Positively bristling with anger, Mr Carney replied that he would be grateful if in future Mr Jenkin could do him the courtesy of getting his facts straight before writing such letters.
If he thought that about the referendum of 1975, a relatively tame affair, he should try this one, which threatens to finish off the Tory Party and much else besides for good.
As regular readers will know, I’m a reluctant remainer, but as a journalist, there is a part of me that secretly longs for Brexit, in much the same way as I looked forward in eager anticipation to the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Will it set off a chain reaction of Eurosceptic revolts across Europe, and if so, how would that end; in liberation or populist disaster?
We may never know, but if it is to be Brexit, we ought to be clear on one or two things.
hether it was “beneath the dignity of the Bank of England” for Mark Carney to enter the debate on Brexit, as suggested by the Eurosceptic MP Jacob Rees Mogg - or indeed the Bank of England Governor is guilty of “woeful failure” to present a balanced analysis, as a cluster of former Tory Chancellors and leaders said last week - is for others to decide.
It should be pointed out, however, that intervening in politics doesn’t seem to have bothered many of Mr Carney’s predecessors.
How about this from a speech given by Gordon Richardson just three days before the last referendum on membership of Common Market in 1975: “I am hopeful that the outcome of the referendum will be positive and that thereafter this country will be able to play a full and active role among the nations of Europe”.Having left no doubt as to his view, Lord Richardson then went on, as was his wont in numerous run ins with the then Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, to trash the entire political process.“I must confess that I sometimes have to rub my eyes to be sure that I am not dreaming; that we really are deliberately engaged on a constitutional innovation as unsuitable and destabilizing as the referendum we now await.” If there were any purdah rules back then, Lord Richardson had just driven a coach, horses and whole army of footmen straight through them.Then there was Carney’s immediate predecessor, Mervyn King, who told MPs in the run-up to the 2010 election that Labour’s plans to halve the deficit over five years were not credible, a potentially highly destabilising public attack on government policy for which he has yet to be forgiven by the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.Compared to this, Carney’s intervention was neither here nor there.This didn’t stop Bernard Jenkin, chairman of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, writing to the Governor last week to warn him against saying anything further, and by implication threatening to bang him up in the Tower of London if he did.