This week brings new economic data that will again encourage both sides of the argument to indulge in self-justification
The second episode of US political drama The West Wing is entitled Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc – in which smarty-pants President Josiah Bartlet educates his minions on the meaning of the Latin phrase after his unpopularity in Texas is blamed on one of his gags. “After it, therefore because of it,” he puffs. “It means one thing follows the other, therefore it was caused by the other. But it’s not always true. In fact, it’s hardly ever true. We did not lose Texas because of the hat joke.”
The dialogue’s wonderfully self-satisfied, of course, but we could perhaps do with a touch of this kind of rebuttal in real-life politics here. When it comes to Brexit, each side seems to be indulging in the same kind of confirmation bias as Bartlet’s advisers, with each week bringing new economic data that convinces both campaigns they were right.