IT’S really not such a big deal any more, this quitting thing, is it? Or at least it doesn’t feel like a big deal.

Time was, the enforced resignation of a senior Cabinet minister such as Amber Rudd would shake politics to its core. The consequences would reverberate for weeks. The Government would wobble. The Prime Minster would consult Yellow Pages and put Pickfords on standby. The Queen would sit up straighter on her throne. Now, not so much.

Obviously, this has everything to do with the looney-toon times we’re living through. People are resigning or being fired or suspended or expelled all over the place. In the past six months, Theresa May has lost her First Secretary of State, her Defence Secretary, her International Development Secretary, and now her Home Secretary.

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Others who should have been shot from a large cannon on a number of occasions survive purely because the Prime Minister lacks the political strength to sack them (that’d be you, Boris). Mrs May keeps her own job only on the sufferance of the Tory parliamentary party. Further down the chain, four Tory candidates for this Thursday’s English council elections have been suspended in recent weeks for bigotry of various kinds.

And it’s not just the Tories. Nicola Sturgeon lost her childcare minister Mark McDonald to allegations of creepy behaviour towards women. Alex Rowley resigned as Scottish Labour’s deputy leader following accusations that he sent abusive messages to his ex-partner.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour is riddled with hard-left anti-Semites, totalitarian apologists and wackjob conspiracy theorists. A steady stream of party officials, constituency volunteers and candidates has quit or been booted out, and the tumult shows no signs of passing.

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Owen Smith, who is not part of the leader’s inner circle, was sacked from the Shadow Cabinet for supporting a second referendum on leaving the EU. Barry Gardiner, an ally of Mr Corbyn’s, described his leader’s policy on Brexit as “bollocks” but survived. Most of Mr Corbyn’s backbenchers simply refuse to work for him in the first place.

The result of this chaos is, inevitably, a kind of desensitisation – we are numbed by the scale and relentlessness and, well, pointlessness of the pandemonium. Everyone seems equally awful, no one seems any good, and it can be hard to figure out who deserves our opprobrium the most. There is also a weariness – don’t you feel it? – at having to be so bloody cross all the time; any sane person only has so much anger to go around.

It used to be that politics followed a dreary, predictable track, and would occasionally be derailed by unexpected events – an unwise extramarital entangling, a brown envelope stuffed with cash, a swift military intervention to bop some baddies on the head. It’s been some time since that were true.

Today, we are learning to live amid the Great Convulsion. We expect the unexpected on a daily basis and it’s the expected which is unexpected, if you see what I mean. There’s no such thing as business as usual, as steady and strategic government, as sticking to your guns. Instead, our politics is almost wholly reactive, one long exercise in firefighting, in damage limitation, in survival.

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Why is this so? In part, the unforgiving pace of the 24-hour news cycle and the growing array of feisty new media outlets ensure each incident and accident, each hint and allegation, is aggressively investigated to the nth degree. All angles are chased down, all smart and stupid questions asked, all possible lines explored to exhaustion, every molehill treated as a potentially mountainous Watergate. This has both been encouraged and aided by social media, the existence of which guarantees there are spies everywhere, an army of brains ready to apply themselves more or less forensically to each issue, and a mob desperate to strip the carcass clean.

The public taste is for transparency and accountability, as brutally delivered as it needs to be. Institutions and prominent individuals find it ever harder to disguise errors or cover up bad deeds. Someone, somewhere will squeal. A shafted colleague will take revenge. An affronted civil servant will leak. An alert reporter will spot a whiffy sentence buried deep in a company report. A hacker will blow the doors wide open. As the world has shrunk, so safe hiding places for wrongdoers have all but disappeared.

But we can surely only tolerate the Great Convulsion for so long. We need, somehow, and preferably sooner rather than later, to return some degree of sanity, stability and order to our politics. If we are to rebuild any sense of national comity we must rediscover the fellow-feeling that once tied us together, congregate around the priorities we still share as Britons and as liberal democrats.

And yet with Brexit approaching, is this even possible? Brexit is the Thanos of public policy, guided by its own crazy inner logic, set on achieving its own philosophical satisfaction, with little care for what and who is destroyed along the way. Just as the massed ranks of superheroes are wiped out by Thanos, so our politicians have been bludgeoned by Brexit.

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Our departure from the EU is a decision of such weight, and with so many strings attached, that it consumes all government bandwidth and all the oxygen available for policy debate. You can replace Amber Rudd with Sajid Javid and you might make a difference around the edges, strengthen this internal group against that internal group, achieve a tactical advance as you wrestle with the Windrush scandal.

But in the end, in the current climate, you are merely replacing one warm body with another, one victim of the Great Convulsion with a new offering. Like the rest of them, Mr Javid’s main agenda will be his personal survival.

Ahead, there lies only another ghastly Groundhog Day of rage and folly, of wasted talent and ruined potential, of opportunities missed. And then another, and another. There will be more resignations and more sackings and fresh scandal after fresh scandal. And Brexit; always Brexit.

There is so much that needs done, but, it seems, no way of doing it. No one’s in charge, and no Thor or Iron Man to come to the rescue. All we can do is stand and watch as the Great Convulsion plays itself out.