Every time we thought the tide was about to turn we got a new wave of interest.
After the accusations against the Prime Minister's cleaner (and Brown was surely as innocent of wrong-doing there as any man alive) we had a fortnight of revelations, one day after another, each different, each adding new texture to the picture.
Some assertions were unfair, some were slanders, many were questionable, all were fascinating. The deadliness of details has been crucial. That's what's lifted it into a novelist's raw material. The self-important correspondence, the begging and bullying by cabinet ministers, the sheer professionalism of the book-keeping for sweets and plugs, moats and manure.
And then we had actual criminality. That has yet to play out. That may be awful.
It's been an amazing fortnight, and it's safe to say the public is now engaged in politics in a way it never was before. Are MPs pleased?
"It's been the worst two weeks of my life," one of them told me yesterday. "The public can think I'm dishonest if it has to. I don't want my son to think that."
It's easy to feel sorry for them as the days go by; equally, there is much to come that may yet be of value. We must steel ourselves.
It may be that we've only just begun. Here are three possible effects.
First: If Hazel Blears is sacked we may get the final tsunami that sweeps away the Government. Gordon Brown can't keep the "totally unacceptable" minister, and yet if he sacks her he is left with the equally "unacceptable" Geoff Hoon and James Purnell. If they go – and let's not forget the Porn Secretary too – there's an election. He can't carry on with so many holes in his unsinkable hull.
Second: the Commons has been so thoroughly chastised, so utterly humiliated that they may find only the most drastic ways to regain their self-respect. It may be that when the Government puts through a major crime Bill, say, with 72 clauses not even looked at – it may be MPs inspire themselves to some sort of co-ordinated disobedience. That is now possible in a way it wasn't a month ago.
Third: This information revolution might challenge our quango state. The proposition that no leading public servant should earn more than the Prime Minister is extremely attractive. And that none of the managers should make more than ministers. Making that happen would be enjoyable for MPs and would knock the self-confidence of a whole class of intrusive, rule-making, convention-building, make-work bureaucrats who have taxed us, fined us, constricted us and ruled us.
Suddenly we find that we have a chance to do to them what they've been doing to us. There's more life in the thing yet.Reuse content