Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Any politician who ever supported Britain adopting the euro should be made to wear a dunce’s cap on TV

We’ve all got things wrong. I was one of those who expected the Iraqi people to hail British and American troops as liberators in 2003. I put off buying a flat in the early 1980s because I was foolish enough to believe an American finance “expert” Bob Beckman, who warned us that British property prices were on the verge of collapsing. I initially dismissed claims that Robert Maxwell had plundered the Mirror’s pension fund as preposterous, on the grounds that the fat man's defalcations would have been spotted instantly.

But, in each case, when reality proved me spectacularly wrong, I immediately accepted that I’d been mistaken. I bought a flat, stopped expecting Arabs to show gratitude - or to take to democracy like ducks to water - and admitted that Maxwell was a sleazy crook. Rational people change their minds when the evidence contradicts their beliefs. But British politicians who wanted Britain to adopt the euro evidently aren’t rational creatures: as with climate change obsessives, no amount of proof that they got it totally wrong will ever make them admit the truth. They’re in the grip of a Jungian “complex” which would evidently require years of intensive therapy to cure.

When the referendum balloon went up, the BBC instantly wheeled out Michael Heseltine to rubbish the “Leave” camp’s arguments, because he’s one of the eurofanatic Beeb’s main go-to eurofanatics. The others include Ken Clarke, “Lord” Mandelson, and Tony Blair. What they all have in common (apart from being well past their sell-by-dates) is that they have all been vociferous proponents of Britain adopting the euro, which has brought such misery in recent years to many of the EU countries foolish enough to jettison their national currencies in favourite of magic money. What opponents of the single currency said would happen has happened. In spades. Opponents of the single currency are convinced it will eventually collapse, producing the sort of economic apocalypse already experienced by Greece across the whole Eurozone. Given eurosceptics' track record on this subject, I’m inclined to accept their doom-laden predictions.

Heseltine’s eurofanaticism almost succeeded in bringing down Mrs. Thatcher’s government in 1986, over the Westland affair, when, as Defence Secretary, he tried to scramble together a coalition of European companies to buy the British helicopter firm Westland, rather than allowing the American company which had already made a decent offer for it to gain control. Mrs. Thatcher’s team took some distinctly dodgy steps to prevent Heseltine sabotaging the American deal, but, thanks to the self-imposed silence of a relatively junior civil servant and the incompetence of Neil Kinnock, Mrs. Thatcher survived as Prime Minister. (As we know, Heseltine got her in the end.)

Following the eventual defenestration of Mrs. T, and John Major’s ascent to the throne, another eurofanatic, Ken Clarke, became Chancellor of the Exchequer. When the whole euro experiment goes tits up, the millions of people whose lives will have been ruined by it should include Clarke on the list of those most responsible for their sufferings. In 2011, the bibulous Jean-Claude Juncker, then the Prime Minister of mighty Luxembourg, now President of the European Commission, told the Guardian that Ken Clarke was single-handedly responsible for saving the single currency project in the early ‘90s, when its predecessor, the European Monetary System, was in play. Strange as it may seem now, France was trying to get Germany and Holland kicked out, but Clarke knew that, if more key players exited the EMS (Britain had already been forced to drop out), there would never be a euro. According to Juncker, Clarke told him: “I would like that [Britain] can join it one day.” So remember, prisoners of the Eurozone - you have our very own Kenny Clarke to thank for your sufferings (him and your own collaborationist politicians, of course).

Tony Blair and former EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson - having managed to enmire Britain in the disastrous Iraq war, and having started the process of flooding the country with immigrants - have always worn their EU hearts on their sleeves. Both wanted to join the euro (how odd that we have Gordon Brown to thank for stopping the plan), but despite having proved their economic illiteracy and their lack of patriotism, this dreadful duo have now started popping up on our screens to warn us of the dangers of leaving the EU.

My own view is that politicians who wanted us in the eurozone but nevertheless feel that their monstrous lack of judgment doesn’t disbar them from offering  further advice to the British people should be forced to wear dunce’s caps when they appear on television, in order to remind us that what utter fucking fools they are.

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