In response to Laurence Hodge Beware of Greek EU stooges bearing good news, Robert wrote:
As on so many things Margaret Thatcher was right and ahead of the erroneous consensus regarding the forecast benefits of a single EU currency. Here are her thoughts on EMU from The Downing Street Years:
‘The weaker economies would have been devastated by a single currency, but they hoped to receive sufficient subsidies to make their acquiescence worthwhile. The classic case was that of Greece. I became all too used to a Greek chorus of support for whatever ambitious proposals Germany made . . . The extension of such a system throughout the Community would, of course, serve Germany well, in the short term at least, because it would impose German wage costs and overheads on poorer European countries which would otherwise have competed all too successfully with German goods and services. The fact that the cost of extending this system to the poorer countries would also be financed by huge transnational subsidies paid by German taxpayers seemed to be overlooked by German politicians. But this is what happens when producer cartels rather than customer demands become dominant in any system, whether it is formally described as socialist or not.
‘But EMU itself – which involves the loss of the power to issue your own currency and acceptance of one European currency, one central bank and one set of interest rates-means the end of a country’s economic independence and thus the increasing irrelevance of it parliamentary democracy. Control of its economy is transferred from the elected government, answerable to parliament and the electorate, to unaccountable supra-national institutions. In our opposition to EMU, Nigel Lawson and I were at one.’
By keeping us from ditching sterling even Gordon Brown acted in a manner suggesting he agreed with her! Unfortunately for us, the current PM doesn’t have even half the intellect, strength, courage and conviction of Margaret Thatcher and certainly shows no signs of owning the proper conservative values that underpinned everything Margaret Thatcher did.