Once upon a Time the Times was the paper of record: not now

Posted on

I saw the editorial in today’s Times newspaper an hour of so ago. Speaking of those parts of Jeremy Corbyn’s economic policies over which it is acknowledged I have influenced it said:

 Mr Corbyn is a case apart. His economic ideas testify to a native faith in controls and isolationism. His belief that £120 billion can be raised by clamping  down on tax evasion is a fairytale.  His plan to compel the Bank of England to underwrite deficit financing for any purpose would make counter-inflationary strategy as futile in Britain as it is under the revolutionary regime of Venezuela.

Let me just consider that.

First what does ‘native faith’ mean? Is there something rather sinister in this comment? I am not sure, but think the possibility is real.

And then that suggestion that £120 billion can be collected: no one has said it; least of all me; least of all Jeremy. We have both pointed out the scale of the issue (I have heard him do so). But has anyone said we could get it all? Of course not: I have estimated £20 billion could be raised for an investment of £1 billion, or more. But The Times has just made the claim that all will be collected up.

As it has also made up the claim that the Bank of England will underwrite deficits. Did QE of £375 billion mean that? No, of course not. So why does People’s QE mean what QE did not? It does not. All the BoE will do is buy debt – as most central banks in the world are doing right now. It so happens that People’s QE directs the funds raised to the real economy, does deliver jobs in every constituency, and does so at the lowest possible cost. But if there is risk it will remain fairly and squarely with the Treasury (although anyone who believes that there is a difference between the Treasury’s risk and Bank of England risk is, anyway, living in cloud cuckoo land, but let’s ignore that point).

And the reference to Venezuela? Irrelevant; of course. Referencing the Fed, BoJ, the ECB and the Juncker investment plan would have made sense. Venezuela reveals a leader writer out of touch with reality. But I guess this is what debate is all about for The Times: lies, damned lies, and more damned lies.


My apologies: I have relocated the piece. Native is naive in the original on line so I guess it is in print. The misreading was mine. We all make mistakes sometimes. Apologies.

But at least I did not say the Pope is not a catholic.