So farewell, then, Gordon. In truth, you were a brilliant Chancellor but an ill-starred PM. Your double act with Tony Blair defined the political landscape from the mid-90's, and left the opposition struggling to catch up. But whereas Tony was always sprinkled with a bit of stardust, your feet were firmly on the floor.
I've always thought that Gordon's greatest crime was not to be a media player - he never came to terms with the limelight that 24/7 news politics now seems to entail. The simplest devices we councillors use to communicate with residents seemed sometimes to escape him. His mix of high principles and a driven personality were better suited to the politics of the 1840's rather than the early 21st century. He is a good man, too good perhaps for the TV age.
Matters seem very finely balanced tonight, after Gordon fell on his sword in the interests of his party and his country. On one level, it's cliffhanging stuff, reminiscent of an episode of the West Wing. The Tories are very publicly wooing Nick Clegg and the LibDems with the offer of a referendum on the AV voting system. Some in my party are saying we should let them get on with it, and what Labour needs is a spell in opposition. I think they're crackers. So, presumably does Gordon, which is why he brought forward his resignation announcement to today.
In truth, whilst there is a chance that Labour can retain power with the LibDems and the Nats, we should take it with open arms. There is too much at stake. It was on that basis that we fought the election - that the Tories would not only imperil the economy, but inexorably turn the clock back, robbing some of the most vulnerable in our society of hard-won gains. Opposition is impotence. However imperfect a coalition would be - and believe me, the idea of cosying up to Alex Salmond fills me with dread - it would be 100 times more preferable to watching the Tories unravel the reforms we have spent 13 years bringing about.
Do I think a grand coalition is possible? Yes I do. Is it likely? Probably not. Nick Clegg is from the economic liberal wing of his party, and instinctively would want to deal with Cameron rather than Labour and a coalition of the left. Still, scroll forward 48 hours, imagine George Osbourne rather than Alistair Darling loose in the Treasury, and appreciate what's at stake.