You have to give credit to the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney. Brought to Britain by George Osborne with the enthusiastic support of then shadow chancellor Ed Balls, it was soon clear that not only was he from Canada, his brain was about the size of Canada, too. As his time at the BofE nears its end, he must be wondering why on earth he bothered.
Britain leaving the EU was certainly not part of his plan, making it crystal clear from the start that Brexit would be very bad for Britain. Even though we are still in the EU, and part of both the single market and the customs union, even now the storm clouds are beginning to gather. Our economy is beginning to stall and there is precious little Carney can do about it.
With the pound tumbling to dangerously low levels, Carney suddenly started talking up a possible rise in interest rates. I am no economist but the sensible ones – that is to say the ones who agree with me! – suggest a rise in unlikely. The general view is that the UK economy is not strong enough to sustain a rise, but his initial suggestions saw a brief recovery in the pound. No longer. Today, it has resumed its fall against both the dollar and the Euro and is becoming increasingly clear that Carney has no more cards to play. His canny interest rates bluff was called out. Fair play for trying, though.
It all comes down to politics of course. With the governing party at war with itself over Brexit and having no natural parliamentary majority, the country is flying into years of turbulence. Not only that, the prime minister herself is out of her depth. Having lost her parliamentary majority in a campaign in which she was badly found out, she now stands for nothing and she presides over a political party that is happy looking inwards. Voters hate this sort of thing and it is why so few politicians are respected. Boris Johnson, a serial chancer, shyster and liar is after May’s job, her cabinet colleagues pretend she is in charge and the party is united. Pull the other one.
Probably the worst thing about all this is the quality of the politicians leading the country off a cliff-edge. I refer here not just to the governing Tory party, but also to Jeremy Corbyn’s ghastly version of Labour. In the Tory party, May put the disgraced former defence secretary ‘Dr’ Liam Fox in charge of a department which can do no work until 2019, she put the arch clown Boris Johnson in the foreign office, presumably with the aim of upsetting foreigners, which he seems to be managing to do with little effort and the master of winging it, the low on detail David Davis. As a remoaner, I am bricking it at the prospect of these idiots taking us out of Europe and find it hard to believe that the Brextremists haven’t twigged what’s going on yet.
The “ordinary working people” May pretends to stand up for are the ones who will be shafted by Brexit. Her husband is a multi-multi squillionaire so she won’t need to find a job. Nigel Farage has said he will emigrate if Brexit is a disaster, David Davis says he will retire from the cabinet in 2019 when we leave the EU. Mark Carney himself will be back in Ottawa, wondering what the fuck happened just as he was getting his feet under the table. Apart from Carney, rats and sinking ships spring to mind. And we could have the ludicrous prospect of a general election by 2022 with Boris Johnson up against Jeremy Corbyn. The people’s clown versus the people’s comrade. Still optimistic, are you?
The only thing that could possibly stop, or slow down, this relentless march away from future prosperity and towards isolation would be a leading Brexiter admitting that things were far tougher than s/he thought and they now realise that the country will end up being wrecked. It’s a long shot that would only see the ball rolling a bit, but those of us who remain remoaners have to clutch every straw.
When we look back in, say, 2022 with the country halfway up Shit Creek without a paddle, who do you suppose the disappointed leavers will blame? The racist, bigoted, xenophobics of Ukip in general and Farage in particular? Boris Johnson and all the Leave liars who promised us a rose garden and and led us into a rubbish tip? The majority of the right wing press who told us how easy it would be to leave the EU and how good it would be? No. None of the above. It will all be the fault of the remoaners, those of us who would not accept ‘leave’ as answer and try to persuade our fellow citizens to think again. It will be our fault for “talking the country down” and “not getting behind the prime minister”, whoever he or she is.
They’ll find it hard to blame Mark Carney, though. Pretty well everything he predicted pre-referendum has so far come true and there is nothing to suggest that he will be proved wrong about the bit financial hits to come. Idiots like Iain Duncan Smith, Jacob Rees Mogg and Norman Lamont all slated Carney last year, Mogg calling for him to be sacked.
The way things are going, when Carney goes the government might as well appoint the Chuckle Brothers in his place. At least there might be something to laugh about.