There was some other path-clearing going on today as well, though, and as I was spreading table salt and cat litter on the path (you can't find rock salt or grit for your paths anywhere in Edinburgh just now) it came to me that this was what Hewitt and Hoon were up to earlier today. Bear with me -
1. No-one now believes that Labour is on course to win the election.
2. Hewitt is stepping down at the election and Hoon is likely to - neither has a seat to protect.
3. The rest of those supporting the daft idea - MacTaggart, Sheerman, Field and Clarke - are malcontents.
4. The two dafties have admitted that they hadn't spoken to any senior members of the Labour Party - this was no coup.
5. There is no mechanism within the PLP for such a ballot.
6. No-one could possibly have thought that this would succeed - but it has forced Cabinet members to back Brown with various degrees of alacrity and various levels of enthusiasm.
So here's my considered analysis - Hewitt and Hoon know the ba's on the slates, Gordon Brown will resign as Labour leader and there will be a contest to select a new leader but by that time neither of them will have much influence so they wouldn't have much of a say - and they wouldn't be able to stop Ed Balls taking over, so they've got to clear the path now - not for someone but of someone.
No? Ach well, here's a cheap laugh - Patricia Hewitt's website has a warning on its front page about a scam with an email purporting to be from her which begins:
An e-mail scam is currently doing the rounds, claiming to be from Patricia Hewitt and asking for your assistance in a "charitable" or profitable project."Not only that - Australia has introduced anti-hoon laws.
Mind how you go!