Are you familiar yet with Javier Milei, the new president-elect of Argentina? Since sweeping to victory at the weekend he has been making the news around Europe and the US, mostly in the “aren’t foreigners crazy?” slot towards the end of bulletins.

Depending on the photo, the sideburns-sporting former TV pundit is either the dead spit of Benny Hill or Bernard Manning. Either way, he’s a hoot. During the campaign his party piece was waving a chainsaw around to show what he was going to do to state spending. Anything that is not nailed down he will sell, including state-owned media.

He has boasted of his ability as a tantric sex guru, he used to play in a Stones tribute band, and his closest advisers defecate in the street and like to have their tummies tickled. Say hi to Milton, Robert, Conan, Murray and Lucas, the new leader’s (cloned) dogs.

It’s hard to know what is most concerning - all of the above, that his nickname at school was El Loco, “the crazy one”, or that he used to be a goalkeeper.

But don’t be too quick to cry with laughter at Argentina’s anarcho-capitalist showman and his eccentric ways. In fact, check that western privilege at the door and stick a cork in those feelings of superiority because who do we think we are?

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I have it on good authority that Argentina’s equivalent of Panorama is sending a crew to Holyrood to see for themselves the parliament where you can lie openly and get away with it. “Scot Free” I believe the episode is titled.

When the news crew is done with Scotland it is off to London for the UK Covid-19 Inquiry to learn how a government’s incompetency led to many more people dying than need have been the case. In time the inquiry will hear how the same government hosed billions in the direction of Conservative-supporting chancers making protective equipment that was as much use as Matt Hancock. Yet despite such blatant wrongdoing, it is highly unlikely that anyone will ever see the inside of a prison cell in consequence.

Time was when standards in the Scottish and UK political establishments were the envy of the world. The merest hint of wrongdoing would have a chap rushing to hurl himself on his sword. How things change.

It’s all a question of perspective, you see. When Scotland’s First Minister and his Health Secretary look at how an £11,000 bill for iPad roaming charges has been handled they detect no wrongdoing, no catastrophic misjudgment that would cause a minister to leave his job.

According to Humza Yousaf, Michael Matheson is a man of “integrity and honesty”. He did not mislead the parliament, or the First Minister, when he insisted the iPad had been used solely for constituency purposes, despite knowing that to be untrue.

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Others view the situation differently. They see a minister who is in the wrong, however he got there. But instead of accepting responsibility and resigning, he is going nowhere. Meanwhile, the man who is meant to be his boss backs him unquestioningly.

This is not how it is meant to be. In your average functioning democracy, a minister caught out like this, who has had the truth dragged out of him like an infected tooth, would have gone by now. He might have tried to drag it out for a few days but the outcome would have been inevitable. Not any more.

It has actually been rather moving to watch the media slowly realise that Mr Matheson is not for budging and there is apparently nothing that can be done about it save for more huffing and puffing. Ditto opposition MSPs. This must be what it is like to be one of those “ordinary” people to whom things happen.

Appeals to Mr Matheson’s boss are going nowhere. It has not been the First Minister’s finest fortnight. Listening to his “look, I’ve got teenage kids myself” speech on BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House last Sunday, it sounded like he was shovelling blame on the heads of his own children, Mr Matheson’s children, and teenagers in general, all to get his minister off the hook. How can that be right?

Much attention has been paid to the period between Mr Matheson discovering his sons had run up a bill watching football matches and the minister telling his boss, the parliament, and the public. But it is worth going further back, to the original sin as it were, to fully appreciate where Mr Matheson went wrong.

So, the holidays are over, the bill comes in. Mr Matheson is alarmed enough to pay a portion of it, leaving the rest to be paid by the parliamentary authorities, who were only too quick to oblige. He didn’t make any inquiries of his family, didn’t bother finding out for himself exactly what the problem had been, he just whacked the cost through on expenses and waited for the parliament to pay up. By parliament I mean you and me, the mugs who pay their wages and their roaming charges.

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Talk about taking the Michael (Matheson). The whole affair has been treated by the Scottish Government as a trivial matter, all muddle no fiddle, as though the money paid out was not real. Just an accounting exercise, the moving of figures from one column to another, nothing to see here, no harm done. Comfort yourself with that as you wait for that hip or knee operation this winter; £11,000, after all, is not a kick in the pants off the cost of a hip replacement in a private hospital, or a couple of knee arthroscopies.

But there we go again, being reductive when there are bigger things to worry about. Of course there are, but that does not mean what has gone on here is right. Short of something else coming to light, Mr Matheson will carry on in his job and his critics will have to lump it. Write letters to your MSP and MP if you wish, or nurse your resentment until the next election, but essentially that is it for the time being. The system has failed, and all it took to put a spanner in the works was a neck brassier than Boris Johnson’s.

A price will be paid but in currency you cannot see or touch - integrity, trust, faith in politics and politicians. All more precious than gold because when they are gone they are gone. Hope it was worth it.