'When Brexiteers tried to create Singapore on the Thames, the Truss government instead delivered Argentina on the Channel'
The former governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has taken apart the arguments of Brexiteers as well as the economic policies of Liz Truss during a speech at the Global Progress Action Summit in Montreal, where he praised “progressive” policies while attacking “far-right populists”.
Carney, who was governor between 2013 to 2020, accused those who backed quitting the European Union of wanting to “tear down the future” and also launched a scathing attack on the disastrous economic policies of Liz Truss.
His comments came after Truss had accused the Bank of England as well as the Office for Budget Responsibility of being part of ‘an orthodoxy that was gradually moving to the left’, as she tried to pin the blame for her disastrous mini-budget on everyone else.
Speaking at the summit in Montreal, which was also attended by Labour leader Keir Starmer, Carney said: “For years, the rallying cry of the Brexiteers was ‘broken Britain’. But their solution – to ‘take back control’ – ended up code for tear down the future.”
He went on: “When politicians proclaim that our great democracies are broken, it’s not because they want to fix them, it’s because they want a licence to demolish.
“It’s a model, and it’s a repeated model, that uses a constraint to ‘starve the beast of government’ in the misguided view that slashing leads to growing.”
Carney also took aim at populists, claiming that ‘far-right populists see the anxiety of today as an opportunity to stoke the anger that’s necessary for their project.’
Turning his attention to Truss, Carney said that when Brexiteers tried to create Singapore on the Thames, the Truss government instead delivered Argentina on the Channel – and that was a year ago.
“Those with little experience in the private sector – lifelong politicians masquerading as free marketeers – grossly under-value the importance of mission, of institutions, and of discipline to a strong economy.
“And the bad news is that while these tactics never work economically, they can work politically. Brexit happened, Donald Trump was elected. So we can’t dismiss the impact of anger, but we must resist its power.”
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward