What can Gordon Brown do to regain the political initiative following this week's catalogue of disasters? Here's a few suggestions from a candid friend.
1. Hold a referendum on the EU Treaty. He will lose, but now it's effectively de-coupled from the election, that doesn't matter as much, and the voters will give him credit for implementing a manifesto pledge. It might also help combat some of those "bottler" taunts and - crucially - draw some of the sting from the Tories' current popularity.
2. End political cross-dressing. If the last week has shown Mr Brown anything, it's surely that there's no real advantage to be gained from apeing the Tories when voters can just as easily choose the real thing. He needs to set out a "vision" which is distinctively and authentically his, not George Osborne's.
3. Introduce a bill for four-year fixed term Parliaments, and announce that the next election will be held on the first weekend in May, 2009. Giving away his power to determine the election date would be seen by the voters as something of a mea culpa for having got things so badly wrong this time.
4. Launch an all-out assault on inequality. The chickens of three decades of selfish capitalism are beginning to come home to roost for our society. Mr Brown needs to acknowledge that and start to formulate policies that will heal the growing divide between haves and have nots in terms of both income and assets.
5. Tackle the problem of "fiscal drag." Rising average wages have trapped millions of middle-income earners in the marginal tax bracket between 20pc and 40pc. The 40pc threshold needs to be dramatically increased, with a new higher rate of tax imposed on, say, incomes over £250,000 a year.
6. Take a fresh look again at proportional representation with a Speaker's Conference on the electoral system. If, as seems quite likely to me, the next election produces a hung Parliament, the next government may need to do this anyway, so why not make Labour's intentions clear in advance?
7. Start to implement the "new localism." Restoring trust in politics will require a huge devolution of power to localities and communities, including giving people locally more power over their own taxes. New localism needs to move from being a trendy political catchphrase to a meaningful reality.
8. Add some ballast to the Cabinet. Three months ago, the new Cabinet looked fresh and young. Now with Labour under the cosh they just look raw and inexperienced. He should consider bringing back Alan Milburn for his bright ideas (eg on social mobility) and Margaret Beckett for her cool authority.
9. Move Damian McBride, who did most of the election spinning, to other duties and make it clear he can do without a personal spin doctor in No 10. Rely on his civil servants for advice rather than "Brown Central" and make good his original pledge to announce things to Parliament first.
10. Make damned sure that whenever our boys in Iraq finally come home, it's before 1 May 2009.