The Labour Party is in a mess. But let's start off on a positive note – it may not be as bad as it seems.
On Saturday, September 25, the party will announce the results of the election to choose a new leader.
It will be their job to unite the party, set the direction of travel and start winning back voters.
They may succeed or they may fail, but when the next election takes place (due on May 7, 2020) nobody is going to be worrying about what happened back in mid-2015, when acting Labour leader Harriet Harman struggled to keep the ship afloat.
That's the good news. But right now, the party is in a state.
The current row blew up after Ms Harman revealed in a television interview that Labour would not be opposing the Government's Welfare Reform and Work Bill.
She stated that Labour would not oppose the Government's plans to cap benefits at £20,000 outside London, and £23,000 inside London, down from the current limit of £26,000.
That shouldn't be a surprise as introducing a regional benefit cap which would be lower than £26,000 was actually a Labour policy which Chancellor George Osborne stole, although Labour didn't shout about it very loudly.
But she also spoke in support of the Government's controversial plans to limit child tax credit to only two children.
Ms Harman said she would not oppose it because when she campaigned in the general election she found that many voters thought some sort of limit was fair.
She said: "When I was going around the country... talking specifically to women, so often they would say we've got one child, we'd really love to have another but we just can't afford it, what with our homes not big enough and the childcare is too expensive.
"They're working hard and they feel it's unfair on other people that they can have bigger families that they would love to have if they were in the position to do that. We have to listen to that."
But many Labour MPs disagreed.
For example, Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips wrote an article attacking the Chancellor (and by implication, it seems to me, anyone who shared his view on this topic), saying: "We seem to be harking back to a time when we thought teenage girls had babies to get council flats. Unlike me, the Chancellor has obviously never pushed out a 10lb 10oz baby and endured 15-odd stitches.
"Let me tell you it would take a lot more than an extra £25 quid a week to make me do that again."
The official line from the Labour leadership was that MPs should abstain when the Welfare Reform and Work Bill came to the Commons for its Second Reading on July 20 (Bills are "read" three times before they become law – the first is a formality but there are votes on the second and third reading). In fact, MPs were quietly told they could just stay at home if they liked.
But backbenchers rebelled. An amendment opposing the Bill was signed by MPs including Ms Phillips, Walsall North MP David Winnick, Wolverhampton MP Rob Marris and many others from across the country.
This was likely to be selected for debate – and a vote (the Speaker gets to decide which motions to select). Not only would this expose Labour's divisions but it would also have forced the Labour leadership contenders to choose between rebelling against the acting leader or appearing to support the Conservative welfare plans.
It was partly due to pressure from two of those candidates, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper and Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham, that Ms Harman was forced to back down.
She drew up her own amendment, which stated that the Commons "declines to give a Second Reading" to the legislation.
It was this amendment that the Commons actually debated – and Labour MPs were able to show their opposition to the Bill by voting for it.
But, of course, it was defeated, because the Conservatives have a majority. So then came the actual vote on the Bill itself – and Labour MPs were ordered to abstain, which most did.
The 48 "rebels" who opposed the Bill in this vote included Mr Winnick, Mr Marris and Birmingham Hall Green MP Roger Godsiff. No other West Midland Labour MPs voted.
Abstaining made no sense. The wording of the motion they were voting on was "that the Bill be now read a second time". So how could there be any logic in supporting the Labour amendment but then failing to oppose this motion?
The answer is that Ms Harman wanted to have her cake and eat it. She wanted to be able to say that Labour had not actually opposed the Conservative welfare plans, because she believes many of those plans are popular.
And at the same time, she wanted to satisfy MPs and activists who strongly felt that the party should indeed oppose the Government's changes.
In particular, she had to provide a way for leadership candidates whose current goal is to win votes from party activists – not the wider public – to signal their opposition to the changes.
Has it worked? No.
Instead, Conservatives accusing Labour of opposing the welfare changes, while angry party activists and left-wingers in general have taken to Twitter and other social media to attack MPs who abstained on the main vote.
The next Labour leader will have to sort this mess out and they may succeed, but Ms Harman has made their job harder.
And they may face a genuine dilemma. Because they may find that the public wants a government which is willing to reform the welfare system – including cutting benefits for some families – but the party won't have it.