What happens when the Truss spin doctors have nothing left to spin?

It's a sign of quite how dire things are for Liz Truss and her beleaguered administration, that ahead of what was only her third Prime Minister's Questions, she was said to be “battling” to save her premiership in this “make or break” moment.

The truth is that even if she’d put in a virtuoso performance it wouldn’t have changed the fundamentals.

Truss has lost the confidence of her party, the markets and the media and her approval ratings with the public could hardly be worse.

And that was before her Home Secretary quit and the chaos of the Commons fracking vote.

This is not recoverable.

When I worked in No.10, I used to take questions from political journalists following this weekly spectacle and it was always one of the most nerve-wracking aspects of my job.

How I pity whoever it was having to field the questions today!

As well as those behind the scenes desperately trying to come up with a way to save her.

When strategizing about how to cope with tricky moments, advisors often talk about how to “draw a line” under it and “move the story on”.

This could be a new policy announcement or intervention or, if you were Boris Johnson, some flowery or inflammatory language designed to open up a new flank in the Culture Wars.

And this would, of course, be as much about distracting the media as it would be about trying to rally your own side.

Truss and her team seem incapable of doing either because, with the appointment of Jeremy Hunt and his unprecedented statement on Monday, they have abandoned the entire platform on which she stood for the leadership and have slashed every policy promise on which she was elected.

What could she move the story onto?!

She is too weak and humiliated to impose her will and, with her political demise imminent, there is clearly nothing more compelling for the media or the public to do than to watch it happen and speculate about what next.

And more carnage swiftly followed PMQs with the resignation of Home Secretary Suella Braverman and the disorderly scenes in the Commons over the fracking vote.

There were accusations of Tory MPs being manhandled into voting a certain way and reports of the whips resigning only later to, apparently, un-resign.

The current consensus is that she will only last as long as it takes for her critics to agree on the way to unseat her, but the few that still carry a flame for her soldier on in whatever way they can.

With press conferences, media appearances and parliamentary performances proving to make things worse not better, she is reduced to private appearances at various different caucuses of the Conservative Party.

At these, she is reportedly at pains to promise them whatever it is they hold dearest. The N Ireland protocol for the ERG or uprating benefits for the One Nationers.

But this strategy is not a strong one and it will not hold, as the full frontal attacks by Tory MPs and dire front pages prove.

Charles Walker became the latest of her MPs to spectacularly break ranks with a furious and emotional BBC interview after the fracking vote.

“I’ve had enough of talentless people putting their tick in the right box, not because it’s in the national interest but because its in their own personal interest to achieve ministerial position,” he said.

Her team will doubtless be suffering from low morale and, while it may be a stretch to look to Truss for actual leadership, they will be looking to her for an indication as to whether to fight on and how. Her ready abandonment of close political allies, her long-held ideological beliefs and recent campaign promises will doubtless have left them reeling.

In government press offices, the media is frequently referred to as “the beast”, with rule number one being that you must “feed the beast” with news and other colourful fodder or else you will become the story and it will feed on you.

Well, Liz Truss and this No.10 administration never really got started. They have been the story from day one.

Some speculate that this is due to inexperience, as her team, by all accounts, is young.

But this overlooks the fact that the civil service provides all departments, including No.10, with a highly professional and proficient press office. All the political incumbents need to do is direct it.

Which leads to the inexorable conclusion that there was a complete absence of a serious plan here, beyond the shock and awe that Truss attempted to unleash with her mini-budget. This was when she told us she wasn’t afraid of being unpopular.

The absence of supportive voices is an indication of how terminal things are.

Even in the dying days of the May or Johnson administrations, there were still enough loyalists to fill a broadcast round. There were still journalists willing to give them a hearing.

With Truss, we watch as Cabinet Ministers appear unable to bring themselves to send out a paltry tweet in support and the team in No.10 will be dismayed at the extent to which the political obituaries have already been written by the media.

A final thought: I can’t think of a premier before Truss who was so entirely lacking in a strong suit.

If things got sticky for Boris, then it wouldn’t be long before an element of the culture wars was triggered.

An excuse for some colourful language that would charm the party faithful, remind MPs who the real “enemy” was and delight journalists with fruity content for their columns.

With Theresa May, she was formidable in Parliament and a powerful speaker in a crisis. So, if things were looking dicey, she was able to remind everyone why she was the leader.

But with Liz Truss, her team have no strong suit to work with.

And so together, they flail, while the circling critics try to decide upon a way to unseat her.

And surely that will not take them much longer.