All in all, the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was, for me, the clear victor of this so-called 'debate'. I must commend him for not stooping to Soubry's level of petty insults, for rising above Campbell's spin and for consistently trying to drive home the messages and policies of a Labour government under Corbyn with the passion and strength of an electable party leadership team.
My big brother died on Tuesday. It was a massive, horrible shock, even though we have always known that people with his condition live on average twenty years less than the rest of us. My Dad lived to 82, my Mum to 88. Donald was 62. His condition was schizophrenia. His illness, not mine, is the real reason I campaign for better understanding and treatment of mental illness, not least because people who have schizophrenia do have such shortened life expectancy.
Trials and tribulations often expose the real mettle and character of people. This last week, we have seen how Corbyn has stood firm against a sea of opposition, unrelenting, on his democratic principles. Take heed, revolting MPs - your opposition to him is drawing not only public ire upon yourself, but public approbation and support for him.
A few suggestions. Do not give up on the idea that the country can rethink this decision. Yes, accept the verdict of the people. But watch and get involved as the people express their regret in growing numbers and in varying ways. Do not allow Boris Johnson, chief architect of this disaster, to become the Prime Minister. Do not allow him, Gove et al, to escape the scrutiny they deserve for the lies they told... If you think Corbyn has to go, join the Labour Party, and help make that happen so that it can become a proper functioning campaigning party again, not a hard-left sect and vanity project, as a general election nears.
In elite sport, for many coaches and athletes it is now routine to have proper professional support, psychological and psychiatric, to get the best out of the mind; but in business and politics, where the work is much less physical and more evidently requiring of intellectual prowess, such support would be seen as a weakness, something not to admit to, and therefore not to have. This of course is how stigma develops, and with often catastrophic consequences.
I had my run-ins with Panorama when working for Tony Blair, usually because they tended to take a grain of truth from somewhere and flam it up into something worthier of a right-wing tabloid than the BBC. But tonight's version is all the stronger for being somewhat understated, telling the story rather than shouting it or ramming it down throats. I know our government leaders are busy (almost all) men, but I hope they find time to watch it. Because while they talk the talk on mental health, as the Prime Minister did in his party conference speech, the documentary shows the reality of mental health services on the frontline.
I have thought long and hard, having said two months ago I didn't intend to get involved in the Labour leadership debate, about whether to publish this piece. I am also aware that there is a risk that it will have precisely the opposite of the effect I hope it has - namely to make people think twice about backing Jeremy Corbyn - as his supporters take to social media to tell each other that if Blair's spinmeister is against him, he must be alright. But just as if I saw a car crash about to happen I would do what I could to alert the drivers to the danger, so I think I have to say something about what appears to be happening to Labour right now. Car crash, and more.
We've got to become as ruthless as the Tories and stop pretending that it's a bad thing to say that if you're in politics you have to want to win more than anything else because if you don't win you end up where we are now - powerless to do anything for the people we claim to speak for and who we know are going to have five years of crap ahead, possibly more. It is evidence of the ludicrous mindset of some of our people that somehow we should look at the most successful election winning leader we ever had as a problem. I am all in favour of learning lessons about defeat. But there are a few lessons from victory too.
When I say that Charles was a lovely man and a talented politician, I mean it with all my heart. Having heard the news from a friend of Charles who knew he and I spoke and saw each other regularly, and who had found the body yesterday, I finally got to bed at three o'clock this morning, and was awake before 6, feeling shell-shocked and saddened to the core.