"PARTYGATE" is all over the news. Every newspaper is headlining with it and my MP in-tray is filled with outrage from constituents and correspondents further afield.

It's hard to keep track of the detail. It's perhaps easier to ask on which nights Number 10 wasn't partying during the pandemic than on which nights it was.

There were wine and cheese events in the Downing Street garden. There was a birthday party with cake, candles and a disappearing Chancellor of the Exchequer.

And so much celebratory booze was being consumed the night before Prince Philip's funeral that staffers needed to go out with a suitcase to buy more.

Michael Gove says that we must now show "Christian forgiveness" towards the perpetrators – a carefully chosen phrase, surely, because he highlights both that sin has been committed, but also that no apology has been offered. For to receive forgiveness, repentance must first be offered up.

And I see precious little repentance. Instead, there's a feverish desire to find scapegoats – depute heads must roll, as they used to say at the BBC.

Jacob Rees-Mogg is currently patrolling the tv studios telling us all, in his languid way, that we should stop "fussing about cake".

Can he really be so tone deaf?

The public are not angry about someone randomly eating cake. It is rather what this particular cake represents – who was consuming it and when.

Not for the first time in history, we have a cake which symbolises an out-of-touch regime, indulging itself while the people suffer.

I see these events through a very personal prism. March to June of 2020 are seared on my memory.

My Mum had had a wee fall at home, went to hospital, and contracted a chest infection.

She threw that off quickly. But doctors didn't want to discharge her home without physiotherapy so they sent her to a respite centre just as the country went into lockdown.

I wasn't allowed to visit. The rules were quite clear. And, although I phoned every day, she lay alone, month after month without visitors.

On the May 27, 2020, we "celebrated" her final birthday over FaceTime with a cake I'd sent in, and a nurse holding it up to the camera.

My Mum, desperately lonely, stopped eating and drinking shortly afterwards and died in early June.

The public, I think, hate the weird, convoluted sentences constructed by the prime minister and his apologists suggesting that he would be terribly sorry if anyone happened to be upset by his possible presence at a party which he thought was a work event.

Across the land, people endured terrible sacrifices. They're angry that rules that applied to us didn't appear to apply to our Westminster leaders.

And, at the very least, they want a smirk-free acknowledgement of wrongdoing from Downing Street.