LAST weekend, people from around the country gathered to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

A fitting tribute to 70 years of service to the country that she loves, and a milestone unlikely to be reached again in the lifetimes of most people now living.

Perhaps a blessing though, if it means that we won’t be subjected to Rod Stewart’s rendition of Sweet Caroline anytime soon.

It is a remarkable moment in our history, but what is perhaps more remarkable is the genuine affection with which our monarch is held around the world.

A poll conducted in the Republic of Ireland found that the Queen is more popular than any political leader in the country. The French President, Emmanuel Macron, held a ceremony in Paris to mark the occasion.

But while the country was enjoying the platinum jubilee weekend and the sunny weather, Tory MPs had slightly different preoccupations. As we later found out, the threshold for a leadership challenge against Boris Johnson was reached.

Despite having encountered a greater rebellion against his leadership, the Prime Minister now limps on. We now have a UK Government that has lost what little authority it had - and a Prime Minister whose brazen rule-breaking and utter shamelessness is dragging our country down.

As this latest Tory psychodrama inflicted upon the country was unfolding, I kept recalling perhaps one of the most poignant images of the pandemic. When Prince Philip passed away, his funeral was held according to all the rules, regulations and guidance in place at the time.

And so we were presented with pictures of the Queen, standing apart from her family, grieving the loss of her husband of 73 years.

And at the same time, this Tory Prime Minister - who was responsible for the rules in place - was stood at parties and after-work drinks making toasts.

The image of steadfastness and resolute determination which the Queen represents should haunt Boris Johnson, and those Tory MPs who lacked the courage to dump him for the good of the country.

It is not often that I agree with Douglas Ross - but it is time for Boris Johnson to go.

Though I’m sure that the Scottish Tory Leader will change his mind again in the next few weeks, so it is likely a short-lived spectacle.

On the subject of political leaders with no shame, or sense of irony, we turn to the Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

This week, as proclaimed on the front page of this newspaper, she opened the new Scottish Trade Union Congress Headquarters in Bridgeton. In so doing, she proclaimed that it was a “good day for trade unionism”.

I’m sure it was.

But a better day for trade unionism would be for the Government, which she leads, to drop its ridiculous proposals to ‘reset’ the public sector and lose 30,000 jobs.

A better day would be for the Government, which she leads, to find the cash needed to deliver a pay rise to rail workers or local government workers.

A better day would be for the Government, which she leads, to scrap its plans to cut council budgets by 7% over the next five years.

We are in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis. And the First Minister’s response is to keep hacking away at the services people most rely upon. We deserve better than this.