Michael Gove just totally dissed economists and "expert" pollsters and social scientists

 
Lynsey Barber
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Michael Gove on BBC Andrew Marr Show
Gove has laid into economists after their Autumn Statement forecasts (Source: BBC)

Michael Gove has dissed economists, calling them out for failing to predict the financial crisis back in 2008 and for getting it wrong when it comes to the impact of June's vote for Brexit, as well as labelling the profession "in crisis".

The former justice secretary and Leave campaigner who was sacked from the frontbench by Prime Minister Theresa May, was responding to the economic forecasts made last week detailing the expected impact of Brexit on economic growth.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) cut forecasts while wages will take a hit according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), with Brexit to blame.

Read more: "One cannot stress enough how dreadful it is": Dire warning on wage growth

Gove, now sitting on the sidelines of government and returning to his career as a journalist writing for The Times, told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show:

"Economists have to recognise they're a profession in crisis. That the economics profession failed to predict the 2008 financial crash, that economists in the past argued... that we should enter the single currency, they were proven wrong. And as a profession they were proven wrong about the impact of Britain voting to leave the European Union."

"The Prime Minister and the chancellor are right to respect the independence of the OBR, but right also to take it with a pinch of salt," he added.

Asked whether as a "non-expert", he should accept the possibility that they may be right, he said:

"Yes, you do, but I'm radically sceptical about some of the claims that are made, but I accept the fact that there is integrity to the individuals making these predictions. They look at the information they have, they draw the conclusions they consider appropriate."

But "returning to the whole area of prediction" he claimed he had been cut off mid-sentence in his now infamous claim that "people in this country have had enough of experts".

Read more: The OBR just cut forecasts of UK growth as Brexit takes its toll

"The point I make is that not all experts are wrong, that's manifestly nonsense. Expert engineers, expert doctors, expert physicists."

"But there are a sub-class of experts, particularly economists, pollsters, social scientists, who really do have to reflect on some of the mistakes that they've made. In the same way as a politician I've had to reflect back on some of the mistakes I've made."

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