Gordon: L'etat c'est moi... (aussi Harriet)
The biggest split in the Labour Party is now not between left and right, Blairite or Brownite. It is between a generation of politicians who still think they can win the election and those who - thinking beyond election day - wonder whether they can prevent the party itself from falling apart thereafter and allowing the Conservatives to be in power for a decade.
Though there is nothing concrete yet, this is the shared agenda of people like James Purnell, writing in the Guardian, Jon Cruddas, the centre-left backbencher, and Ed Miliband, setting out his own stall in the Observer.
What has happened since the non-event of last Wednesday is significant, and has begun to focus a lot of minds inside Labour. I've spoken to half a dozen insiders in the past couple of days and concluded as follows.
First, Gordon Brown has won the war to stay leader but lost control of the policy. That is a widespread feeling on the Labour backbenches and in government.
Harriet Harman, Alistair Darling and Peter Mandelson each wanted something slightly different, but what they agreed on was that an "investment not cuts" line going into the election was not sustainable. Also that 10 Downing Street's operation was "dysfunctional" and that control should pass - under the guise of election planning - to a wider group of Cabinet ministers, including themselves.
The political substance of this is primarily economic. Labour will now go back on track, as it did after the June coup attempt against Brown, trying to spell out big spending cuts, privatisations and welfare reform. It will also abandon the class war rhetoric Brown began in the run up to the PBR in favour of the new buzzword: "aspiration".
This is more than mere to-ing and fro-ing between Brownite and Blairite rhetoric.
I am told even many on the centre left did not trust the PM to be able to deliver a rhetorical swing to the left without it becoming a core vote strategy. Most voices on the Labour centre left still speak of "rebuilding the coalition" with the progressive middle class, and are not emotionally attracted to a cloth-cap, core-vote strategy.
Anyway, the tangible outcome is a change of control over policy and the beginnings of a much higher degree of transparency over the cuts agenda. And next comes the backlash phase.
Labour's grass roots are beginning to feel very nervous about what this new "aspiration + tough cuts" rhetoric might mean. The trade unions had come up with a whole list of policies they wanted in the manifesto. They are now feeling very nervous about whether any of their agenda will get into the manifesto. More than one general secretary has been heard to say that if there are cuts and privatisations as a result of Alistair Darling seizing control over fiscal policy back from Brown and Balls, then they simply cannot persuade their members to fund the election campaign.
I am told the key issue is going to be rights for agency workers. Britain has a derogation from the EU rule that says agency workers have rights from day one of their employment, because there is an informal agreement between the government, CBI and TUC. Some union leaders are now musing on the prospect of pulling the plug on that agreement, triggering the immediate application of full EU law.
Ordinarily, the mainstream political discourse in Britain tends to treat unions, and still more so the non-Labour left, as an irrelevance. However both these forces are highly relevant to the current crisis Labour is going through.
In the first place, there is going to be an election for the leadership of the Unite union - Britain's biggest and the biggest Labour donor. This is mired in factionalism and there is the possibility, as one union official put it to me, that the battle becomes one between the left and the centre-left.
The possibility of the left winning in Unite seems to be bigger in the minds of their opponents than themselves, but these worries are just a cipher for the bigger issue that Labour is going to struggle to take its grass roots organisations in the direction it has just decided to travel.
The bigger picture? It is front of mind for some of the key Labour backbenchers who fear they will have to pick up the pieces in summer - and from all wings of the party - that Britain may be convulsed by social unrest as a result of the scale of the cuts the next government has to make.
In that scenario the nightmare is not a Labour swing to the left, it is the loss of any traction or activist base that connects all these deep-thinking, younger Labour politicians to the people at grass-roots level.
They are waking up, says one backbencher, to the fact they have no activist base in any social movement: not the unions, not the environmental campaigns. James Purnell's article touches on this with regard to the vibrant and highly influential London Citizens group. How did it end up, he muses, that this mass, multi-ethnic, heavily religious and avowedly non-socialist activist group ended up outside the orbit of the Labour movement. Bearing in mind that London Citizens springs from exactly the same sources as the movement that produced Barack Obama, it is a question I think this new generation of Labour politicians will keep returning to.
What you have the beginnings of this week are two forms of scrambling in the Labour Party. At the top, scrambling over how to put together a manifesto that recognises the reality of cuts, asset sales etc, and a pre-election budget that reflects this new consensus about "aspiration" rather than class war.
Then you have in quick succession Ed Miliband (Observer), Jon Cruddas (New Statesman) and James Purnell (Guardian) scrambling in quick succession to lay out their political stalls in thinkpieces about policy and strategy.
Behind it all there is profound nervousness about what the party "machine" will look like if Labour ends up out of power - and about how effective machines like the Trade Union Co-ordinating Group or the Labour Representation Committee will be in that situation.
It must be weird to have a red dispatch box in your hand and still be worrying about Joe Marino and the Bakers' Union, but for Labour ministers right now, that's life.