Leaders come, leaders go
So Howard steps aside gracefully, leaving chaos in his wake; Blair clings to power even after saying he's going to go, breeding resentment and fear respectively among his heir's and his own supporters; Kennedy faces down his internal opponents and defiantly states he'll carry on ad infinitum even though nobody can ever imagine him in Number 10.
We Brits really aren't much good at this whole getting rid of political leaders lark, are we?
It's time to take some pointers from our continental cousins - and where better to look than Italy, home of the original Et tu, Brute? moment, and home to a positively ridiculous number of governments since they got rid of their last genuinely strong leader by executing him and his cabinet, before hanging his body upside down in the middle of Milan to be pelted with fruit and rocks by a braying and jubilant crowd.
Just picture that happening to Blair and co... Wonderful, isn't it? And we'd get a genuinely fluid, responsive democracy in the process. (And probably all kinds of chaos and confusion as a side-effect, but you can't have everything, eh?)
Anyway, I digress... Italy's longest-serving post-war Prime Minister (at an impressive four consecutive years) looks - finally - to be in a spot of bother. And it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
So, Tories, non-Blairite Labourites, anti-Kennedy Lib Dems - keep an eye on how Berlusconi's enemies get rid of the guy, as could and should be happening soon. He's got a far stronger hold on both his party and his country than anyone in Britain's managed since the days of Charles I - if the Italians can boot him out, it's final proof that Blair and co really shouldn't be that much of a challenge.
And hell - worst comes to the worst we can always follow the example of our forebears and do to Tony what they did to Charlie, or what those happy crowds did to Il Duce. We can test the axe out on Clarke, Blunkett and co first - it'll be great! Fun for all the family! Although knowing the way things work Sky will probably buy up the rights to the execution and whack it on pay per view... The bastards.
(Or does advocating the killing of the Prime Minister count as incitement to terrorism? Can't work it out these days... Anyway, if we'd overthrown the government in a popular revolt and instituted our own laws making our actions legal, we'd be acting with the authority of the state, so it couldn't be terrorism, right? I dunno - maybe I ought to just shut up now. Probably taking things too far. Brevity is better and all that - and makes you less likely to get locked up in a windowless cell for three months on the Safety Elephant's whim...)