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Why is Helena Morrissey so enthusiastic about Brexit? Her views place her in a small minority among her peers in the financial world. In a recent interview she described herself as a “progressive Brexiteer”, who “came out publicly because I felt people were being told about an EU I didn’t recognise . . . My first-hand dealings with the EU — whether it’s on financial regulation or women on boards — were the opposite of progressive. It was very much about one-size-fits-all, command and control, quite remote, you know.” Her confidence in the City’s ability to reinvent itself after Brexit is boundless and she has no time for the doom-mongers of various ilks. 

Her book throws little light on this act of moral courage. But her readiness to challenge conventional wisdom, even at some cost to her career, is one of the most important facts about her to have emerged so far. It suggests that Dame Helena has indeed been underrated and that her future may be even more remarkable than her past.

Helena Morrissey knows capitalism inside out, but she also knows how to distinguish between the rules required for markets to function and a rent-seeking establishment, addicted to regulation and desperate to protect its privileges. She is exactly what this government lacks. Theresa May would be mad not to offer her a seat, a peerage or at least a role in public service. Dame Helena not only has intelligence and empathy, but the courage of her convictions. She would make a superb minister.

Her family keeps her grounded. To have mothered nine children not only consigns her to the margins of her social milieu, but is liable to attract the kind of opprobrium normally reserved for devout Catholics and Orthodox Jews from those who fear or envy their fecundity. Most people don’t share their disapproval: the most popular politician in Germany, defence minister Ursula von der Leyen, has seven children; the Tories’ rising star, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has six. The nine new lives Helena Morrissey has brought into the world express her confidence in the prospects for posterity: not luck but hope. The Morrisseys represent an act of faith in the future of Western civilisation.
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March 8th, 2018
9:03 AM
Interesting that the illustration comes straight from a photo I quickly found when I googled her

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