestic finances, will he be entirely eager to rescue his boss, or to hand him the credit for a populist move?

It is trite and almost tautologous to say that the Tories are divided. But the division lines are intriguing.

There is no defined, united sect harrying the PM. For example, his critics come from both pro and anti-Brexit ranks.

That might mean he can pick some of them off with appeals for loyalty and/or hints of preferment. Already, a few who voted against him are saying that the issue of leadership is now decided and should be shelved.

Primarily, Mr Johnson is seeking to depict his critics as playing the game of his principal opponents, Keir Starmer’s Labour Party. Again, that may work to some extent – although the Tory divisions remain sharp and raw.

And then there is Scotland. Only two Scottish Tory MPs supported the PM in the confidence motion; David Duguid and the Scottish Secretary Alister Jack. The other four voted against the PM.

As the SNP’s Ian Blackford pointed out in the Commons, the remainder of Scotland’s 59 MPs are entrenched opponents of the Conservatives.

Mr Blackford’s solution? Independence, of course. The Scottish Government is about to produce a new series of papers on that very topic.

Douglas Ross has to deal with that, and more. His position was already undermined by his own vacillation, in turn driven by the shifting standpoint of the PM.

The Conservative Party in Scotland is also divided – but the silos are distinctive.

As with the PM, the Scottish leadership is trying to raise the spectre of gains for Tory opponents. But different opponents.

Craig Hoy, the Scottish Conservative chairman, argued that any lasting discontent would only benefit the SNP and so weaken the Union.

Might the Scottish Tories then take the chance to create an autonomous party? From 1912 to 1965, they stood as Scottish Unionists north of the Border, while taking the broader Tory whip at Westminster.

However, such a Northern Ireland style grouping was deliberately disavowed in the 1960s and would not work now. How about a modern Right of Centre formation in Scotland?

From soundings this week, I think full autonomy is a non-starter. It would be seen simply as a sustained rebellion against the PM – which would further divide the Tories and exacerbate the problem.

And yet Douglas Ross is, clearly and firmly, steering away from those who say that the contest is over, and that the PM now deserves support.

Yes, some of the older guard in the Scots Tories think loyalty to the GB leader should be automatic. They also probably regret devolution.

But Mr Ross knows that he has to survive in modern, post-devolution Scotland. That means, as one senior Tory told me, he needs to take “an assertive standpoint” on Boris Johnson, reflecting anger in Scotland, rather than obeisance at Westminster.

That means the Scottish Conservative leader advancing a distinctive position in Scotland. Semi-detached, if you like.