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For the second time in two years a Conservative Prime Minister has sought party advantage by gambling with the country’s future and losing. Theresa May now joins David Cameron, Sir Anthony Eden and Lord North, who lost America, in the rogues’ gallery of Tory political disasters.

The country now has to live with the consequences of their failed gamble. …

As someone who has travelled from economics to politics and, now, back again I am aware of the risks of cross-contamination. Economics as a profession has been infected by public scepticism as a result of politicians’ misunderstanding or misusing forecasting models usually by failing to spell out the assumptions and qualifications behind them.

Economists in the Treasury, Bank of England, IMF and OECD are now among the reviled and ridiculed ‘experts’ who ‘got it wrong’ and failed to understand how the optimism and willpower of the British public would triumph over the nay-sayers and Remoaners lurking behind those unpatriotic econometric equations. …

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Many thanks for inviting me to give this public lecture. For one thing, it is both flattering and fascinating to be asked to follow in the footsteps of Governor Carney. Or, indeed, in the footsteps of your Chancellor, Lord Leveson, who grilled me for an uncomfortably long time during his Enquiry dealing with the Murdoch takeover of Sky.

For another, you decided to take onto your staff my impressive former press officer, Jo Robotham, which suggests good judgement on your part. And, not least, I have positive recollections of an official visit I paid here two years ago, looking in detail at your sports science department, en route to a conference on Industrial Strategy and the Northern Powerhouse in New Brighton on the Wirral. …

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