Opponents of the European single currency vindicated

Peter Oborne at The Telegraph tells how Margaret Thatcher was right in opposing the euro (the stand that led to her fall in 1990), as was the later Conservative leader William Hague, and how all their respective opponents were wrong. If Britain had adopted the euro ten years ago, he continues,

the recession would have turned into depression. It is likely that unemployment would now be heading towards five million and our already broken public finances would be in ruins. Just like Greece and Ireland, we would be unable to raise funds on the international markets and the IMF would have moved in. Angela Merkel of Germany would be offering a bail-out—but only on condition that we follow policies set for us in Europe. We would have lost our independence and become a wholly owned subsidiary of Brussels—the fate Ireland faces today.

Yesterday, I tried to reach the leading politicians who tried so hard 10 years ago to abolish the pound—Heseltine, Leon Brittan, Mandelson, Neil Kinnock, Charlie Kennedy. I wanted to ask them whether they stood by their extravagant warnings. I wanted to ask them for an apology. Not one of them came back.

Other apologies are called for. From the BBC, which distorted the debate. From the superior commentators who sneered at politicians like William Hague, John Redwood and Iain Duncan Smith as they fought against the euro. From Heseltine and Clarke for their calculated betrayal of Hague. From the CBI, which (under its then director general Adair Turner, now chairman of the Financial Services Authority) sold the interests of British business down the river.

One other point. Margaret Thatcher may have been the first victim of the single currency, but there have been many more since: the millions who have lost their jobs and the nations that are being stripped (as she forecast) of their pride and independence. Baroness Thatcher has often been accused by her politically motivated enemies of callousness. But backers of the European project are today happy to countenance unlimited human suffering in their mission to enforce economic and monetary union. Mrs Thatcher knew this would be the result of their deranged plan, which is why she fought to stop it. Her last battle as prime minister could not have been fought in a greater or more compassionate cause.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 18, 2010 11:58 PM | Send

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