What a strange election this is.

Normally a general election causes a massive surge of adrenaline to enter the body politic and its symbiotic organism (who said parasite?), the media.

Normally there is excitement as the party machines - usually cranked up over a period of weeks - are out of the traps like greyhounds.

Normally, for anyone with a political bone in their body, the buzz of ground war politics is palpable.

But this is Brexitland, where the abnormal is the new normal, and the old rules rarely hold.

And so with this election.  

It all feels strangely unimportant. 

The political leaders don't seem to have their heart in it. The messages lack conviction, the candidates unconvincing, the media - going through the motions. It’s all very...Meh!

Which is wrong. Profoundly wrong.  

All general elections are important. And in this one the stakes are particularly high. Because this is the Brexit election - the one called to try and settle an issue that the outgoing parliament could not or would not.

This is a proxy referendum on the issue that has divided this country for almost four years. Some would say four decades. 

So why doesn’t it feel like a time of great consequence? Why does it feel like time off from politics, not game on? If this is a defining moment, what does banality feel like?

In the absence of any evidence whatsoever, let's blame Brexit. Why not - fact-free journalism is all the rage in this country apparently (a disease caught from politicians - but that's another article).

So yes, a spot of Brexit-bashing is in order. Because it's the issue, it's been the issue for three-and-a-half years, and will be the issue for years to come. 

Indeed, former Commons Speaker John Bercow said on Wednesday that Brexit will take up parliamentary time for the next five to ten years - and conceivably the next 15 years.  

And because politics in the UK has been a single-issue affair since 2016, and because this election is as close to a single-issue election as you can get, filling in a five-week election campaign is difficult.

The central issue has been so well ventilated that most people are pretty much talked out. There is nothing new to say about Brexit. Either you are for it, or you are against it. In the election, you are expected to vote accordingly. That's it.

Everything else is second order, thrown before the electorate to help marshal the votes in the marginal constituencies that are needed to deliver a parliamentary majority for, or against, Brexit.

Sick of Brexit? Sick of hearing about Brexit? Unwilling to make a decision on Brexit yourself?

Here - try our policy on the health service. No? What about some infrastructure? Worried about crime? We have just the thing for you. Immigration? - A points system and a minimum-pay level? Minimum-pay level too high for NHS workers? A shortage of workers if the points are too high? No worries, we will cut requirements for the NHS! Expect infrastructure workers announcement next.  

Then there are the spending pledges, so extravagant they would embarrass any drunken sailor on shore leave.  

The cavalier attitude to spending rules the Conservatives and Labour have themselves drawn up, and told us about for years, now torn up. 

Yes, the case for investment is a strong one. Particularly after three-and-a-half years in which the private sector has conspicuously not invested because of the uncertainty of Brexit.

But the Dutch auction conducted on Thursday by the Conservatives and Labour felt reckless. Even more so than normal electoral politics. And then it died as an issue, hitting the deck with a "plop" sound, then evaporating.

The cynicism ought to be breathtaking to behold, but Brexit has been so exhausting, so corrosive of the soul, that it takes something pretty extreme to prick the jaded consciousness of the nation.

Even the sleaze and gaffes seem pretty underwhelming.

Jacob Rees-Mogg

From the ongoing - and extraordinary - row over anti-semitism in Labour, to the resignation of the party's deputy leader Tom Watson; to Jacob Rees Mogg's comments on the Grenfell tower fire tragedy (over exaggerated by his opponents); to the resignation of the Welsh secretary on day one of the campaign after being accused of lying about his knowledge of an aide who allegedly sabotaged a rape trial; to the Tory candidate forced to quit over crass comments he made about sexual assault when he was a local radio host. 

Yes, all that in week one. It should have been a feeding frenzy for the tabloids. But the news cycle moves so fast (driven by spin doctors with super fast response and distraction tactics), that little seems to have stuck. 

And besides, the dark cloud of Brexit is hovering over everything, sucking the light and life out of it all.

Maybe it will get better. Maybe the campaign will spark into life soon. Maybe the parties can build up a crescendo of energy, enthusiasm and interest in the campaign and the issues - the other issues.

The non-Brexit issues. All the stuff that Boris Johnson wants people to focus on, the list prefaced by the phrase "let's get Brexit done", and followed by...something. Anything. Anything but Brexit.

Boris Johnson

Maybe people will get excited by the manifesto launches in the weeks ahead. Maybe a couple of people will actually read them. There is a legal requirement for a 25-day minimum campaign; they've got to fill the time somehow.

But so far, the sense I have is of a country marking time, going through the motions until voting day - a bit like football teams going through all the handshakes and anthems before a big international match: all they want to do is get on with the game.

And the only game in town is Brexit. Unfortunately kick-off is not for another four-and-a-half weeks. 

That's a lot of handshakes and anthems to endure.