Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dale's Battle With Economics No 94: Null Poins, Nicht, Nada

The Labour Party's favourite Tory blogger by far - above as Phat Comptroller commenting about bank nationalisation by remarking on how brilliantly the private sector ran the Rail - speaks or taps this morning at 10:48 AM of a "Price Rise Correction" and essentially of all the very-bloody-stupid-mainstream-media chaps getting their economic facts wrong.

We have long admired Iain's grasp of Economics 101 and this is another case in point, cementing his hard-earned reputation as the heir of Galbraith:

Price Rise Correction
Yesterday's reporting of the inflation figures left something to be desired. Both Sky and ITN they reported that prices had dropped (due to the drop in inflation to 4.5%), when in fact it's the rate of increase that has slowed (but still way out of the BoE target range). Both channels then talked to shoppers who complained that prices haven't dropped. Even ITN's Economics Editor (Daisy McAndrew) was talking of falling prices! While it is true to say that some commodities, like petrol, have fallen in price, the prices of most things are still rising. Is it too much to ask for politics and economic journalists to get their terminology right?

No Iain, it is not, and in this case, unlike the Labour Party's most favouritist Tory blogger, they have got their terminology (sic) and indeed the phenomenon they are describing with it right. Even the Girl Journalist that you once again single out for particular criticism.

But don't believe me. While I have tried down the months to give you some pointers on these matters I'm not an Economics PhD. But was lucky enough to find one commenting at your site. An hour after you posted and more than five hours ago now.

Iain, You are incorrect. Look at this page:
The Consumer Prices Index fell 0.2% last month - i.e. prices actually *fell*, not merely the inflation rate. Of course, over the past year prices have risen (4.5%), but over the past month the reports are correct - prices fell.

Thank you Dr Andrew Lilico, MD at Europe Economics from which the stylish floppy moppy picture (left) is taken. Andrew is a regular columnist and commenter at Conservative Home. And he was/is responsible for some of the "more interesting" tax ideas in the Tory stable. Like that self-adjusting fuel-duty auto-compensation idea.

There's just a chance that Iain and his mates won't call Andrew "Labour Troll"! Like the harshly aggressive one pictured right. Perhaps Iain will even issue an apology and make a correction?

After all, he does almost always apologise promptly and sweetly when he gets things wrong. His readers said so in the last scientific survey.

I've said this before and I cannot promise not to say it again but I sometimes wonder whether we political bloggers have the next Galbraith or Keynes lurking in our midst.

UPDATE: Scroll to the bottom of this post. Iain is branching out from economic adviser to the tory peasantry and offering advice on starting a blog costlessly to parliamentarians. Brilliant! He's sending himself up, don't you see?


Newmania said...

Yes its a pity we wasted ten years of boom so we cannot do much about it isn`t it.

Chris Paul said...

What are you on about Newmania? Rather than wasting ten years of relative blue skies we have mended the roof of the schools, hospitals, GPs, childrens centres, brownfields etc.

We could have left the Victorian hospitals and leaky schools inherited from the Tories. And had little or no cumulated PSBR. But that would have been a useless choice.

You can run this "didn't mend the roof" flag up the flagpole as much as you want but only silly people will be saluting the damn thing. The public want more support and more care and more protection.

Quite right too.