You always know that a government is in deep trouble when the spotlight is on what it is not saying rather than what it is.

And so it is with the beleaguered-at-birth Johnson administration, refusing time and again to explain how the Prime Minister will both abide by the law – pushing back Brexit Day as commanded by Parliament – and not abide by the law – refusing to ask Brussels for another extension.

Then there is the little matter of how to get round the Irish backstop; the Government insists progress is being made on the issue of presenting alternative solutions but Brussels claims it has seen nothing. When No 10 is pressed again and again on the issue, it simply says UK ministers and officials are not going to negotiate in public.

“We’re taking this one day at a time,” declared a senior Government official. But to bamboozled and Brexit-fatigued voters it seems more like one hour or, at times over these past few days, one minute.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson seeks cost estimates for a Scotland-Northern Ireland bridge

The election date has not been set yet but the campaign is already underway.

Following the extraordinary early morning pantomime of prorogation in the Commons, Boris Johnson turned up at a London primary school, promoting one of his “people’s priorities,” education.

Sitting in during a French lesson, our idiosyncratic premier deployed some franglais to dismiss the notion that suspending Parliament for five weeks was somehow anti-democratic.

“I mean, donnez-moi un break,” declared Mr Johnson. “What a load of nonsense. We were very, very clear that if people wanted a democratic moment…an election, we offered it to the Labour Opposition and, mysteriously, they decided not to go for it.”

Of course, there is no mystery.

The reason why the opposing parties have said not yet is because they do not trust the PM.

They want the prospect of a no-deal to be “dead and buried” before an election takes place because they fear if it was left up to Mr Johnson he could somehow push the poll back beyond October 31 and campaign on a ticket that Brexit had happened, scooping up all the Farage votes to give him a healthy Commons majority.

But if the so-called Rebel Alliance has its way the election will take place with Brexit unresolved.

Jeremy Corbyn and the other opposing leaders are savouring the prospect that the Tories will be damaged badly if come polling day the country’s future is still in the balance.

Jo Swinson upped the ante on Tuesday by making clear that if the Liberal Democrats won the election – stretching the party’s eternal optimism to breaking point given it still has just 17 MPs – then she would scrap Brexit. The leader’s proposal has to be ratified by this weekend’s Lib Dem conference but, don’t hold your breath, the chances of the party opposing Ms Swinson on this one seem close to zero.

The East Dunbartonshire MP declared that, if passed, her party would have a “clear and unequivocal” position. Indeed it would. Ms Swinson is banking on the Lib Dems’ purist Remain approach will win them lots of seats and distinguish it in particular from Labour.

Mr Corbyn was also in full campaign mode when he turned up in Brighton for the TUC’s annual conference.

He threatened to "unleash the biggest people-powered campaign we've ever seen" as promised a mighty expansion of employment rights. The trade union comrades lapped it up. But another story emerged.

The Labour leader, no doubt with a little pressure from his close comrade, Unite’s Len McCluskey, is set to press for an election manifesto that will promise to reach a better Brexit deal but will not commit to either Leave or Remain. In other words, more equivocation.

Senior figures like John McDonnell, Emily Thornberry and Tom Watson have been clear: whatever deal a Labour government was able to agree with Brussels, they would reject it and campaign for Britain to stay in the EU.

Indeed, today at the TUC Congress the deputy party leader will call for Labour to be “crystal clear” and will insist: “Labour is Remain.”

As time zips towards that crunch European Council on October 17/18, Mr Johnson claims to be working flat out to get a deal. In Dublin on Monday he said he did not underestimate the difficulties but insisted there was a route through the Brexit maze.

After tentatively suggesting the Irish border question could be solved with an all-Ireland agri-food regulatory regime, there was even talk of him reconsidering the option of a Northern Ireland-only backstop.

This was an earlier idea floated under the May premiership that had the DUP’s Arlene Foster and indeed Ruth Davidson, the former Scottish Tory leader, reaching for the smelling salts. Any hiving off of Northern Ireland would threaten the Union not just across the Irish Sea but across the Scottish border.

Ireland’s Phil Hogan, the EU’s new trade commissioner, when asked if this was a runner, declared: “Yes. The Taoiseach has indicated in the last 24 hours a Northern Ireland-only backstop is quite an interesting idea to revisit."

Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, and her deputy Nigel Dodds were swiftly on a plane to London, where they held emergency talks with Mr Johnson in Downing St.

They emerged satisfied, declaring they had had a “very good meeting as always” with Mr Johnson.

Ms Foster stressed: "A sensible deal, between the UK and EU, which respects the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom, is the best way forward for everyone.”

As the PM prepares for one more prolonged heave in the weeks before that all-important European Council, no one is betting the house on him pulling it off.

At every turn, a Brexit problem arises, leading one high-placed Government insider to conclude: “Politics is well and truly f****d.”