He has run up the white flag and lavishly admitted that he and his fifth column of a newspaper got it completely wrong
Hallelujah! At long last a leading Europhile has realised the error of his ways and has publicly APOLOGISED! Glory be! And I thought to a man they wanted to live forever with their head stuck somewhere the sun never shines. Andrew Gowers, editor of the Financial Times throughout the Maastricht era, has run up the white flag and in an article over three pages in The Sunday Times has lavishly admitted that he and his fifth column of a newspaper got it completely wrong.
Better still, he now admits that the euro has achieved the exact opposite of what he and his treacherous crowd thought it would, namely be a force for democracy, would grease trade in the common market, boost employment, foster financial rectitude, end wars in Europe and pave the way for the second coming.
He writes as though he was genuinely surprised at the outcome, but the more he looks at it, he suddenly recalls all those siren eurorealist – he still calls us eurosceptic, which is what he has now become! – voices who said twenty years ago that it would all end in tears and gave plausible reasons for their concerns, which fell on deaf ears.
Now Andrew’s purple prose falls quivering off the pleasantly surprised presses of an organ that followed the process with greater judgement than his own: ‘the stricken banks and sluggish economies’, ‘angry voters and helpless institutions’, ‘the euro collapsing under the weight of its own contradictions’, ‘causing a financial collapse and depression in Europe’, ‘sending economic shockwaves around the world’, ‘Europe’s leaders floundering and fumbling’, ‘the euro has exacerbated uncertainty and volatility’, ‘it has created new divisions’, ‘it has reduced the EU to an international laughing stock, or worse’, ‘it has fuelled conflict’, ‘undermined democratic structures’ and ‘reawakened age-old national resentments’, and so on and so on, and on and on.
Greatly encouraged by this unexpected outburst of reality, Andrew Marr asked former PM Tony Blair if he now agreed that Gordon Brown had been right to stop him joining the euro. The increasingly disgraced former PM said that he was for the euro politically but that he felt the economics were never right! Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?
And then up chirps Heseltine – he who stood with Ken Clarke with Blair on a pro-euro ticket, remember? – and he now says he never said the timing was right, but that we should join one day ‘so that Britain could become more like Germany’. Well, I suppose one day the one who followed the Hurd-instinct might become more like a far-sighted statesman, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
And what about the FT itself? It’s reporting on the slide of the eurozone has been lamentable and confined largely to the plans to keep it together, just as the markets which always know best are taking it apart. Long gone are the days when Samuel Brittan argued the future was the eurozone and that Britain had no future outside of it, as he faithfully passed on the euro-babble from his brother Leon in the heart of Brussels. But now everyone can see that we might have a future precisely because we are not concentrated in the euro-camp, but trade with the world.
And so we start another week of euro-sizzle, with two undemocratically-elected confirmed EU-technocrats – EU-apparatchiks would be a better word for these two recipients of the non-taxable euro-pension – as leaders of Greece and Italy, one a former ECB banker and the other a former EU Commissioner, implementing completely unworkable austerity-plus programmes that will destroy their economies.
Don’t book Athens or Rome for your holidays this year, unless you like a bit of civil strife and pillage throw in for free, although the ‘extreme shopping’ possibilities might be tempting for certain individuals who gained their colours in Tottenham, Clapham and Croydon this summer.