Monday, 14 October 2013

Economic historian Niall Ferguson's bloody demolition of smug lefty economist Paul Krugman

Niall "Does your mum sew?" Ferguson
Several of my left-wing Facebook “friends” have at various times posted links to articles by the American economist, Paul Krugman, who writes regularly for the New York Times. As Krugman is a confirmed leftist who (now that there’s a Democrat in the White House) opposes “austerity” and loathes Republicans, fellow-lefties are forever quoting him. I read a couple of his articles, which mainly consisted of him bragging about how he’s always right and showing contempt for anyone who disagrees with him. Now, to quote from Machete (see here), he appears to have “fucked with the wrong Mexican” – or, to be precise, the wrong Glaswegian.

I’m a fan of the Scottish economic historian and Channel Four's pocket-sized heart-throb presenter Niall Ferguson, who I worked with a few times on BBC political talks shows. I recently described him thus:
...a fearsomely bright, hard-working, flinty little right-wing Protestant Glaswegian economic historian with a great sense of humour and an atavistic predilection for fish and chip suppers.
As you might imagine from that description – and his geographic origins – you mess with him at your peril. Nevertheless, Paul Krugman decided to do the public intellectual’s equivalent of repeatedly knocking over Ferguson’s pint – and then laughing at him. Ferguson took it for a bit, but now he’s decided to respond with the public intellectual’s equivalent of a razoring, knee-capping and bottling (with a Glasgow Kiss thrown in for good measure) in a truly spectacular three-part rogering in The Huffington Post (here, here and here). This week, The Spectator published an edited version (here).

Okay, some of the arguments over economics are hard to follow, but it’s clear that Krugman’s oft-repeated claim that he has been right about everything has ended up in a bed in Glasgow Royal Infirmary’s ICU, with tubes sticking out of every orifice. Even if it survives, doctors say that, despite his Nobel Prize, Krugman’s reputation will probably spend the rest of its life in a vegetative state.

Ferguson’s final paragraph will give you a flavour of his magnificent act of evisceration:
Where I come from... we do not fear bullies. We despise them. And we do so because we understand that what motivates their bullying is a deep sense of insecurity. Unfortunately for Krugtron the Invincible, his ultimate nightmare has just become a reality. By applying the methods of the historian - by quoting and contextualizing his own published words - I believe I have now made him what he richly deserves to be: a figure of fun, whose predictions (and proscriptions) no one should ever again take seriously.
Krugman – who, as Ferguson demonstrates, sees himself as a bit of an academic  street-fighter – seems to have decided that one spectacular hiding from a true Razor King is quite sufficient, thank you very much:
“Some readers have been asking when I’m going to reply to certain rants aimed my way. The answer is, never.”
Very sensible, old boy.

1 comment:

  1. Ripped him a brand new 3 bed, 2 bath, double-wide ass hole.

    Like Maher...these people operate with a sense of MORAL superiority that dictates they are never matter what they actually say.