We all have opinions about what might happen and no-one can prove that your opinion on the future is wrong.The sun will rise tomorrow is an opinion. I suspect few would disagree with it but since it is in the future not the past it is not a fact. Facts (a word derived from the Latin for it has happened) are a different matter. But not it seems if you are a nutty Euro loon who cannot accept the Brexit vote. Meet Petra Mason who has a degree in behavioural ecology and is into pottery and tweeting gibberish.
Petra served up this tweet.
Hmmmm. Actually the facts show that since the Brexit vote the UK economy has grown. Our GDP today is more than it was on June 23rd. And, in fact, we are the fastest growing economy in the G7 and our GDP will at Christmas probably be higher than it is now. Of course that last point is an opinion although one that is widely shared among economists. What is a fact is that the tweet from Petra, an RT of some crap in the Independent is factually wrong.
So I tweeted a suggestion that she might like to retract and apologise. Petra tweeted back that Sterling was falling. Yes it is but that does not mean that the UK economy has not grown. What Sterling is or the FTSE 100 stands at is irrelevant though Petra flagged up both. I merely pointed out that her original tweet was a factual error.
At that point she challenged me to say what made me qualified to opine on this matter. You do not need any qualification to discuss what has happened to GDP since what we are debating here is not opinion but fact. But since she asked I did economics at A Level ( winning the school Economics prize), read Economics at Oxford and have been working in finance for 26 years. Meanwhile Petra is good at making pots.
I do not denigrate making pots. It adds to GDP and Petra may be a most excellent potter. I wish that I was but when I have tried it I have been shown to be utterly useless.
But on economics and logic (which I also studied at Oxford), my friend the eco-potter is on rather weaker ground.
We do not know what will happen to UK GDP in the long term. Nor, if it goes up or down can we definitively link that to Brexit since many other factors may be at play. Events can be conjoined but not connected (David Hume, a chap whose works I studied at Oxford). But when someone states as a fact (UK GDP has fallen since June 23) something that is demonstrably wrong, then one should retract and retreat. But for Petra and some of her fellow remainers that is just not something that they can accept.