Harry Evans, Australia's longest-serving Clerk of the Senate, has seen a lot in his time. The Slipper affair, he says, is not just a low point in partisan politics, but "a low point in the degradation of the speakership and of the House." Hard to argue with that.
There are so many angles to this story today, and so much that remains unclear - and so little chance that it will go away anytime soon. Does Gillard want Slipper to return or not? Will the Coalition move a motion against him, supported by Windsor, Wilkie and Oakeshott? Is Oakeshott the next in line?
But an intriguing new possibility has emerged: Liberal MP Patrick Secker, who recently lost his preselection fight within the Liberal Party, has indicated he might be willing to consider becoming an independent speaker - another turncoat!
It would take a man of some courage and craziness to step into the Speaker's position in these circumstances, but stranger things have happened in this parliament, so who's to say Patrick Secker won't do it? This is a man who was once charged with tailgating a prime mover.