This government bears all the hallmarks of the dying days of the Major government in 1996-7. Indiscipline was rife with Ministers slagging off their own government in the papers every day. The difference between then and now is that Brown's Ministers and MPs are doing it on the record. In the last week...
* Health Minister Ivan Lewis criticised Gordon Brown's style of government
* Licensing Minister Gerry Sutcliffe says his own government's policy on alcohol tax is wrong ... then later says "my comments do not reflect my true views". Incredible
* Loyalist MP Greg Pope tables and EDM slagging off the abolition of the 10p tax band ... then a few hours later withdraws it having been "persuaded by the arguments". Hmmm
There comes a point in a government's period office when it resembles a plane about to crash. The pilot is wrestling with the joystick, but there's nothing he can do when the plane reaches the point of no return. I don't think Brown has quite reached that point yet, but Number Ten is in such a state of chaos that it's not far away.
With a hattip to Ben Brogan.