As the uncertainty following the referendum vote to leave the EU continues, so the vacuum thus created is filled by a motley convocation of propagandists, all putting their own selective spin on economic indicators and political pronouncements. And there is no more motley propaganda source than the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, whose chosen propaganda subject is the Bank of England.
So it was that The Great Guido told his all too easily persuaded readership “Bank Of England Rubbish [sic] Osborne’s Brexit Fibs”, going on to tell “George Osborne’s claims that voting to Leave would cause interest rates to rise and a year-long recession have been demolished by the Bank of England”. That would be news to Governor Mark Carney and his team, who might have reduced interest rates, but the recession is very much on.
Indeed, those commentators who are charged with actually reporting what is happening, rather than selectively spinning to fit the conclusion that has already been reached - Staines and his pals have learnt all too rapidly from their pals in the press establishment - had less than totally good news from the BoE yesterday.
ITV’s political editor Robert Peston had an interesting if dispiriting statistic: “Brexit-induced lost GDP for 3 years is equivalent approx to [a] year's spending by government on education, despite costly monetary stimulus” [my emphasis]. The Fawkes folks didn’t bother with the cumulative GDP contraction, so busily were they spinning.
Meanwhile, BBC economics editor Kamal Ahmed had a comment from the BoE governor which suggested The Great Guido was giving his readers rather less than full information on Britain’s economic prospects, telling “Carney: more than a quarter of a million people are now forecast to lose their jobs”. And that’s just for starters.
The good people at Political Scrapbook noted the BoE’s analysis, and had this to say:
“What did the lower GDP forecasts mean for households? Here’s what the Resolution Foundation said:
The economy is forecast to be £45bn smaller than previously thought
Prices are set to be 1.1 percentage points higher;
Nominal earnings are set to be £380 a year lower;
Real earnings are set to be £615 a year lower; and,
Real household income is set to be £680 a year lower”.
Instead, the Fawkes rabble has rubbished the Treasury’s warnings made before the referendum, claiming “The Bank of England now say this was all nonsense. Final proof the Remain campaign were fibbing all the way to the ballot box”.
The Bank of England, it is now clear, said no such thing, and it should be borne in mind that their analysis only covers the immediate effects of the slowdown. There could be further downgrades to come - not that The Great Guido wants to tell those readers.
So that’s more spin masquerading as news. Another fine mess, once again.