It was a brave effort by toy retailers last week to persuade the public that what every family needed this Christmas was a Chinese-made robotic hamster. A few newspapers, desperate for the seasonal advertising, obediently did their best to talk-up the market, but the British public hasn't bitten.
Those containers from Chinese ports that should now be crammed full of Christmas goods remain stubbornly empty. The Harpex briefly dipped to a new low last week. The prospects of a March election look more likely than they did a few weeks ago when Brown was claiming his action had ended the recession in the UK.