From Mr Walter Grey.

Sir, The revelation of a rare three-way split at the October meeting of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee (report and editorial, October 21) ought not to be worrying. Disagreements among policymakers are healthy and, particularly between practitioners of the dismal science, only to be expected.

Difficulties arise only when, as recently, two or more of them speak with discordant voices and advocate opposing policies in public, in front of the children. Such overt campaigning ahead of policy decisions privately arrived at is regrettable and ought to be avoided by the MPC as much as by cabinet members.

Your own, wider-angled comment on the disclosed MPC disunity was even more pertinent and deserves to be quoted in full. “For now”, you argued, “there is little more that monetary policy can do for the recovery. If growth slows, this may change. The Con-Lib coalition has refused to set out a plan B. Perhaps it would not be a bad idea for the MPC to have one.”

How much better an idea, though, it would be in these circumstances if the coalition considered it politically and economically prudent to have a plan A either requiring its consolidation of the public finances to be slowed down or allowing it to be speeded up in accordance with prevailing and varying external as well as domestic economic conditions.

Why not wisely embrace greater flexibility and/or caution from the outset?

Walter Grey,

London N3, UK

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