After the OECD passed adverse comment on Britain’s future outside the EU this week, the usual suspects out there on the right have been lining up to say how these foreign think tank chappies just don’t know what they’re talking about, how Britain is one of the world’s largest economies, and how we will get along fine if we just ignore their advice.
Milk, no sugar, hold the smears, thanks
In the vanguard of this movement have been the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, where newly anointed teaboy Alex “Billy Liar” Wickham has become so over-excited with himself that he has veered across the dishonesty line in no style at all to deliver a pack of lies that is, even for his outpourings, all too easy to pick apart. He titles his latest rubbish “A Look At Some Of The OECD’s Previous Forecasts”.
“The usual suspects are going mad about the OECD’s provocative claim that only having a second referendum and reversing Brexit will save the British economy from apocalypse” he tells, except that the OECD has not said that. As the BBC has reported, “Reversing the Brexit process would boost the UK economy, the international economic body, the OECD has said … A new referendum or a change of government leading to the UK staying within the EU would have a ‘significant’ positive impact on growth, the OECD said … It also warned ‘no deal’ would see investment seize up, the pound hit new lows and the UK's credit rating cut”. This part of Wickham’s propaganda is, though, merely misleading.
But he soon gets on to the downright lies: “This is an organisation that said the UK would receive ‘great benefits’ from joining the ERM”. You missed a word out, Alex. The OECD talked of “potentially great” benefits. And the OECD cannot be held responsible for “Shagger” Major shadowing the Deutschmark at an unsustainably high exchange rate.
Have another go. “They recommended we join the Euro”. Not even the Daily Mail has tried that one. Their best shot today is “In 1999, it said ‘the introduction of the Euro delivers a number of benefits’ and was understood to be keen that Britain … adopted the single currency”. So that’s two lies already. Could he make it three?
As if you need to ask. “They said there would be an immediate ‘major negative shock’ in the event of a Leave vote”. No they didn’t: as the OECD itself told, and the BBC accurately reported, the phrase “major negative shock” was not preceded by “immediate”. Indeed, we were told “By 2020, GDP would be over 3% smaller than otherwise (with continued EU membership)”. The OECD was talking of what would happen over a 3 year period.
And the UK economy has indeed been slowing relative to those of other EU countries, with Eurozone countries growing twice as fast as Britain’s for the first six months of this year. Wickham has once again been caught lying in his attempts to put the boot in on someone bringing inconvenient information. Even his post update is misleading.
“Also worth noting that even the OCED’s most doom-laden predictions now still predict the economy will grow in the event of no deal”. Bugger all use if our neighbours’ economies grow more rapidly and we get consigned to the economic slow lane.
The Fawkes rabble can’t even lie convincingly. Another fine mess, once again.