Frances Coppola rather misunderstands

Labour has criticised the arch-Eurosceptic MP John Redwood for “talking down Britain” after he recently wrote a column of financial advice in which he recommended investors “look further afield” because of the state of the UK economy.

In the piece for the Financial Times, the Conservative MP – who has a £180,000 second job as chief global strategist for Charles Stanley – said the European Central Bank was promoting faster growth when the UK was seeing a squeeze on credit.

“Mario Draghi, ECB president, is now doing whatever it takes, not just to rescue the euro but to promote a much-needed economic recovery,” he wrote. He also compared the US and Japan’s approach favourably to the UK’s.

The piece was published on 3 November but came to greater prominence after a scathing comment piece was published over the weekend by a Forbes commentator, Frances Coppola, who wrote that the MP had “advocated a course of action by the UK government that he knows would seriously damage the UK economy”.

Hmm, so, what did she say?

Sounds sensible, doesn’t it?

No. It is an absolute disgrace for this man to give such advice.

You see, the Rt. Hon. John Redwood MP – to give him his full title – is a lawmaker. He is an elected member of the House of Commons. And not just any lawmaker. He is a senior member of the Conservative Party, which is currently in government and making a total hash of the Brexit negotiations. He is also a former Cabinet Minister and a member of the Privy Council.

So having advised investors to remove their money from the UK, the Rt. Hon. John Redwood told the UK government to go for “hard Brexit”.

Let me remind you what the consequences of “hard Brexit” would be. According to researchers at the Ku Leuven Center for Economic Studies, the total loss of Gross Value Added in the UK would amount to 4.47% of GDP, and unemployment would rise by over half a million: this research also identifies high costs from hard Brexit for EU countries, particularly Ireland. John Van Reenen at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology calculates permanent per capita income reduction of 2.61%. The distribution would inevitably be highly uneven, disproportionately hitting the working poor, whose living standards could fall by significantly more.

Well, yes, that’s one model. Another is that the economy will grow by 3% (Patrick Minford).

So the Rt. Hon. John Redwood MP advocated a course of action by the UK government that he knows would seriously damage the UK economy. This is not the only time he has advocated such a course of action: he is a prominent advocate of “hard Brexit”, insisting that anything less is not really Brexit.

And to protect his job as an investment manager, he warned his wealthy clients to get their money out before the disaster hits.

To me, this smacks of disaster capitalism. Engineer a crash while ensuring your own interests are protected, then clean up when it hits.

This is despicable behaviour by a lawmaker. The Rt. Hon. John Redwood MP is putting his own interests above those he represents. He is unfit to hold office. He should resign.

And now we’ve descended into dribble, haven’t we? On two different levels.

Firstly, that choice of the model over Brexit effects. The second, well, so? It’s entirely valid to propose a course of action which has short term problems for the economy but which, in your belief if nothing else, has long term benefits. To deny that is to insist that Paul Volker shouldn’t have killed inflation with a recession, isn’t it?

29 thoughts on “Frances Coppola rather misunderstands”

  1. I used to follow her on Twitter.

    She was getting madder and madder, and thin skinned. Got bored with it, unfollowed her.

    I later said to a 3rd party that she was turning into Richard Murphy. I’ve been blocked by her for saying that. Which proves my point.

  2. She is deranged. He was speaking as an investment advisor. He is not a lawmaker, in fact I think that May would rather fellate Snippa than put Redwood into a government post. He is paid to advise on global investment strategy and it would be inadvisable for him to give different advice to different audiences

  3. As an MP, he will tend to vote as his party advises rather than according to his personal beliefs, for the most part

  4. Since when did anyone say that the Brexit vote was purely about economic issues?
    There are plenty of other reasons for voting to get out of the European Union.
    I voted out with the full realisation that in the short to medium term the economic situation may deteriorate. I thought it was worthwhile despite that risk.
    As for Mr Redwood, I have followed his blog for some time, and if anyone can be described as sensible and measured, it is he.
    Frances sounds just a little unhinged…

  5. On home turf she’s good. But she is increasingly inclined to go off piste, where she’s erratic and unreliable if not flat wrong.

    She has dogmatic tunnel vision about certain things, never a good thing, eg that Brexit is unquestinably going to be a clvsterfvck.

    On top of all that, she seems to have had a number of serious personal issues and major bust-ups recently.

    Still worth a read on her home turf, though not away from it and, like Murphy, not worth commenting

  6. Frances is certainly passionate on this issue but she has provided valuable insight on a number of issues so I think we can file this one under the category of ‘honest disagreement’ rather than bracketing her with someone, like Murphy who ‘envisions himself’ in a Nazi concentration camp and based on his penchant for ‘shovel ready projects’ and love of coalitions could very well have been in a role within such a place

  7. BlokeinBrum the economics profession thinks it is all about economics – Simon Wren-Beardy being just one of the more irrational morons among them. Then there are the people who think it’s all about racism eg former diplomat Craig Murray. The educated classes are not handling the situation very well

  8. I used to follow her on Twitter.

    She was getting madder and madder, and thin skinned. Got bored with it, unfollowed her.

    I had no interaction with this woman whatsoever, yet I find she’s blocked me on Twitter. I can only assume she’s using some kind of block list, or she blocked me based on something I said in a conversation she wasn’t part of. Either way, if someone is that thin-skinned they probably don’t have much to say worth listening to.

  9. Since when did anyone say that the Brexit vote was purely about economic issues?

    I occasionally point out that if economics is the sole factor driving government policy we ought to get the Germans or Americans to run the place. That we don’t suggests economics isn’t the driving factor after all.

  10. Didn’t she express some fairly robust opinions on Twitter about the ‘British’ a few years ago? Seems like “talking down” Britons is fine but Britain isn’t. A strange distinction.

  11. I know it’s not her, but why are the percentages quoted to 3 significant figures? As a prediction, it’s hard to get them to two. 4.47 should have been ‘about 4.5’ and 2.61 as ‘about 2.5’.

  12. “Frances doesn’t deserve personal abuse. ”

    If she is an active part of the WO/MC/CM/LB(yes you can guess–you’ve read it often enough) engine of deceit and hatred that is the Remainiac gang –then yes, she does.

  13. She’s batshit crazy on immigration – blinded by her bien pensant prejudices – so she deserves vigorous challenge and criticism.

  14. For example, Frances Coppola speculated that anti-immigration people were responsible for the Cologne rapes, as this would be the quickest way to get borders closed. As I said, batshit crazy…

  15. @Tractor Gent
    I believe that economists put decimal points in their forecasts to show they have a sense of humor. – William Gilmore Simms

  16. Solid Steve 2: Squirrels of The Patriots

    Theo – I may well be wrong, and I don’t mean to be unkind, but the sense I get from Frances is that she’s a lonely old cat lady who fantisises about being ravished by the guy from the Fry’s Turkish Delight adverts.

    Why else would she post the picture above, claiming some random itinerant welfare-locust could be “the love of your life”?

    He’s much more likely, of course, to kill and/or rape, but that probably just adds a frisson of danger that Ms Coppola doesn’t get from the polite middle aged white men she’s surrounded by.

  17. Dear Mr Worstall

    The UK is a mature economy. To get some above average returns it makes sense to look further afield, possibly using one of those excellent offshore funds people have been raving about of late, and developing countries need more investment to help lift that part of their population still suffering from real poverty.

    Sounds good to me.


  18. Philip Scott thomas

    Hmm. I read ‘Frances Coppola’ and thought ‘Francis Ford Coppola.’ I was waiting for a reference to The Godfather

  19. I agree with aaa who agrees with tennis and poker leg Van Patten.
    Of course if Coppola starts displacing experts from getting heard on Parliamentary Committees my view could change.

  20. Redwood is correct. Investment advise for decades has been to diversify across business sectors and countries – and reinvest dividends.

    Coppola is jumping on the Bash Brexit Conservatives (BBC) outrage bus.

    Good Read: A Random Walk Down Wall Street.

  21. @Theophrastus

    “For example, Frances Coppola speculated that anti-immigration people were responsible for the Cologne rapes, as this would be the quickest way to get borders closed. As I said, batshit crazy…”

    Indeed. Then proceeded to delete said Tweet and afterwards penned the obligatory self-serving blog post –humoroursly titled “I’m not insane”– outlining all the horrible names she was called, as if the woman had only recently opened the door called “The Internet” and discovered there are some rather unpleasant people on the other side.

    She made sure too, of course, in the same blog post to point at and name the “racists” and “jew-haters”, while she was busy feeling sorry for herself. Because she’s all for criticism but not abuse, of course.

  22. “According to researchers at the Ku Leuven Center for Economic Studies”

    Any chance we could get legislation requiring people to put how much money an institution has received from the EU whenever they refer to it? If Ku Leuven is also known as KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN then it has had an estimated 200m Euros over the last decade for all kinds of research.

    EU Financial Transparency System

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