Bruce Anderson, Daily Telegraph, 3 Jan 2012:
How on earth did Lord Howe conclude that the whole of Europe could use the same currency and the same interest rate, with minimal fiscal transfers?
There is one possible answer. Geoffrey Howe may well have believed that monetary union would lead inexorably to fiscal union and thus to political union.
If so, we should inquire why he – and the other Eurofanatics – failed to share that insight with the British public, whom they were trying to persuade of the merits of the single currency.
We should also remind Lord Howe and his friends that before adding the roof, it is a good idea to build the walls.
Most complex political questions do not lend themselves to an absolute distinction between right and wrong. Even the losing side’s case will have some merits. The euro is an exception.
Unless the eurozone was about to become a single country in short order, the single currency could never have worked. Never. It was always a train crash in the making.
So the Eurosceptics who pointed this out were 100 per cent right: Geoffrey Howe and his friends, 100 per cent wrong.
We must remember that for 2,000 years, most intellectuals worked for one of the Churches. Many were scholars, some of them positively saintly, who spent their lives in enhancing a gentle faith.
But there were plenty of others. The Spanish Inquisition was established and manned by intellectuals. So were most of the heresy hunts and persecutions.
Although we think of Thomas More as a subtle and witty man, he was capable of extreme cruelty against those whom he regarded as heretics. He behaved in such a way, because he thought that he was saving souls.