Watching Nick Clegg as he threw his proverbial toys from the coalition pram, my main thought was how utterly tired he looked.
How ragged of voice and defeated of demeanour. If ever there was a man who needed a break – metaphorically and physically it must be Clegg.
It’s been a mighty long way from the Rose Garden to here and there are a gruelling three more years to go.
Will two weeks in the sun cut it? Probably not. But there are real questions whether he’ll even get that.
Gone are the days when you wouldn’t hear from the political class from the end of June to the pre-conference rumbles in September. We’re now well into August and the coalition are tearing lumps out of each other.
Backbenchers on both sides are acting up, acting out and acting the goat. Cameron or Clegg may go away, but in this day and age, that sure as hell doesn’t mean you can get away from it all.
Last year it was the riots that brought politicians abruptly back from their hols. This year let us all hope that they aren’t repeated.
The weather isn’t baking our inner cities to crisis point and the country is still basking in the shiny reflection of all those gold medals. So far so good.
But violence on our streets aren’t the only thing that could trouble politicians this summer.
The Olympics had started to feel like a nice break – despite the misjudged outbreak of petulant politics from some around the marvellous opening ceremony.
But the coalition couldn’t even wait until the closing ceremony to start the politics right back up. Lords reform and boundary changes, our continually slumping economy and a really interesting looking resignation/by-election announcement have kept politicos as much on their toes as a dancing dressage horse!
So the question I ask is – if politics hasn’t stopped for the Olympics, what makes anyone think it’ll stop for the holidays?
The sad answer is that I don’t think we will.
Reading Damian McBride’s fascinating account of the interruption of Gordon Brown’s first holiday as premier by foot and mouth, it is clear that the chief execs of UK PLC don’t get time off as the country never stops needing to be governed.
At the moment, I don’t think Cameron can or should leave his deputy in charge while he goes away. Not because 'Calamity' Clegg can’t cope, but because the Tory right are enjoying nothing more than making sport of the Lib Dems and undermining Cameron in the process.
Such an opportunity to do so unhindered for a fortnight would be too much temptation to bear.
So they’ll head off at the same time, and as such with the same burden of BlackBerries, iPads and the assorted paraphernalia of men who know that they will be waking up to bad headlines just as the rest of us are waking up with bad heads. This doesn’t strike me as restful.
Politics is run by people who are obsessed with politics. I know, because I am one of them.
It’s one of the reasons we have such trouble convincing the rest of the country that we’re just like them: we’re not.
When I spent a delightful week in Turkey last year, I went for a week without the internet. Without the news, without Twitter, without even email for most of the time (I think I checked it two or three times).
It was hard going, but in the end it was utterly, utterly worth it.
A holiday isn’t just about a change of surroundings, but a change of pace. It’s a really important part of being fit and ready for the work you have ahead.
Taking that work with you is ultimately the wrong thing to do for those you work for. If you aren’t capable of giving your best – and clearly neither man is functioning at their peak right now – it isn’t fair to your parties or the voters.
I’m rarely sympathetic to either David Cameron or to Nick Clegg. I blame them and their parties for the many, many problems our country are facing.
But what was already pretty lacklustre government has become ragged and slip shop.
For everyone’s sake, we need to make sure they get some peace and quiet, and put their feet up.
We’ll be at it like hammer and tongs again come September, but for now, Dave and Nick, I wish you bon voyage.