Labour's deputy leader, Tom Watson, when asked why he was quitting his post only days after the party launched its General Election campaign, said it wasn't about politics. “I'm planning to become a level 2 fitness instructor,” he said, straight-faced.

That's what classicists call “bathos” – a trivial or banal remark uttered at the height of a tragedy. Or what football followers might call “early bath-os”. It was an attempt to diminish the significance of his action.

Yet Tom Watson is a fiercely ambitious Labour infighter, one of the toughest. He has resigned because he's lost his battle to remake the Labour party in what commentators call a “moderate” image. His departure was contrived to undermine his bête noire, Jeremy Corbyn, just as his election campaign was gaining traction. This is a fitness instructor from hell.

The former Labour MP, Ian Austin, then weighed in, calling on Labour supporters to vote for Boris Johnson. As Gordon Brown's former hitman, he knows a thing or two about the media. Austin was photographed in front of a billboard saying that the Labour leader was “a disgrace to the party and the country”. Alongside him was another Labour “moderate”, John Woodcock.

It doesn't get much worse than this. Labour is being accused by senior party figures of being an anti-Semitic, racist party. Jeremy Corbyn is portrayed as an extremist, and personal friend of terrorists, who cannot be trusted to run the country. Who needs The Sun when you have Labour moderates?

What infuriates ordinary Labour supporters is that this episode distracted attention from what was actually one of the worst election launches in history: the Conservatives'. Gaffes, resignations and own goals came so thick and fast last week the press could scarcely keep up.

“Omnishambles” is too small a word for it. More like a “clusterf*ckmalection”.

First, the Government shelved a report on Russian interference in British politics amid reports that oligarchs were stepping up donations to the Tory Party. Then the Conservatives faked a Keir Starmer interview to make him look stupid (even though the un-doctored video of his attempt to explain Labour policy on Brexit made him look stupid enough).

There was near-hysteria in response to Jacob Rees-Mogg's remark about it being “common sense” to leave a burning building, like Grenfell Tower. Social media decided that the Tory Leader of the House had “called poor people stupid” and had suggested that they “deserved to be incinerated”. One prominent trade unionist said it was a prelude to “eugenics”.

The press then turned Mogg-gate into a national scandal, complete with the obligatory condemnation from bishops. Mr Rees-Mogg clearly has such a toxic image he needs to be kept silent under wraps of sheet lead at election time. But hardly had the burn-the-poor row got going than Tory resignations took over.

Philip Hammond, the former Tory Chancellor, stood down, more-in-sorrow etc, along with one of David Cameron's liberal Notting Hill chums, Ed Vaizey. Their departure, following that of ex-cabinet ministers like Amber Rudd, Nicky Morgan, Rory Stewart et all, left the Tory Party looking like a rump of hard-right, Brextremists. An impression confirmed by the former Tory leader, Iain Duncan Smith, who said that they were now “the Brexit Party”.

The election guru, Lynton Crosby, is alleged to have advised political leaders in the eye of a media storm to “throw a dead cat” on the table. The idea being that everyone talks about the dead cat and not the damaging story. But he didn't mean throw an entire litter of them on the table all at once.

Top of the deceased felines was the Tory Welsh Secretary, Alun Cairns, who resigned after denying knowledge of his political aide's involvement in a collapsed rape trial. He had to go. As did Nick Conrad, the Tory candidate for Broadland. He'd said something about women being well advised to “keep their knickers on” if they didn't want to be raped.

And not forgetting, of course, our own Ross Thomson, the outspoken Tory MP for Aberdeen South, who kicked off last week's resignation-fest following allegations that he groped a Scottish Labour MP.

Such was the muliplying chaos, we'd largely forgotten about Mr Thomson by the end of the week. Indeed, there may be a raft of Tory politicians who've resigned without anyone noticing.

Not to be outdone, Labour threw in a few of its own dead cats late in the week. The Labour candidate in Clacton, Gideon Bull, fell on his sword for using the word Shylock in a council meeting. The BBC reported that two Scottish Labour candidates, Kate Ramsden, in Gordon, and Frances Hoole, in Edinburgh South West, had also stood down. This followed allegations of anti-Semitic remarks and social media abuse respectively. But who's counting?

Many of these episodes – Tom Watson's departure or Rees-Mogg's remark – could have been a campaign game-changer. But a law of diminishing shock-value has set in. So many and varied are the negative stories, that we won't sit up and notice now unless Boris Johnson is revealed as a serial bigamist or Jeremy Corbyn calls for the nationalisation of allotments.

What is the public making of all this? God knows. Most voters probably just dismiss it all as MPs behaving badly. What's new? They want to know what the parties are standing for in this election – aside from various degrees of Brexit madness.

Actually, on a policy front, quite a lot happened last week. Labour and the Conservatives entered into a bidding war on public spending, the like of which we haven't seen since the 1970s – and actually not even then, because the Tories weren't really part of it.

Tired of accusing Labour of inventing a “magic money tree” to fund its spending programmes, the Tories have created a whole magic forest of their own. The Chancellor, Sajid Javid, said his £150bn spending boom fell within all the Conservative rules on fiscal responsibility, which he'd just made up.

This presented a problem for Labour, who like to be known as the spending party – at least since Gordon Brown ran off with Prudence. So, the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, announced an eye-popping £400bn spending programme, including £150bn for stuff, and another £250bn for green stuff.

He has apparently become a convert to what in America is called “Modern Monetary Theory”. This says that governments shouldn't worry about borrowing large sums of money, because the economic stimulus from public investment will bring rewards in the form of increased tax receipts. MMT is really a version of Keynesian demand management.

The great Liberal economist said it was the government's duty in a recession to prime the economy by increasing public spending. But there are limits. As the Institute for Fiscal Studies pointed out last week, Labour's proposed spending is so huge that there just aren't enough projects to spend it on, even if there were enough skilled workers to work on them.

British voters, reared on simplistic Thatcherite verities like “only spending what we can afford”, may have trouble getting to grips with all this. Suddenly, political parties are flashing huge numbers in their faces and expecting them to understand what they mean. The politicians themselves barely understand what they're talking about.

That's when they're not busy resigning. And it's only week one.