Lots of talk around at present about the UK jettisoning Sterling as its independent currency, and becoming the 17th country to sign up to the Euro. Its the dominant story in today's Western Mail. For some reason that I cannot fathom, the massive devaluation in Sterling over the last few weeks is being presented as making a case for joining the Euro. Seems to me that it does the opposite. The consequences for employment and business of our not having been able to to allow Sterling to collapse over recent weeks are to awful to contemplate. Because our Government has made such a 'pig's ear' of managing the economy and its public borrowing has gone so far through the roof, and near zero interest rates have become necessary, a collapse in its currency was the only option left to create an economic environment where some recovery might be possible. No 1 son works in Cork, and he tells me that problems there are even worse than than the UK, but the Irish Governement is powerless to take the sort of action being taken in Britain. I'm told that the same applies to Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. All these amateur 'economists' are scribbling about the success of the Euro, it having reached its tenth birthday, at the very time its future is looking doubtful.
Anyway, back to the many words of Aled Blake in the WM today. Lets see who he's wheeled out to fly the Euro's flag. First cheerleader up is Jose Manuel Barroso, the EU President. Well, that's a surprise. Next is Charles Kennedy, who has always been fully signed up. Then its Lord Mandelson, still on a mega- EU pension, followed by the still not ennobled Dafydd Wigley, another long term enthusiast. And finally, we have Mike German, who's been banging on about the Euro for as long as I can remember. There is also support from a representative of the EEF in Wales (Engineering Employers Federation). And that's it. The article could have been written any time in the last ten years.
Truth is that the prospect of the UK joining the Euro has never been further from reality. Opinion polls have the opposition to joining flying high, and William Hague is reported as telling us that a Conservative Government will never agree to the scrapping of Sterling. The best contribution on the subject in today's paper was from Plaid Cymru MP, Adam Price, who dismissed the whole thing as "economic madness". Well said Adam.