Today's extraordinary events tell us two things.
First, it is clear that a number of Cabinet Ministers want Gordon Brown out. Several of them took most of the day to issue a statement and, when they were issued, some of those statements were lukewarm at best. Take the Foreign Secretary, David Milliband (who has form when it comes to considering then bottling a coup):
"I am working closely with the Prime Minister on foreign policy issues and support the re-election campaign for a Labour Government that he is leading”
Not a word of praise for Gordon Brown, just a declaration that he would like to see the Labour Government re-elected.
Second, these Cabinet Ministers lack the courage of their convictions. They cannot bring themselves to do what is in clearly in the country's interest (and the Labour Party's interest, though obviously I am less concerned about that) either for fear that he who wields the knife won't inherit the crown or because they can't see an obvious alternative.
We can't go on like this. The country faces profound challenges - getting Britain working again, restoring faith in our politics, the war in Afghanistan - yet we have a government many of whose members have no confidence in the Prime Minister and who are more focused on the Labour leadership election that will now come after the election than tackling these problems.
Divided parties are incapable of providing an effective government. That's one of the reasons the Conservative Party deserved to lose in 1997 and it's one of the reasons this Government doesn't deserve to be re-elected. The sooner we have a General Election the better.