Finally, and dramatically, it is all falling apart. After waiting for months to see if any senior member of the Cabinet had a backbone, we now find that there are at least two vertebrates. Maybe more will show their spines today.
Rishi Sunak stepped down as Chancellor possibly wishing he had gone a few weeks ago when he was handed a fine by the Metropolitan Police for unwittingly wandering in on one of No 10's Bacchanalian lockdown parties. Since then he has been briefed against by allies of the Prime Minister over his wife's tax status and his own personal wealth to undermine his credibility as a potential leader.
It is hardly surprising that he has had enough. As he said in his letter, his beef with the Prime Minister is over policy and Johnson's misplaced optimism about the state of the economy. Basically, Sunak accused him of lying about the grim future facing the country and what needs to be done. "Our people know that if something is too good to be true then it's not true," he added.
For Sajid Javid, the matter was about character. He had expected the Prime Minister to show "humility, grip and a new direction" after surviving the confidence vote by Tory MPs but had discovered it was not to be.
What an extraordinary state of affairs. In all the years I have observed the political scene, I cannot recall anything like it. There was a series of resignations during Theresa May's premiership - Johnson's among them - but that was over fundamentally differing views on Brexit.
This meltdown is about the Prime Minister's integrity. Looking back, the resignation of Oliver Dowden as party chairman after the twin byelection losses last month was the beginning of the end, but he was dismissed by No. 10 as a nobody. Johnson at the time was abroad in any case, enjoying the role of international statesman and escaping his domestic travails.
But to lose two such senior ministers in the space of one hour is surely unsurvivable, even for the Houdini-like Johnson. He has lost the confidence of at least half the Tory backbenchers and many ministers. Others would have voted against him as well but felt obliged to show loyalty to their leader.
Theoretically, his win gave him a year's grace before another challenge, but moves were afoot to change the rules to allow another confidence vote. That will not be necessary.
Once a prime minister has lost the confidence of the Cabinet, he has no choice but to step aside. In 1990, Margaret Thatcher won a confidence vote, though not by enough to avoid a second round of the contest with Michael Heseltine. She wanted to fight on but resigned because she had lost the support of the Cabinet.
The only surprise is that no one senior has resigned before, given how many ministers have been compromised, asked to defend the indefensible and placed in impossible positions on the TV and radio.
Occasionally, this was the consequence of a straightforward reversal of policy, as when No. 10 caved in to the pressure from the footballer Marcus Rashford for school holiday meal costs to be met during the pandemic.
But the same happened when Owen Paterson, the former Cabinet minister, was found guilty by a parliamentary committee of breaking rules on lobbying and suspended from the Commons for 30 days.
Conservative MPs were marched into the division lobbies on a three-line whip to thwart the punishment of Paterson and demand an overhaul of the system. Then the brakes were slammed on.
Paterson was guilty after all, the matter had been handled badly, more care should have been taken to ascertain the facts and he would be resigning his seat - thereby triggering a byelection at which the Tories lost a 23,000 majority, their worst defeat in decades until Tiverton and Honiton came along.
The Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, articulated what he understood to be No. 10's adamantine position on the matter, even suggesting that the watchdog Kathryn Stone might have to consider her position, only to have the rug pulled from under his feet by No. 10.
A chastened Kwarteng wrote to Stone apologising "for any upset or distress my choice of words may have caused". It is remarkable that he felt able to stay in his post after such a humiliation, but this was par for the course until yesterday.
The Chris Pincher fiasco is just the latest in a long line of obfuscations, denials, mistruths - okay, let's not beat about the bush: downright lies - that have finally caught up with Johnson and left him with nowhere to go.
The coup de grâce was provided by Lord McDonald, who was head of the Diplomatic Service while Johnson was foreign secretary and not universally admired among the mandarins, to put it charitably.
He disputed the No. 10 account of Pincher's appointment, suggesting that far from being unaware of his wandering hands, drunk or not, Johnson had been personally briefed on his unsuitability for high office.
This time it was the turn of Dominic Raab, the deputy PM, to look foolish. He was on television expressing his confidence in the decisions that had been taken when the letter from Lord McDonald was sprung on him.
Many will say far more important things are going on in the world, from an impending economic meltdown to a possible wider European war, and they are right. It is ridiculous for our political debate to be obsessed with parties and priapic MPs.
But this debacle is important because it is about integrity. It is about what happens when an impression of mendacity seeps into the very core of governance. It is corrosive; undermining authority and faith in institutions, as happened in France and may even be starting here as people take to the roads to protest about fuel prices.
Perhaps Johnson will try to rebuild his team, but it is hard to see how he could do so with credibility. Any Cabinet minister who wants a future career will need to abandon ship now. The battle for the Tory party is about to begin.