“It’s the economy, stupid.” That electoral maxim from Bill Clinton’s camp many years ago does not hold universally true, as the conflict over Brexit demonstrated, but at most times and in most circumstances it applies. Now is such a time. The Bank of England’s decision to raise the interest rate from 4.5 per cent to a punitive 5 per cent will have profound economic consequences, some of them unpredictable.

The independence that Gordon Brown granted the Bank of England, with all the fanfare of a colonial governor hauling down an imperial flag, allows the government, at least in theory, to wash its hands of any responsibility for controversial decisions. In fact, though, you could not put a cigarette paper between Andrew Bailey and Jeremy Hunt on current economic policy.