So he's gone. Or hasn't. Like the leader of the last Neanderthals skulking in his cave, balefully watching Homo Sapiens stride into view over the hill, Brown clearly intends to stay put for the time being and strive to keep the march of evolution at bay.
Of all the indignities his Government has foisted on the electorate, this must surely be the greatest and most unforseen. Brown stays to broker a deal with the LibDems and anyone else they can rope in to make up the numbers, then, when Autumn comes and the LabLib coalition is firmly ensconced, they elect a new leader.
And as the doors of Number 10 open to receive Prime Minister Miliband or Balls or - God forbid! - Mandelson and another unelected leader is foisted on us, all the voting public will be able to do is watch in impotent horror and bury the valuables in the garden.
Prosepective leadership candidates have been asked not to declare themselves yet; it is claimed this is 'for fear of looking undignified' - I'm more inclined to think that, if Balls and Mandelson announce their candidacy, the most undignified spectacle in town will be the scrum queuing for immigration papers outside every Commonwealth embassy in London.
Update: Seen over at Burning Our Money in a fine post on the coalition wranglings -'Tyler's Polish patio-layer tells of an old Polish expression re changing governments - "same trough, new pigs". '