IT is perhaps a shame that buying a gift for Boris Johnson is unlikely to be at the forefront of many people’s minds because the quickest of browses on Amazon throws up a book that looks like it would be ideal for the new Prime Minister.

The book, although it is a children’s story, could be more of a self-improvement journey for Mr Johnson. The type of journey promoted but often not delivered by the thousands of oh-so-tiresome books written by management or marketing gurus or life coaches.

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The one on Amazon does not, from the synopsis, promise such a journey, but it looks more likely to deliver for Mr Johnson than those grim self-improvement textbooks. It is called Petey’s Listening Ears, and is, the product description informs us, the “first release in L.R. Knost’s Wisdom For Little Hearts children’s picture book series”.

The story focuses on the need for Petey to be reminded to “turn his ‘Listening Ears’ on, turning his very bad day into a very good one!”.

This book would appear to be particularly essential reading for Mr Johnson at this point in time. It does seem, after all, that he is just not listening to the myriad warnings about the impact of Brexit on the UK economy and society.

The subject matter of the book does not, thankfully, include Brexit, although some might see a parallel between Petey pulling the tail of the cat and Mr Johnson attempting, in vain, to yank the tail of the European Union. However, the first half of the book is all about “a difficult day filled with bad choices and their unfortunate consequences”, so it could hardly be more relevant to Mr Johnson in terms of the Brexit path upon which he has embarked.

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Even without his Listening Ears, Mr Johnson could at this stage use his eyes to see the major damage already done to the UK economy by the Brexit vote and all the ensuing uncertainty, before we even get to the actual exit that he so craves.

You would hope the UK economy would be a key consideration for any prime minister, given its performance dictates living standards. So you would also expect Mr Johnson to have determined what the data and survey evidence are telling him. They show an economy that has, at best, pretty much ground to a halt, and may turn out to already be in recession this quarter, in large part because of the Brexit folly.

If he does not have time to analyse the data and surveys, he can take a look at graphs of the pound’s recent movements against a host of other currencies to see just how much sterling has been spooked by his Brexit “no matter what” mantra.

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Expert warnings about what comes next are being issued in measured tones, but they are perfectly audible and understandable.

Yet Mr Johnson continues to insist the UK will leave the EU on October 31 – deal or no-deal. The euro climbed to a 23-month high of about 92.65p yesterday as the pro-Brexit outpourings of Mr Johnson and his Cabinet prove a real drag.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney last week warned of an “instantaneous shock” to the UK economy in the event of a no-deal Brexit. And Ross McEwan, chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, this week highlighted his view that Mr Carney is absolutely best-placed to assess Brexit’s impact.

Mr Carney deserves great credit for continuing to tell it calmly, and as it is, on Brexit, without fear or favour. Brexit-loving politicians and their supporters may not like what he says but, thankfully, there is not a thing they can do about it. Why thankfully? That is because – at times of utter chaos such as those in the UK at the moment, not to mention the potential for economic catastrophe if the path Mr Johnson tells us he is going down is pursued – we need independent experts spelling out the realities of the situation.

Jeremy Peat, visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde, put it very well indeed in his column in The Herald on Monday.

Mr Peat declared: “At this crucial time we need a strong, highly professional and wholly objective Governor of the Bank of England. We have one for now, but he is due to stand down next year and this is an early warning that a political appointee without strength, professionalism or objectivity could spell even more disaster.”

The Prime Minister would do well to listen to Mr Peat’s warning.

Mr McEwan, addressing journalists at The Clydeside Distillery in Glasgow this week, said of the current Bank of England Governor’s words of wisdom on Brexit: “He [Mr Carney] has been painted as the doom and gloom person. I think he is the most realistic person in this country to see what is going on.”

For his part, Mr McEwan warned of “pain and anguish” in the medium term from Brexit.

He declared: “This economy, it will slow down. I think, in the medium term, we are in for a little bit of pain and anguish. How deep or painful that is, time will tell. It will depend if it is deal or no-deal.”

Mr McEwan’s view is that things would be “all right in the long term”.

However, even if things are “all right” in the long term, what right-thinking person would volunteer for “pain and anguish” over the medium term? The medium term is, on most definitions, a period of several years. That is a long time.

What about all the lost output and opportunity during those years? Not to mention the human misery of another economic downturn at a time when many millions of people have already been laid so low by nearly a decade of Conservative austerity. And we should bear in mind the permanent, long-term consequences of Tory plans to clamp down on immigration at a time when the UK’s demographics mean it is crying out for younger workers to bolster growth and help support an ageing population.

This need for immigration is particularly pressing in Scotland, although Mr Johnson’s attitude so far will have made many believe he is not fussed about Scottish needs. It is not clear he is listening at all to Scotland’s concerns. Maybe Mr Johnson’s adviser, Vote Leave campaign architect Dominic Cummings, could buy the book on Amazon for the Prime Minister. Then again, when it comes to Mr Cummings, it appears Mr Johnson is all ears.

Sadly, it looks like more selective hearing, not Listening Ears, from Mr Johnson. So it may all be on Parliament to hear and heed the realities and save UK citizens from the very bad days that could result from Mr Johnson’s Brexit obsession.