One nil to the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.
Whatever you think about BREXIT, the suave Governor held his own yesterday in front of some petulant MPs who were determined, whatever he said, to try and wrong-foot him. The only thing that the session in front of the Treasury Committee lacked was some stocks and rotten vegetables.
But whilst the Governor stayed calm, his inquisitors looked like pre-schoolers who had been denied their mid-morning sleep.
You were left with the impression that the Leave Europe advocates would only have been happy had Carney ripped open his shirt, stood up and announced Cameron and Osborne as heretics who should be burnt at the stake.
The problem with the Leave group is that they are playing the react game. They wait for someone to go against them, then rally the troops and throw the brickbats. But, it’s making them look slightly hysterical. Like the mob who surrounded the guillotine and enjoyed the sight of the aristocrats being beheaded, but had no real ideas of their own as to how to run the country.
If the Leave campaign want to garner public support that goes beyond the emotional level and puts across a rationale argument of why the UK is better out of Europe, then they have to start basing the rabble-rousing on a few concrete arguments. There needs to be slightly less indignation and Churchillian stances, and more cohesive policy views. Only then will they start to look like a force that might win the day.
Mind you, as one wag said in Westminster, it’s alright for Carney – in two years, maybe the same time we’d actually be leaving Europe, he’ll be flying home to Canada and possibly ensconced back with Goldman Sachs, having done his CV no harm at all. So, perhaps, he can afford to look calm as those about him start to dig the trenches and prepare for a bloody campaign.