The Garrulous Jay – Overinflated Ego?

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Dear Chancellor, I’m writing to congratulate you on your recent coffee shop video. I found it most entertaining and you are evidently a highly proficient cup-stacker. I confess, though, that it also left me a little confused.

To start with, I wasn’t sure if the audience was a classroom of Year 6 primary school pupils or, as I suspect, the great British electorate. I shall, however, give you the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s the latter.

But it was the content I found more perplexing. At the start of the video you say, “let me tell you what we’re doing to halve inflation”.

This seems to run counter to everything I’ve been told, and with which you seem to concur, about what has driven inflation over the last 18 months. During this time I’ve heard the same thing from a chorus of MPs of all political persuasions, from serried ranks of economists and banking experts, and from a phalanx of journalists and other commentators.

The message has been that the causes of inflation have been beyond the control of individual countries, Central Banks or governments…

  • It’s been all about “Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine” with its impact on the cost of both food and energy.
  • It’s been about post-Covid lockdown excess spending combined with jammed up supply chains.
  • And although you didn’t spell it out, it might have been about central banks approaching inflationary pressures with all the passivity of a portfolio full of tracker funds.

Until now, of course, you have triumphed the fact that the Bank of England is IN-DE-PEN-DENT. But I would argue, Chancellor, that you and I know this is a myth, and I will prove it with three questions:

  1. Who appoints the Governor of the Bank of England? Effectively it’s you, Chancellor!
  2. Who sets the Bank of England’s inflation target of 2%? It’s you again, Chancellor…
  3. Who does the Governor have to write to if the BoE strays too far from its inflation target? You’ve probably seen the letters to know the answer, Chancellor.

And yet now, Chancellor, you are telling me you’ve got ‘The Power’: the power to almost single-handedly halve inflation. Like some 21st century political punk rock band, Smooth Jerry & the Fiscal Rectitude have a smash hit with their new single, No More Anarchy in the RPI off their forthcoming album Inflation Extermination. It’s admirable…

In fact it’s so impressive I hope you will agree with me that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery as I’ve decided to follow your lead.

Over the next six months I am going to work tirelessly to raise the average daily temperature in the UK by over ten degrees Celsius. By August I am targeting an average of over 15 Celsius a day.

If I am successful, Chancellor, I advise you to make hay while the sun shines. If I fail it will be due to unforeseen circumstances completely beyond my control.

Enjoy the weather…and mine’s an Americano!

Yours predictively, G Jay