BBC radio presenter and Today journalist Jim Naughtie, in France on 1 January 2002, spoke of: …a sense of occasion, a genuine excitement, a sense of peculiar new notes, a sense of change in the air especially among young people, a sense of breaking away from the past.
TUC general secretary John Monks noted that it would be “disastrous” if the UK Government failed to follow suit and hold a referendum on the single currency.
Peter Mandelson took the opportunity to warn that “staying out of the Euro will mean progressive economic isolation for Britain.”
Another speaker from the supposedly impartial BBC, the State Broadcaster waxed lyrical about “As the midnight hour approached, a giant inflatable tree blossomed into life. For once the Ode to Joy seemed exactly the right tune.”
Yet another BBC man stated “Walking up the Champs Elysée with its sparkling Christmas lights, towards that most French of national monuments, the Arc de Triomphe, you get the feeling that this is a country very much at ease with this latest engagement with Europe.”
What strange and fantastic item had been born, to bring out the paeans of joy from, well, all the usual suspects? It was of course the European Single Currency; the Euro.
So have we seen ‘economic isolation’ for this small set of Islands, set a mere twenty miles away from the European ‘Behemoth’? Nope!
Has it been disastrous for the United Kingdom to keep our own currency? Not really.
While it is true that most of our Laws come now from Brussels, at least we can still pay our own debts, even if we pay them a little behind schedule!
Check out Peter Oborne’s little pamphlet about The Guilty Men, and see if you agree that we have been badly served by many.