The appearance of the Nobel-Prize-winning, Princeton economist, Paul Krugman on Newsnight last week was a hopeful blow to the public image of the Tory agenda. His vast understanding of what are, as he reiterates, “very simple concepts” provided the ammunition for a blitzkrieg on the bastions of conservative ideology and corporate self-interest. His opponents, one Conservative MP and a venture capitalist, wheeled on to provide ‘debate’, hardly stood a chance.
Yet his presence revealed more than merely the disconnect between political leadership and political understanding; the reactions to his criticisms of the current economic model in Britain raise the important question of how we covet our intellectual sovereignty. The assault (of the most placid kind) of an across-the-ponder on the modus operandi of British economic recovery was seen by some as entirely unjustified and, more importantly, invasive.