In 2011, this blog introduced the concept of PWUGO (People Who Underestimate George Osborne), which was inspired by the Don’t Underestimate Ed Miliband Association (DUEMA), invented by Iain Martin in the Telegraph (since rebranded as the Don’t Unseat Ed Miliband Association).
PWUGO always had a large membership, such was Osborne’s reputation and the sympathetically reported rants of people like Ed Balls. DUEMA always had a small membership, and I would guess that it’s shrinking.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) were clearly signed up to PWUGO, witness the doom laden rhetoric of their chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, about a year and a half ago . Most of the media went along with it at the time. Balls was clearly enjoying himself, but even then it was clear that they were wrong, if only because of the unfailingly reliable sign of Nick Clegg leaping on to their bandwagon, despite being, in theory, part of the government**.
“We got it wrong,” Ms Lagarde told the Andrew Marr Show. “We acknowledged it. Clearly the confidence building that has resulted from the economic policies adopted by the government has surprised many of us.”
“We said very clearly that we had underestimated growth for the U.K. and that our forecasts had been proven wrong by the reality of economic developments,” she said.
Pressed on whether she had apologised to Mr Osborne for the incorrect forecasts, she said: “Do I have to go on my knees?”
Seems fairly clear. PWUGO may have to be disbanded at this rate. Like DUEMA. How long ago this seems.
** as if by magic, the day after this post, here he is again.