Tweakonomics: Muggle muddle

MANASI PHADKE | Updated on January 20, 2018

David Cameron   -  Reuters

David Cameron and the Half Blood Prince

It was nearing midnight and the British Prime Minister was sitting alone in his office, reading about Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to get the Brexit going. In his mind he could see the gloating face of Nigel Farage, his political opponent from the UK Independence Party.

Farage had been vehement about the incompetency of the government. It had allowed too much immigration, he said, leading to loss of jobs for the British. The terrorist threat had increased. British sovereignty had been compromised. Of course, the young knew better. They knew it was an advantage to be inside the EU. But they hadn’t turned up for voting! So many accusations, the referendum and now, the Brexit. It seemed almost magical.

It was then that he heard a soft cough. He froze, he knew that cough. He turned very slowly to face the grate, wherein green flames were already bursting into Sterling pounds. Seconds later, Cornelius Fudge climbed out of the flames. “What a week, what a week,” he said, looking distinctly careworn compared to when he had seen him earlier.

“Had a bad one too, have you?” asked the PM stiffly. “Yes, of course,” said Fudge, rubbing his eyes morosely. “I’ve been having the same week you have, Prime Minister. Accusations, monsoon failures, a Rexit and a Brexit.” “You.. er.. your.. I mean to say, your people were.. were involved in those things, were they?” Fudge fixed the PM with a stern look. “Of course they were,” he said, “Surely you’ve realised what’s going on?” “I...” hesitated the PM.

It was precisely this sort of behaviour that made him dislike Fudge’s visits so much. He was, after all, the PM and did not appreciate being made to feel like an ignorant schoolboy. The first time Fudge had emerged from those flames, he’d said, “The world is moving into a crisis. Albus Rajan has already forecast the sub-prime. But we will control the Dementor attacks using dragons. Don’t look so scared, Cameron.” “Dragons?” The PM wasn’t quite sure he’d heard right. It was only after Mario Draghi took over at the ECB that he had started appreciating Fudge.

The second time he’d seen him was just before the 2013 Wimbledon finals. “Wimbledonium Murraysmus” he’d muttered, enabling Andy to give magical replies to Djokovic of Durmstrang fame.

But this time the Wizard looked tired. “It’s been an unprecedented week all over the world. The Dark Forces are strengthening. They put the Muffliato Charm on your campaign so that no one could really hear your arguments for staying within the EU. Use of the tricky Fidelus Charm on young people has also been detected. The young population couldn’t see the voting booth till the secret keeper decided to reveal it to them. The Secret Keeper was Farage!”

“That’s why he was gloating!” thought Cameron. “Why only us?” he asked.

“Oh, no no! It’s everywhere! They apparently managed to put the Imperius Charm on this Indian parliamentarian, after which he imperially started blaming economic wizards for things they hadn’t done. Quite a menace. And then, the Rexit happened.”

“So, has Rajan decided to retire?”

“It’s not Rajan! It’s RaGa! He’s apparently finally learnt to disapparate. Rumour is that he’s coming here to steer you through the Brexit. He says that only the Rexit can prevent the Brexit.”

“What? OMG! Arrange a press conference for me immediately, Fudge. I resign as Prime Minister of the UK.”

The author is a Pune-based economist

Published on June 28, 2016

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