Economist?

As I have previously noted on the blog I am in Nottingham tonight making a speech at Jeremy Corbyn’s rally on those parts of his programme for which I have some responsibility. I note there are already more than 1,400 people saying they are coming.

As is my practice, I make clear that I will be doing so as an economist,

Sheesh….

57 comments on “Economist?

  1. Ritchie is great at hanging onto other people’s coat tails and claiming lots of credit.

    Whether it be claiming to be an entrepreneur by being the hired accountant, claiming to be a founder of the TJN and jumping on and off their campaign, tying himself to Margaret Hodge or the Green New Deal campaign. He’s dropped Colin Hines and the Green QE stuff and gone over to People’s QE faster than light.

    But note the little get out clause in case it all goes to crap “based on my ideas, but I am not involved directly so don’t blame me if it doesn’t work”

  2. I don’t think him distancing himself from the ideas is to do with the risk they don’t work – I doubt his ego lets him even consider that anything he suggests is ever wrong.

    I think his protestations that he isn’t engaged in politics is more to try and cover that his funding is from a charity, who are not allowed to fund political parties or engage in party political campaigning.

    I wonder how long this façade will last if Corbyn wins the Labour leadership election.

  3. @Tyler

    I agree. If Corbyn does win and people are looking to discredit his chief tax and economics adviser (or at the very least create some mischief) then his Friends Provident Foundation grant is a good place to start. The grant isn’t supposed to go to sole traders nor overtly one party political causes.

    Incidentally, has anyone heard the fat fucker speak in public? I’m studiously avoiding it in case his voice gets burned on my memory but if he is as bad at speaking as he is at writing those 1,400 people are in for an experience.

  4. Yes – he comes across rather well: reasonable, enthusiastic, and well-meaning.

    He’s a bit let down by the content, and he’s better at assertion than debate, but when he’s simply putting across his point of view he’s a good speaker.

  5. Interesting, considering that the seating capacity at the Albert Hall in Nottingham is 900.

    Be early or expect a crowd outside; they close the doors at 900.

    I hear that a perambulation is planned if necessary.

  6. This was where I got to thinking about the entire situation…

    You go to the pub once a week. There’s this guy there, lets call him Mitch. Mitch is quite often there, talking to regulars, having opinions on most things, you know, just a general pub guy. One day, Mitch catches you in the corner.

    Mitch used to work in a body shop, where his main job was applying decals or a coat of wax on the cars before they got sent back to customers. Mitch heard you were thinking of doing up your old car through the general pub chatter, so he wanted to come over and give you his thoughts. He’s worked around cars a lot, so why not hear him out?

    Well, his initial thoughts were about the right paintwork, maybe which wax would be best for your particular brand of car. However, as the evening continues, he starts saynig which parts you need to put in the engine to make it go faster, to make it more efficient and make it sound better. He says some things about fan belts, spark plugs, fuel tubes, piston motions, and, in honesty, it all sounds interesting and could be useful.

    Do you:
    A) Jump straight in with Mitch’s advice, announce what you’re doing to the car, and just tinker away?

    or

    B) Say thank you, take those ideas and run them by an engineer before you start removing and replacing parts under the bonnet?

  7. @ Andrew C

    I also understand that the grant is 80k – for a sole trader. With no specific deliverables. The Friends Provident Foundation is also staffed with an assortment of Quakers and ex-Joseph Rowntree staff.

    I wonder if it is possible to see the reasons behind giving such a large grant to a sole proprieter?

  8. ‘But note the little get out clause in case it all goes to crap “based on my ideas, but I am not involved directly so don’t blame me if it doesn’t work”’

    No, this bit is to keep up the pretence that his tax-free grants aren’t being used for overtly political causes.

  9. Pellinor / Andrew C

    Listening to that earlier EU speech and one or two other you-tube pieces, yes sure he is quite articulate, but to me (and I accept we all hear things differently) he can easily come across as pompous.

    Although that might have been because I was hearing things I completely disagreed with (or I knew were factually wrong) and hence his “confidence in asserting” was simply at odds with what he was actually saying?

  10. PF – that’s the problem with all sorts of people, and indeed the media in general. If someone asserts something fluently and confidently, you are tempted to believe it. It’s when you know part of it is wrong that you get prompted to start thinking critically about the rest.

    Credibility often comes down to “You can’t prove me wrong at the moment…”

  11. @Dan,

    Worse – the bodyshop bore states that all analysis of the Otto cycle is in fact entirely wrong, and that petrol engines really function based on some other bollox which he has “intuited”, having ignored his lectures on thermodynamics at university (he’s one of the 58% of course 🙂 )

  12. Pellinor

    Exactly! He makes assertion after assertion. By the time you have knocked on down he has moved on to the next…and the next after thay. Putting on MMT clothes is only the latest incarnation of Ritchie the Economist. If you try to point out that he has previously said something different, well, you don’t have the evidence to hand and he simply denies it, calls you a troll, has you shouted down and moves on to the next speaking engagement

    His routine was perfected by U.S. evangelists in the 19th Century. He is a chancer; a very good one.

    P.S. When did he give up on being a tax expert to concentrate on being an economist?

  13. Loving that there are at least 4 occasions since Jan 2014 when Murphy has used the immortal words on his blog:

    “I’m not an economist”

    site:taxresearch.org.uk “not an economist”

  14. PF/Pellinor

    Additionally, he benefits from the media’s desire for balanced controversy. Fluent and irrepressible, he makes for ‘good’ radio/tv as a controversial counterpoint to more orthodox views. [Robert Peston, who surely knows that Ritchie’s views are bollocks, strangely pulled his punches when summarising ‘Corbynomics’. I can only assume Peston didn’t want to appear biased, though refuting nonsense is not bias in my book.] And many of those on the left desperately want to believe that what he says is true and possible. One of our neighbours heard Ritchie speak in Norwich, and found him very convincing: accordingly, she changed her vote from Burnham to Corbyn. Rather depressing.

  15. “He makes assertion after assertion. By the time you have knocked on down he has moved on to the next”

    That’s the Gish Gallop.

    “I make clear that I will be doing so as an economist,”

    Does that come under fraud or libel?

  16. Theo

    I’m sure your neighbour in Norwich would find Alan Partridge comvincing.

    However, people I know in Liverpool find him EXTREMELY convincing. Trying to point out that I can claim more expertise in this field than him only seems take it worse; there is a feeding frenzy around Corbyn at the moment. I know it’s Liverpool but…

  17. Theo / Ironman

    Hang on guys, isn’t this a benefit!

    “she changed her vote from Burnham to Corbyn”

    So what you are saying is that if we put Richard up, the more gullible Labour types will change their vote to Corbyn?

    Maybe Richard has a useful purpose after all……

  18. This is the danger of the big C3:

    Confident Confabulating Cunts.

    What they say is utter shite–but to desperate idiots it sounds good.

    So far the desperate idiots are within ZaNu’s sundered ranks but–when plunged into a world economic collapse (falsely to be claimed by pundits to be a “free market failure/crisis”)–the nation is full of simple-minded, unthinking twats who will swallow it also.

    Corbyn(e) is a danger to the future. His bullshit cannot be dispelled without putting away the left’s bullshit in general. And that shite is embedded everywhere in this society.

  19. You guys crack me up.

    There is no way Corbo is ever going to be Prime Minister. Ever. Not in a million years.

    He’s Michael Foot without the charisma. Neil Kinnock without the sex appeal. He looks like a garden gnome on the verge of dropping his rod and shitting himself.

    Is there a constituency for wizened Wolfie Smith wannabes? Of course there is, half the population is below average intelligence.

    Will the public sweep Jez into power? No. Because he’s a bore.

  20. Steve: Under normal circs Corbyn(e) has no chance even against an polished turd like Cameron. If the 20s and 30s had been normal times Adolf would have remained a shouty dickhead being barred from one bierkeller after another.

    The danger is the arrival of bad times and the reaction to those times of Mr and Mrs A F C Numbskull . In desperate times the simple stupidity/evil peddled by Corbo will be meat and drink to those who want their troubles to just go away. And who think Logic is some kind of board game.

  21. “There is no way Corbo is ever going to be Prime Minister. Ever. Not in a million years.”

    Well, Quite. Indeed. There is no way that property-owning or property-aspiring Middle England is going to think, “there’s the real heir to Blair, there’s a really straight kinda guy, a safe pair of hands for the economic tiller who doesn’t ooze the fact that he hates my guts and those of people like me.”.

    Blair won by convincing middle England that New Lab didn’t hate them. And Old Lab will never forgive him for it. Just One More Push, comrades!

    “He looks like a garden gnome on the verge of dropping his rod and shitting himself.”

    I rather had him as an ineffectual unmarried geography teacher at a minor Public school who was likely to get his collar felt for having naughty pictures on his computer.

  22. “If the 20s and 30s had been normal times Adolf would have remained a shouty dickhead being barred from one bierkeller after another.”

    I like that. “Oi Adolf, yer barred. F*ck off back to Austria”.

  23. Steve

    Yes, all good points…and probably true. But the danger is complacency and “events, dear boy, events”. The Tories could screw up/be derailed by another economic crisis/succumb to civil war after the EU referendum…and Jezza gets into power in coalition with the SNP. Unlikely, yes; but possible. Putting aside his intemperate language, Ecksy is right on the money here.

  24. “Blair won by convincing fooling middle England that New Lab didn’t hate them.”

    Fixed it.

    Theo / Ecks

    I don’t disagree but don’t forget both boundary equalisation and some sort of EVEL; which will also impact?

    Events? I tell you what, that would have to be one hell of an event, and probably worth paying extra for the best seats…

  25. Theo – Well maybe.

    I just refuse to worry about Jeremy Corbyn. Life’s too short.

    Anyway, by the next election, the voters will have had nearly five years of being exposed to his Ken Barlowesque tedious shitbeardery.

    I don’t think he has any hidden reserves of likeability such that his appeal will improve over time. And all the Trotskyite creepy crawlies skittering out of the Labour Party woodwork won’t help his cause either.

    Events that might result in Prime Minister Corbyn:

    * Zombie apocalypse
    * Cameron and Osborne are caught shooting underprivileged lions
    * 80’s retro nostalgia finally goes too far
    * Nicola Sturgeon stabs all his political rivals, like she did to Donald Sutherland in Don’t Look Now

  26. @Pellinor

    “Yes – he comes across rather well: reasonable, enthusiastic, and well-meaning.”

    Really? The ones he’s done that are on YouTube he just comes across as a smug cunt dropping names and over egging his contacts and work like a bad CV.

  27. 30% of the population will vote Labour regardless of leader or policy. If Osama bin Laden was elected leader with a mandate to murder every firstborn child in England they would still get around 30%.

    So that leaves about 7-8% of the vote to get, and sneak into govt in a coalition with the SNP. It is possible, especially with the BBC doing everything it can to present him as anything but a bearded loony vegetarian. Possible, but unlikely unless there is some major economic upheaval.

  28. I love the dream Ritchie is selling us: You can be anything you want regardless of qualifications, experience or any knowledge at all of the job. I’m going to be an astronaut and anyone who says I can’t is a neoliberal troll.

  29. PF
    Yes, boundary changes etc could make life even more difficult for a Labour Party fronted by Jezza, not to mention his rigid dogmatism and his unpleasant manner when challenged. But, as a rule of thumb, governments lose elections, oppositions don’t win them. And if an ineffectual Labour Party is discounted by a complacent Tory Party, the opposition could appear in the Tory ranks rather than on the benches opposite. It doesn’t have to be one big event that damages the Tories: it could be a succession of smaller events for which they are not wholly responsible — such as ‘brown-outs’ this winter.

  30. The thing about Corbyn is that his name has Corby* in it and anyone who’s ever been there will associate him with a drug infested shithole full of violent drunken Scottish unemployed steel workers.

    *I’m from Kettering and just may be biased.

  31. “Anyway, by the next election, the voters will have had nearly five years of being exposed to his Ken Barlowesque tedious Islington shitbeardery.”

    Fixed that for you.

    And all Ukip/Tories have to do is make sure that the tribal Labour voters in the Grim North get exposed to as much of the lettuce-munching trans-friendly North London cockwaffle as possible.

    And explain that, no, the free money’s not for you lot, it’s for LGBTFI theatre group exchange visits to Venezuela, and for all the toilet paper they’ll have to take with them.

  32. Noel Scoper – the time I saw him in person was in a seminar with a lot of tax professionals – IIRC Heather Self, Mike Truman and David Quentin were on the panel too, and the audience was full of heavy hitters (and me). So maybe he adjusts his manner to fit the audience?

  33. “for which they are not wholly responsible — such as ‘brown-outs’ this winter”

    LOL.. How would they not be wholly responsible / complicit, given they all (bar 5 of them) voted for Milishit’s nonsense, and have fully supported this Eco-loonery throughout. Cameron even went all the way up to the Artic, just to hug a fucking Husky!

  34. Pellinor, was that a few years ago?

    I didn’t think he’d spoken at any events with people who actually know about tax for some time – and his manner has got a lot worse.

  35. PF…’not wholly responsible’ means ‘only partly responsible’. They didn’t introduce the legislation, but they didn’t feel they could oppose it. That decision could come back to haunt them, and possibly open an electoral opportunity for Jezza in combination with other events.

    Steve– I’m not worried about a Corbyn-led Labour Party, nor am I suggesting anyone else should be worried. I am simply cautioning against complacency.

  36. “* Nicola Sturgeon stabs all his political rivals, like she did to Donald Sutherland in Don’t Look Now”

    Top quality.

    See the thing is Steve, as you don’t have your own blog I’m going to steal this and claim it as my own.

  37. Theo

    You are right, I just wanted to sound off against yet more idiocy from people that really should know better..:)

  38. What would be awesome (but would never happen):

    First PMQ’s with Jewemy as Leader of the Opposition.

    PM congratulates him on having become leader of the Opposition, having run a campaign remeniscent of the Cold War era Labour, and it’s nice to see the party getting back to its roots. “However, in the words of the great fictional parliamentarian Alan B’stard, I would like to remind the Honorable Gentleman that the Cold War is over, and that his side lost”. Followed by some witty quip about engaging with the modern world as it is, not how a crusty type-written pamplet might describe it.

  39. Pellinor.
    As I recall things were going well until Ray McCann accused him and the FTM of deception by offering the FTM as proof of “fairness”.

  40. I wonder if Sue Queef & the rest of the crowd’ll show up? Give the support the great man needs.

    On Theo’s line of argument; not sure if I wouldn’t enthusiastically welcome a Corbyn reign, if I intended hanging around your sad little island. Be a disaster, of course. Possibly enough of a disaster. Then maybe the Brits’d leave their tellies long enough to hang some of the bastards. Not just bruvver Jez. He’s a mere beginner. I can’t help remembering, for most of my life it’s been Tories at the helm. Responsible for the slow decline of a great nation. It’s them i want to see swinging. Even if it requires digging them up, like Cromwell. Starting with the big foreheaded cnut.

  41. Yes, McCann was a bit hostile 🙂

    Murphy left very quickly, although to be fair I think he was ill at the time. He didn’t exchange any words with me other than in the questions, to explain how the FTM was very quick and easy because it only needed a quick skim through the accounts, but required a lot of work and so justified a large fee (answer: checking the position is easy, but telling the company how to do better always takes aaaages).

  42. Tony Benn always came across a credible and likable to the same sort of people of think that Corbyn is credible and likable, and a fat lot of good that did the left.

    The problem with Corbyn is that the Westminster bubble, left wing press, lefties in general and even, dare I say it, those who comment on blogs like this don’t get that the vast majority of people are rationally ignorant of most of what is going on in politics until they need to be and maybe not even then. Fortunately they are also fairly central in economic and political terms so those at the edges like Corby won’t get far.

    Finally, the main defense against a Corbyn PM is that most people who are likely to vote, baby boomers, lived through the ’70s and ’80s and know exactly where the politics of Corbyn and his ilk will take us and having lived through the pain of correcting it once they (we) won’t want to do it again or inflict it on our children and grandchildren.

  43. Doesn’t he have to state he’s giving this opinion as an economist otherwise people might assume he is giving advice as a qualified accountant, and that could get him into trouble.

  44. The best thing for Cameron to do at the first Corbyn PMQs is to say that all the Tory party welcomes him as the Leader of the Labour Party, which is more than can be said for most of the Labour MPs sat behind him……..

  45. Seems like another good time to reprise Ritchie the Economist in action: RBS was having a great deal of difficulty filling it’s CEO role at the money on offer; not a single taker. Ritchie notes “No demand for the job at that price, so lower the salary being offered”.

    Richard Muphy; Economics Guru and Tax Expert.

  46. “Richard – it was the Fair Tax Mark seminar that Mazars ran, about 18 months ago.”

    Mazars? Associating with Ritchie- last time I give them an easy ride during an audit…

  47. Assuming Jezza becomes Labour leader, I wonder if he will be made a Privy Counsellor and granted the security and other briefings accorded to the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. Given the folk he has consorted with over the years, the security services, the MoD and the FO doubtless see him as a security risk even as a backbench MP, never mind as Leader of the Opposition.

  48. Jezza probably has an MI5 file with its own rack. Next to Tony Benn’s and Michael Foot’s.

    I suspect if the Tories implode and he looks like he might be within having a whiff of power, details of various of his cold war activities known only to the security services and his KGB/Stasi handlers may come into the hands of the Daily Mail…

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