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The winner of the 2016 New Statesman and Speri prize in political economy was Simon Wren-Lewis of Oxford University. In this special lecture, he discussed the warped media coverage of economics in light of Brexit and austerity.
Simon Wren-Lewis, Oxford University
Beth Rigby, Senior Political Correspondent, Sky
On his blog, Mainly Macro, Wren-Lewis recently wrote:
“In the last year we will have seen three occasions where large numbers of people voted in ways that seem to fly in the face of expert advice. I’m talking of Brexit of course, where 52% of voters chose a course of action which will make them worse off. The choice of Donald Trump as the Republican’s candidate for President, a con man and egotist who is not fit to hold public office. And finally Labour party members, who are about to elect as leader someone who seems almost certain to badly lose the next election.
The experts were different in each case: economists in the case of Brexit, people with knowledge of government for Trump, and political scientists plus psephologists for Corbyn. Now of course some people who voted for Brexit wanted it even if it cost them, but most did not. Some people think a con man and egotist would work well as President, and some Labour party members are quite happy to lose elections. But I think in every case those people are in a minority.
Why have experts been ignored in these cases?"