'You had one job...' are often the opening words to describe spectacular failures.

With inflation set to top 10% before the autumn that could be applied to the Bank of England. Its main job is to keep inflation within a 2% target. When that does not happen it is supposed to act, conventionally by raising interest rates.

This is a well proven measure against inflation and excess spending – and past decades brought double-digit interest rates to tackle inflation. However with the economy faltering that lever was deemed too risky and as a result we are now in a Catch 22 situation. The Bank knows it needs to raise interest rates, but cannot do so because it would make the problems of a faltering economy and cost of living crisis even worse. On that basis it is a case of strap yourselves in for a bumpy ride, as we learn first hand why inflation is seen by most economists as the 'thief of prosperity'

We know this round of inflation is rooted in rising costs, led by energy and food. This is the most difficult type of inflation to control and the most unhealthy. It is the result of cost push, rather than the demand pull of an economy thriving to the degree that demand outstrips supply.

Today's inflation is the result of people trying to go about their normal everyday lives by heating their homes, driving and eating. This is why the Bank of England governor, Andrew Bailey, bluntly warned this week that things would get worse, describing the rise in food prices as 'apocalyptic'.

This is not a term expected from someone in his position, but he is right to use it. We are witnessing the end of the era of cheap food prices. Even if the world settles it is hard to see those returning, which in theory is good news for farmers. People have got too used to spending an ever smaller share of their income on food, but that has been reversed over a few months. This however will only deliver for farmers when input costs settle, but for now they remain stubbornly higher than the rise in food prices squeezing every household.

This is not a problem unique to the UK, but having described food prices as apocalyptic and acknowledging that the Bank of England cannot control inflation, Bailey would do well to challenge the government over its response. As prime minister Boris Johnson loves emulating his hero, Winston Churchill, who in reality would be appalled by the present government, not least in distancing itself from Europe.

Churchill was one of the first people to refer to the need for a United States of Europe to counter the power of the US and Soviet Union. Churchill was a good prime minister for crisis times and that is what inflation represents. Now is not the time for the government to view food production as an irrelevant industry. Now is the time to unleash the ability of farmers to feed the nation and restore confidence in the security of its food supply. That meets the 'you had one job' criteria, but it is an area where London is failing to either understand the problem or do anything about it.

The EU is not a lot better. However where it differs is that it has moved food security, both short and long term, to the top of its agenda. Now is not a time for Johnson to pick a new fight with Brussels, this time over the Northern Ireland protocol. The legislation he is threatening will take time to get through and will be resisted in the House of Lords. This is on the grounds that it is showing the UK is willing to break international agreements and because it risks a trade war with Brussels the UK would lose and make inflation worse.

This is a bluff to force concessions from Brussels, but it is not a well played bluff and one that risks more harm than good, even in Northern Ireland where its is supposed to solve a problem. Johnson never heeds advice, but he would do well to recall what Margaret Thatcher said of governments that choose to break the law because it is inconvenient. “Then nothing is safe – not home, not liberty, not life itself,” she said.

She had her many faults, but oh to have a prime minister today with those moral values.