Monday, December 01, 2008

The Euro & the People That "Matter"

So who are these "people who matter"? The President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso has let the cat out of the bag and told French radio that the subject of the euro is back on the agenda for leading UK politicians. "I know that the majority in Britain are still opposed, but there is a period of consideration under way and the people who matter in Britain are currently thinking about it,"he said. Barroso only really talks to senior government ministers so one assumes that he means the likes of Brown, Darling, Mandelson, Miliband and Balls. There are very few other Ministers who "matter".

Apparently the global credit crunch means we should be looking to give up our currency - although the way Labour are going it's becoming increasingly worthless anyway. This conveniently ignores the view expressed by many leading economists that whatever you think of the government's measures, a British government would have been completely hamstrung (like Ireland has been) if it had been part of the euro.

As William Hague has said this morning:
Keeping the pound is vital for Britain’s economic future. We need interest rates that are right for Britain, not the rest of Europe. There are no circumstances in which the next Conservative Government will propose joining the Euro. If Labour ministers still want to get Britain into the euro they should come out and say so. We will be putting questions to the Government to find out what conversations have been going on.


Wyrdtimes said...

Will the Conservatives commit to giving us a referendum on membership of the EU?

I want my vote.

Old BE said...

Labour electoral calculators will be fuming! Excellent news from the Commission.

Lola said...

Arrogant little shit, Boroso. In this country we are the people that matter. The bloody citizen. Git. No, worse insult - Eurogit.

Catosays said...

Damn, Lola said what I was just going to.
Well said sir!

Peter Wilson said...

Isn't this just a bit a mischief making?

Surely during a recession, Labour are not going to go through the expense and hassle of changing our currency.

Prices will inevitably go up, they did in the EU at the change, yep that will be popular!

Can Labour implement this successfully in the 18 months or so before the next election? Probably not!

Given the hostility from the country at large and within Parliament this would surely be Labour's Poll Tax moment especially given the failure to hold a referendum on the EU Treaty.

Despite Brown wanting to look like Mr Saviour of the Universe, he's a control freak, would he really give away so much economic power to someone else? I doubt it

To sign up to the Euro would be an admission from Labour that they've lost the next election. Unlikely they will do this.

Chris Howell said...

These Eurocrats really don't get the idea of optimal single currency areas. The fact that Gordon Brown has mortgaged the country to the point of bancruptcy in an orgy of spending so the pound is being trashed on the foreign exchange markets doesn't mean that joining the Euro can paper over the cracks. It just means that the Euro will be less stable, and we will have lost control of some of the levers that can be used to help the economy out of trouble like setting interest rates. Unless of course Barosso is volunteering large scale fiscal transfers (i.e. bailouts) from our European 'partners' in order to fix our broken economy - no didn't think so.

Alex said...

Barroso said he was talking to sources who didn't want to be named. That didn't stop Mandelson telling the SUnday papers he favoured the euro.

He probably gets a Brussels pension paid in euros.

Slagella said...

To be fair, he probably just meant "opinion leaders".

Anyway this is certainly distracting attention from the Green affair.

Desperate Dan said...

In a novel by Paul Theroux he had one of the characters say: "There are only 50 people who matter in this world. And none of them are from the UK."

In the eyes of the world's megalomaniacs I think that's probably about right.

Not a sheep said...

This is about opening up splits in the Conservative party over Europe.

Unknown said...

It is more likely that Baroso is thinking ahead to the next Tory government rather than anyone currently on the government side in Westminster today.

Cue Chris Beazley, Tory MEP.

Chris Howell said...

Tom at 12:09,

Absolute claptrap. You've linked to a UKIP video of Christopher Beazley MEP, which claims his views are representative of the Conservative Party and therefore people should vote UKIP in June 2009. This of course is utterly dishonest nonsense - Christopher Beazley will not be standing for election again in 2009 as a Conservative primarily because his views are so out of line with the rest of the Party.

William Hague's statement makes the Conservative position on the Euro clear, and Barosso is clearly referring to members of the current government.

strapworld said...

I thought that ALL parties were absolutely committed to a referendum on joining the Euro?

This could be another bombshell about to explode in Brown's face..I am sure it is in the Labour Party Manifesto (But that does not matter of course according to that counsel they employed)

Can anyone confirm?

Eddie 180 said...

Of course Gordon Brown has dropped hints to Borosso that we might join the Euro - how do you think he managed to muscle in on that meeting of Euro members, on his "save the world" tour.

Whether he will carry through though is a different matter. It was a negotiating chip to get him a seat at the table - no more.

It might well be that h has turned cold now, and so Borrosso is putting the heat under him.

Jobtwenteewun1to3 said...

So who are these "people who matter"?. May I suggest that this question is an upside down view of the issue. The real question that should be posed is 'Who then are the people who do NOT matter?'. The answer to this question will in my opinion prove to be far more enlightening.

Unknown said...

Go €uro!!

Tim Worstall said...

As the BBC reports it:

The leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage, said "the people who matter in Britain are the people, not the professional political class that Barroso is himself a member of".

"That ruling elite would love to bounce us into the euro and will grasp at any straw to do so, for it's a step on the way to their dream and our nightmare, a federal superstate.

"We're told that some British politicians have said 'If we had the euro, we would have been better off'. Whoever these people are we need to hunt them down and explain some simple economics to them."

He added that if Mr Barroso wanted to test the mood in Britain "then he can call for a referendum on both the euro and the Lisbon Treaty so that the people of Britain can tell him where to go".


David Lindsay said...

Who are "The People Who Matter"?

While one of them is Gordon Brown, then we will never join the Euro.

For that matter, if one of them were Vince Cable, then we would never join the Euro.

But if one of them were Michael Heseltine's mini-me, and another were his mini-me, then we would already be in the Euro. And in a far worse mess than we already are.

Don't let it happen.

You Tories, you still have next year to find someone else.

Roger Thornhill said...

AFAICT the only "person"* that matters, it seems, is Mandelson. The Town Clerk of Britain, Gordon Brown, is now a side show exhibit and the Cabinet the fleas upon his back.

* I use the term loosely.

Charles Crawford said...

As I wrote a few days ago ( :

"Earlier this week I heard a senior pro-EU UK politician cheerily say that one beneficial outcome of the current financial crisis might be the UK heading for the security of the Eurozone in a few years' time: 'Europe as refuge'.

What a vision.

That after centuries of successfully mastering our own destiny we would now proclaim ourselves so utterly unfit to do so that we slump into the clammily tight collectivist post-democratic embrace of a currency space itself run to dubious technical standards?


Maybe another, very different scenario will unfold.


After a few more years of this sort of thing, maybe we'll get so infuriated by the fact that so much UK money is wasted by EU processes at a time when our economy is reeling that we set in motion a plan to leave the EU altogether?

If hitherto impregnable financial empires are now wobbling and crashing, why not the CAP? And our willingness to fund it?"