I know why George Osborne has called for a "relentless focus" on the UK economy. It's because it keeps getting smaller. If you don't look hard soon you might not be able to see anything at all. But a flat-lining (and worse) economy is not really a joking matter. The 0.7 per cent fall in second quarter GDP was the sort of shock that no-one finds funny.
As we enter November, we reach the 21st anniversary of Margaret Thatcher's resignation as prime minister. Despite the melodrama of more recent political events, it's hard to imagine what Westminster must have been like in the three weeks between Geoffrey Howe quitting the cabinet and Thatcher leaving office. Or is it?