So it turns out that, despite Remainiac fears, Britain is tops – with an economy that has grown faster in the last year than any other in the developed world. And you couldn’t top the comment of our Facebook friend James Heartfield, attached to today’s Guardian report headlined ‘Chief economist of Bank of England admits errors in Brexit forecasting’.
Responding to the statement by Andrew Haldane [for it is he] that the profession must adapt to regain the trust of the public, James paraphrased it thus: ‘How were we to know consumers are so irrational that they didn’t panic when we told them to?’ That’s not only very funny, but contains a cluster of home truths.
First of all, what makes economists think consumers trusted them in the first place? We all know their field isn’t a science, for the simple reason that they can’t replicate physical experiments with identical results (which makes their ubiquity an enduring mystery).
Second, if we had ever had any faith in them, that was blown away by the events of the 2007-8 crash. Third, after the crash, to assume that anyone would listen to them shows the real irrationality – for why would the public accept the forecasts of people who had already a proven record of false prophecy?
Fourth, and exhibiting a further divorce from reality – as even Haldane admits – although they are supposedly humans themselves, the economists hadn’t taken into account human nature. Homo sapiens never has and never will act completely rationally. That’s why we tend to prize selfless love and frown on eugenics.
And that’s why the state needs to back out of our private lives. We understand that cigarettes, sugar, booze and drugs may be bad for our health. Just like mountain-climbing, hang-gliding, eventing or BDSM. We’re not illogical in our irrationality. We’ve looked at the health lobby’s idea of a good life – which seems to be mainly based on longevity and risk-aversion – and begged to differ.
We don’t need constant nagging and regulation – wasting our taxes and depressing business – from experts who can’t see beyond what they consider rational. We glory in going further. Ignoring the Remoaners, we keep calm, carry on – and call out the emperor’s new clothes. Laughing at death, we are alive.