And yet, here we are: Monday 19th, CBI Conference. Remind us - what did the leaked document say?
The narrative is going to be measured success, that this is good for everyone, but won't be all champagne corks popping. Then there's recess until 12th. After the announcement of decisive progress there follows the 10 days of Sherpa meetings with EU 27 and then daily themed announcements. 19th November - "We have delivered on the referendum" PM speaks at the CBI conference. Saying this deal brings the country back together, now is the time for us all to unite behind it for the good of all our futures etc. She will also hold a business reception.So far, so accurate. In fact the only obvious howler is that Raab was down to front for a lot of it. Nobody told him, evidently - which was of course his problem throughout. I think we may confidently expect to watch the whole leaked Grid unfold in much the same manner: it'll prove to be essentially accurate, but a bit on the optimistic side as regards how far these things can really be choreographed in detail.
More importantly, though, it highlights a critical factor. However lamely, Someone Has Been Planning. Planning, that is, for the one thing they are vaguely good at, which is media management (esp. steering the Beeb's rather predictable reactions, funnily enough); and Party management as well. We may also confidently expect that the impression of quite a juggernaut will be conveyed to the ordinary punter, who does actually like to see the wheels turning smoothly. That calm-and-confident Mrs May seems to know what she is doing, doesn't she Ethel?
As well as the ever-stolid Beeb, there's something else she can probably ride a fair way along the road, which is that the Tory Party is basically quite loyal: there's some genuine intertia there; a strong proclivity for giving the benefit of the doubt. Now, you can argue it is probably shedding members and support to the point of real enfeeblement: but there's no GE scheduled for a long, long while. Anyone who stuck with their membership of the Tory Party after 2017 is someone who seriously, seriously doesn't like the thought of Jezza + John in Downing Street, even if generation snowflake doesn't know why marxists are not to be trusted with power.
It's early days, of course, but she really does seem to have made the most of her head start. Name me any other politician on the entire playingfield who looks even vaguely as though they have a plan?
I wouldn't underestimate how far this can take her. Pedestrian and plodding it may seem to be, against a backdrop where drama and desperate deeds might be expected - but hey, where are these desperados? There's an awful lot of wait-and-see going on.
Still, early days. This cunning Plan will need to encompass a remarkable session in Parliament, with the Noes having a very real prospect of coming out on top. This is so obvious that it, too will have been thought about: and it's not clear to me why it leads automatically to a GE. Thus far, Team May is looking rather more assured than Team ERG, or Team Corbyn. Some things in life are decided by the better-prepared and more pig-headed - irrespective of the apparent hopelessness of their cause.