Ken Clarke 175


I am a long term fan of Ken Clarke, who walked today with the SNP and Caroline Lucas through the lobby to oppose the racist motivated disaster that is Brexit. Personally I dislike referenda in the extreme, those of us who genuinely are of the common clay know better than to romantically ennoble our peers. I strongly suggest you spend a couple of hours talking with ordinary punters on Ramsgate High Street before you decide they should determine the detail of high policy. I am decidedly with Edmund Burke on this issue.

The same goes for Scottish Independence. The majority of countries in the entire world achieved independence in my lifetime, and the vast majority of those without a referendum. At least seven member states of the EU obtained their current form and boundaries in the last three decades, without referenda.

If the elected representatives of the Scottish people – the MPs, MSP’s or both – were to come together as a national assembly and declare independence, that would precisely meet the process by which the large majority of countries in the world, including many EU members, achieved independence. The actual confirmation of that independence is by recognition at the UN, and nothing to do with internal process. The UN does not prescribe a referendum, which is very much the exception not the rule.

To return to Ken Clarke. A few years ago I debated against him at the Cambridge Union. After the post-debate reception, I returned with Malcolm Rifkind and Ken Clarke by the last train to London. Clarke came from first class to standard to find me and insisted I join them. He had a most expensive looking substantial pigskin briefcase. He opened it to produce, encased in foam moulding like a professional camera case, a bottle of perfectly chilled champagne and four flutes. A great man.
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175 thoughts on “Ken Clarke

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  • Petraco

    Parliaments can “delegate” their decisions to the people if they wish, but an absolute condition must be that clear plans are in place to deal with both a “yes” and a “no” vote. And it is only sensible to hold referenda where there is a principle, rather than technicalities, at stake.

    I would for instance support a referendum on Britain’s retention of nuclear weapons, and I think such a referendum meets the criteria specified above.

    • michael norton

      MPs back government’s Brexit timetable

      BBC

      great news for Democracy,
      Labour party are coming to their senses.

  • Clydebuilt

    T h e….P I S A…T e s t

    The PISA test used to be carried out in 2nd year , but I’ve heard in the past few days it’s 15 yr olds that sit it now. In Scotland, National Tests were removed around 8 years ago since then 15 year old pupils in our state schools have no experience of sitting a test under exam conditions ie. in the assembly hall.

    Scotland certainly doesn’t teach to the PISA test. If we did we would rapidly climb the rankings. As A country did recently, think it was Hungary……. So if international prestige is top of our targets to aim for we should be teaching to the PISA test. This would certainly get the press of the Scot. Gov’s back. Would this get more pupils to better outcomes?

    BUT Scotland is certainly getting something right, we’re sending record numbers of our youth to further education. And /or a positive outcome……. So perhaps it’s a case of steady as she goes.

    An average PISA outcome is not a strong case for any great upheaval in our education system.

    • fred

      Well I suppose if mediocre is good enough for the Nationalists, we used to be the envy of the world.

      So much for the “Curriculum of Excellence” then, might as well call it “Curriculum of Just About Average”. .

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      I think your assessment is distinctly naive. There have been considerable changes over the last few years regarding the delivery of the curriculum. I have direct experience and it is my distinct impression that these changes have brought with them some distinct decline in attainment. That is not necessarily a permanent state of affairs )(I suspect it isn’t) although it would have to be said that the ineptitude and plain dumbness of the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence beggars belief. Some very highly paid people have managed to be utterly ineffective and seemed to have absolutely no understanding of the process of project management in a relatively complex matter. The much vaunted and very expensive content managment system has been a waste of money. Much hope (the educational fairy dust theory of education) was invested in the wonders of ‘ i-education’ ( i use the epithet I with some irony) as the reality is that basic literacy and numeracy skills have certainly deteriorated .
      Much time and effort has been invested on the ideas of ‘ethos’ and the idea of ‘nudge’ management where subtle interventions are supposed to produce results out of all proportion to the effort. Like al such schemes they are the equivalent of a pyramid scheme-they work in the early stages, proponents are ‘blue sky thinker entrepreneurial evangelist types who make a fortune (or build an utterly bogus career out of it ).
      This is a mixture of unadulterated new-age bollocks, intermixed with a large codswallop of of old fashioned class prejudice, irretrievably contaminated throughout with false technocratic style managerial neoliberalism.
      Swinney’s appointment to be the Mr Fixit of the eduction system was not an accident. It was on the basis of the early intelligence of the unfolding fuck -up that Curriculum for Excellence had become.

      Actually he has almost certainly identified the problem (because I suspect he is quite smart), which is quite a complex issue and involves the ‘political’ relationship between pupils, parents, and school;s and the local authorities, which lack expertise and resources and have been hollowed out by cuts, and by the loss of long standing expertise and the conversion to the juju managerialism already mentioned, so that key positions are occupied by a bunch of dunces, jobsworth’ sycophants and corporate bullies masquerading as dynamic business types.
      However he has focussed on ‘workload’ issues which I suspect is politically deliverable but does not get to the root of any problems-although superficially I think it will help slightly.As with everything educational it is all to do with what, and how,(i.e. integrated and consistent ) the curriculum is delivered. It is this key element that has been ruined by repeated false initiatives, overly ‘complexified’ training and disruptive interventions by that useless organisation HMIe,, leading to a uncertainty and loss of confidence at the class teacher level.

  • DG

    “A great man…” Unlike us ordinary plebs a few miles from Ramsgate High Street. Maybe we should abolish universal sufferage whilst we’re at it, since you elites have made our country the stunning international economic powerhouse that it is?

  • Nathan

    Edmund Burke voted with his conscience against the wishes of his constituents. Edmund Burke lost his seat.

    • sentinel

      Burke soon got another seat. Who today doubts his judgement on Catholic Emancipation and free trade with Ireland?

  • Habbabkuk

    Just a little reminder that this evening’s “Question Time” (BBC1 at 10:45pm) will come from Maidenhead, Berkshire with the following panel: Health Select Committee chair Sarah Wollaston, Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon, Nigel Farage MEP, novelist Will Self and author and commentator Louise Mensch.

    Sound as if it might be a lively discussion and a diverting watch.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      So that’s two Establishment politicians one Self-promoter and two self-promoters, then.
      Revolutionary stuff.

      • Habbabkuk

        Depending of course on how you define the Establishment, dear Ba’al, you might call Messrs Dennis Skinner (an MP for over 30 years) and Jeremy Cor-byn (ditto) “Establisment politicians”.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          I might, but I didn’t. But I note that Burgon was at any rate the guest of Medical Aid for Palestinians in conjunction with the Council for Arab-British Understanding, on a visit to the West Bank Occupied Territories and Israel itself, in February.

          MAP will of course welcome any donations, whether from the Establishment or not.

          This advertisement comes to you courtesy of Habba Strawmen Inc ™

  • Decoud

    Deeply admirable, Ken Clarke: the tobacco company he chaired is responsible for roughly half a million excess deaths per year, rising fastest in the developing world. But those are not the kinds of death, or the kind of racism, Craig cares about, evidently.

    • sentinel

      How is BAT responsible? The risks of smoking are well-known and are printed on packets of cigarettes.

  • Russell Verbeek

    While I usually breath a sigh of relief reading your thoughts I must admit to a sharp intake of breath over your dislike of referenda (and by extension yuor view of most people in this country).

    You sound so elitist when you write that talking to the common man is enough reason to think people are stupid.

    Let’s be clear, you are extremely unlikely to have met enough people in either Scotland or the UK in order to seriously assess societies ability to make a good judgment call in a referendum.

    To accurately judge whether people are smart enough you would need to have met and had serious in depth discussion with hundreds of thousands of people. But that’s not enough. You must be in a neutral environment and recognise that shyness or lack of verbosity are NOT indicative of stupidity.

    I fully support the move to direct democracy and that is the obvious long term direction of travel for our society. Therefore it would be more practical for those with no faith in their equals to seek to educate and support everyone’s understanding rather than screaming against the incoming tide. You are doing that with your blog so maybe, deep inside, you recognise that responsibility.

    Everyone is entitled to be heard and it’s quite clear that many of the supposed smartest people in the room are psychopaths. They display exceptional narrowband intelligence but don’t have broader awareness. Many people in the Establishments of both Britian and Brussels are excellent examples of this.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      This is a tricky one. Firstly you should look at the mathematics of sampling. Getting some idea of the majority thoughts or attributes of something, on some question is really not so difficult for most matters.
      It certainly does not require close attention to ‘hundreds of thousands of people’. However you are right that a couple of hours talking to Ramsgate ordinary punters is certainly not a valid or recognised way of discerning the majority view.
      I would also say that a very large number of people, for a whole host of reasons are not motivated to be informed on politics and current affairs except in the most superficial ways and that is why the activities of the so called MSM (i.e. established organs of information) are so disputed over because they have undue influence over the large number of people who deny complexity and seek out simplistic ways to relate to complex matters.
      Most people react to situations or issues with a rather narrow perspective. Most prefer not to take part in in-depth discussions simply because most people are more concerned with their work , home and family and immediate pressing needs/wants.
      Many people avoid deep involvement due to the effort it takes to become informed and familiar with the many dimensions of these matters. For example, austerity does not stand up to any kind of detailed economic analysis but it has an easily induced intuitiveness based on private and personal experience about prudence that lends itself to unscrupulous operators.
      i am a wee bit sympathetic to the idea of the wisdom of large numbers/crowds although one must also recognise the mob mentality can exist and people are often motivated by immediate emotions which are generally unreliable guides.
      i am also reminded by some academic work which indicates that populations split roughly 2:1 i.e approximately two thirds /one third( 67%/33%) in their capacity to process matters analytically at the kind of level that would be consistent with making a contribution in a debate. The numbers of the 33% who are, for a mixture of complicated reasons, able to lead and comprehensively analyse an issue of the complexity of (say) EU exit or the independence referendum, is very small indeed and, like you, I suspect that this group is dominated by individuals with quite exceptional degrees of motivation and capacity, and achieved social position and some of these are potentially psychopathic, as well as individuals with exceptional levels of privilege, which endows the means to influence others well out of proportion to the merit of any argument or analysis they may offer.

      • lysias

        It’s rational for ordinary people to take no interest in politics when they have no power to influence events.

        Give them the opportunity, and most of them will rise to the occasion.

          • Deepgreenpuddock

            Touche (with an acute n the e )-but does that mean you think Jil Stein represented or articulated a convincing and coherent perspective?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Personally I dislike referenda in the extreme, those of us who genuinely are of the common clay know better than to romantically ennoble our peers. I strongly suggest you spend a couple of hours talking with ordinary punters on Ramsgate High Street before you decide they should determine the detail of high policy. I am decidedly with Edmund Burke on this issue.

    Yet, there you were, urging a Yes vote in just such a referendum, and positing the right of the man on the Leith omnibus to decide his future? And I couldn’t possibly disagree with that, so what’s special about Ramsgate? Perhaps what you are saying is that you firmly believe in democracy, but you must be permitted to guide the demos. That way madness lies, Craig. Right here:

    http://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/i_am_tony_blair_ask_me_anything_1_4809132

    Look at the company you are keeping – all contributors to the New European’s globalist bad losers’ club (thx, Wiki) and tell us more about the ignorant plebs in Ramsgate. ‘Common clay’, indeed! –

    Peter Bale
    Tony Blair
    Wolfgang Blau
    Brad Blitz
    Sir Richard Branson
    James Brown
    Alastair Campbell
    Dan Chapman
    Louise Chunn
    Charlie Connelly
    Nick Clegg
    Tim Farron
    Jonathan Freedland
    Paddy Hoey
    A C Grayling
    Bonnie Greer
    Howard Jacobson
    Angela Jameson
    Dylan Jones
    Neil Kerber
    Stephen Kinnock
    Saul Klein
    Tanit Koch, editor of Bild
    Hardeep Singh Kohli
    Victor Lewis-Smith
    Denis MacShane
    Martin McQuillan
    Steve Richards
    Miranda Sawyer
    Jason Solomons
    Keir Starmer
    George Szirtes
    Chuka Umunna
    Michael White

  • michael norton

    Boris Johnson’s criticism of ‘puppeteer’ SAUDI ARABIA disowned by Downing Street
    https://www.rt.com/uk/369605-boris-johnson-saudi-proxy/
    Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was not representing the government’s views on Saudi Arabia when he accused the close “ally”
    of abusing Islam and acting as a “puppeteer” in proxy wars throughout the Middle East.

    Theresa May’s official spokesperson said the prime minister had “full confidence” in Johnson, but told reporters the comments he made at a conference in Italy last week were his own personal views and did not reflect government policy.

    Good for Boris,
    Frau May, can not really get rid of him, she is only a few steps from a waffer-thin majority, nother by-election today, tories to loose.

    • michael norton

      Sleaford and North Hykeham voters to choose new MP
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38244948
      The full list of candidates is:

      The Iconic Arty-Pole – Monster Raving Loony Party
      Victoria Ayling – UKIP
      David Bishop – Bus-Pass Elvis Party
      Jim Clarke – Labour
      Paul Coyne – No description
      Dr Caroline Johnson – Conservatives
      Marianne Overton – Lincolnshire Independents
      Ross Pepper – Liberal Democrats
      Sarah Stock – Independent
      Mark Suffield – No description

      Maybe be the Lib Dem wackos will take home the bacon?

    • lysias

      According to comments on Moon of Alabama, Houthi rebels have succeeded in occupying some territory in Saudi Arabia, including some deep inside the country. I wonder, if this is true, how much longer the Saudi monarchy will survive.

  • Republicofscotland

    “If the elected representatives of the Scottish people – the MPs, MSP’s or both – were to come together as a national assembly and declare independence,”

    —————–

    Fanciful thinking Craig, I’m pretty sure you realise that Labour/Tories, and the Libdems in Scotland are die-hard unionist parties. Indeed watching them slabber like Pavlov’s dog today on FMQ’s only confirms this.

    As for Labour joining forces with the Tories to give the government a virtual free run at Brexit, in March next year, well, I say I’m not that surprised, that the vote went 448 to 75.

    The most distrubing thing of all is thst although May has to provide details of Brexit. No one actually knows what the outcome will be after the 18 month negotiations are up.

    • Republicofscotland

      Meanwhile Theresa May is attempting thwart a indyref 2 vote, before Brexit and its consequences are revealed.

      Sturgeon however has said that Scotland must have consent from Westminster, on a second indyref, before the Brexit negotiations are concluded.

      The SNP and the Greens are intent on pushing through a second indyref, before the 18 months Brexit deal is settled.

      • michael norton

        Can you tell us what currency the Scottish people will be using, when you become an Independent state?
        Thank you

        • Republicofscotland

          Scotland will float its own currency, to avoid the Treasury usurping independence, by say no you can’t use the pound.

          However, once independence is achieved the Treasury will fall over themselves to allow Scotland to use the pounds and Phil Hammond knows that.

          Still, I prefer a separate Scottish currency, one not tied to the Bank of England, and its interest rates.

          • michael norton

            RoS thank you for your quick reply, more enriching ( for banksters)
            would you be able to tell us what language you Scottish people will be using, when you become an independent state?
            Thank you

          • Republicofscotland

            Norton.

            A rather asinine question, however, in recent years more and more Gaelic schools have opened across Scotland, indeed the Scottish government are at the forefront of promoting Gaelic.

            It could be that one day in the future, Gaelic will overtake English as the chosen language of Scots, and English could become a second language.

          • michael norton

            Thank you RoS

            I think you are likely to be correct,
            that Gaelic will be the main language of the North.

            If it had not been for the bastard Romans, all the peoples of the British Isles would be speaking Gaelic, including Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
            Not sure about America, they might have spoken some Germanic language.

          • lysias

            Gaelic is a very hard language for native speakers of English to learn. Even though I grew up with members of my Irish family occasionally speaking Irish to each other in our home, I never learnt it. But I was certainly exposed to its sounds as I was growing up, and I was much more exposed to the sound of English spoken with an Irish brogue, which is English spoken with the closest sounds in the Irish language to the sounds of English. Nevertheless, my sporadic attempts to learn Irish Gaelic have always quickly failed, because I have never succeeded in mastering the sounds of Irish Gaelic, either to make them myself or to recognize them when spoken by others. (And, in my learning other languages like German, French, Italian, Russian, Turkish, Romanian, and Mandarin Chinese, I have succeeded always as far as learning the sound systems of the languages. Chinese persons have told me that my pronunciation of Chinese is flawless — my mastery of the other aspects of the language, never very good and now in sad disrepair, is something else. But pronounce it I can.)

            Gaelic is just a very hard language for native speakers of English to learn.

  • Dave

    New Labour was elected in 1997 on a manifesto promise to improve public services and join the Euro-currency. This created a dilemma, because to improve public services required increased public spending, but to join the Euro required reduced public spending to meet the sustainability and convergence criteria.

    This dilemma was resolved by deploying mickey-mouse accounting aka Private Finance Initiative (PFI) which was considered by Gordon Brown (but not the Audit office) as private rather than public spending, even though underwritten by the taxpayer. This was a far more expensive and less efficient way to provide public services, but as it was ‘private’ rather than ‘public’ spending it kept public spending within the joining the Euro rules. So the pro-EU/Euro “Left” and “Right” to blame for PFI.

    Following the financial crash those on the pro-EU/Euro “Left/SNP” said they opposed “Tory austerity”! But although many “Tories” may think austerity is the way to balance the books, the pro-EU/Euro Chancellor Osborne was imposing austerity, not to balance the books, but was following “EU European Central Bank Austerity” to save the Euro. UK wasn’t in Euro but it was still state policy to join when that became politically possible.

    Gordon Brown is credited with keeping UK out of the Euro, but it should be remembered that Sir James Goldsmith’s Referendum Party had forced Lab and Con to promise holding a referendum before doing so. And my fear about the IN/OUT referendum was a win for IN would have been used to ignore the earlier promise to hold a Euro-referendum.

    And proof of this is following Brexit which killed any prospect of joining the Euro, the new Chancellor has torn up Osborne’s “balance the books” fiscal “austerity” rules, an approach that was prior-Brexit dismissed as the height of “Left” irresponsibility when mildly suggested by Ed Milliband. So the pro-EU/Euro “Left/SNP” rallied against “Tory Austerity” when in fact it was “EU/Euro Austerity” and following Brexit UK can now finally pursue an “anti-austerity” policy that the pro-EU/Euro “Left” professed to support.

  • fwl

    Ken Clarke is very likeable and although I also do not agree with all his policies he is a good one.

    Declaration of UDI works if it works and you get meaningful alliances with wealthy powerful friends (eh with who?), or if you are wealthy and powerful yourself, or if you have unlimited determination, intelligence and guts (as per Israel, but I do not think Israel is the SNP role model).

  • Dave

    To equate anti-immigration sentiment with “racism” means its “racist” to oppose immigration! And if “racism” is a bad thing then anyone opposing immigration is a bad person and presumably liable to criminal prosecution under the Race Relations Act! So opposing immigration is the mark of a criminal!

    But conversely if we equate supporting immigration with “racism”, it means its “racist” to support immigration and so supporting immigration is the mark of a criminal!

    But can opposing and supporting immigration both be “racist”? Well under “hate crime” legislation its all based on “perception”, That is, if you think it is, it is and the Police are meant to prioritise, record and investigate “perceived” offence and so mass-deployment of the allegation of “racism” constitutes a culture of denouncement worthy of a Police State in which everyone is guilty, but some are more guilty than others, depending on whether you are pro or anti-immigration.

  • Sharp Ears

    BBC Question Time Staff Reminded Of Impartiality Rules After Producer’s Britain First Posts Revealed
    The corporation told HuffPost UK staff have been reminded of impartiality rules.
    06/12/2016
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/bbc-question-time-producer-britain-first_uk_5846dfabe4b019db8c11add0?utm_hp_ref=bbc-question-time

    Comment underneath –

    ‘Alison Fuller Pedley has the job of selecting the audience on BBC Question Time. Viewers may have noticed that the audiences have become rather unrepresentative recently. Guess what, Alison has a record of sharing Britain First posts and is member of the British Patriot Front she urged EDL demonstrators who had attended a march in Boston to go to the post referendum QT in that town. Many people see QT as a barometer of public opinion with Alison controlling it we are getting a false reading. The question is how can Alison remain in her position when she is clearly abusing her position.’

    As for Dimbleby himself. How much more ‘establishment’ can he get? Another comment says he’s on £450k pa from the BiBiCee.

  • Rob

    I agree that a true Burkean would say no to referendums. But Burke also believed he had to represent the interests of his constituents and that imposes a responsibility to avoid the sort of capricious adventurism that you’re advocating.

  • wallofcontroversy

    “Personally I dislike referenda in the extreme, those of us who genuinely are of the common clay know better than to romantically ennoble our peers.” Oh really, Craig, do you really “know better”? What an excruciatingly smug post. You are such an arrogant twat sometimes!

    • giyane

      ” Oh really, Craig, do you really “know better”? What an excruciatingly smug post. You are such an arrogant twat sometimes!”

      Countries in the EU that have achieved independence from one evil empire have quickly understood that they are to be compulsorily obedient to another.

      Furthermore as the UK adjusts from being an empire, the good old days of Burkean independence when we could choose our own policies ( in the bad old days of colonial state savagery ) to being a vassal of this utterly evil US empire which is using proxies to obliterate the Middle East, neither we, as the UK in the EU, nor wee Scotland as a member of the EU, have yet understood what being a vassal to an evil empire means.

      One of the reasons why Mrs May is so keen not to offend the head-choppers of Saudi Arabia is that the UK maintains its pretence of being independent by borrowing vast sums from them to sustain the illusion of autonomy. Boris Johnson understands that we, the UK, are proxies of Saudi economic power same as Turkey. We are forced to lend legitimacy in the global institutions of which we are founding members to the Stalin-like levels of destruction wrought by Saudi Arabia on its Muslim neighbours. Do we really believe, apart from the BBC, that using human shields in Aleppo as the Saudi-backed rebels have done is a legitimate jihad procedure? It’s a crime against humanity supported by a bankrupt America.

      As I’ve said before, if Craig wants an independent Scotland, better go and suck up to the Donald to give it some solid economic backing. Kiss my arse is a philosophy for a post-Burkean age. Make sure you kiss the right arse.

  • Dave

    Among many, the person on the “Left” who got it right about the Euro was Bryan Gould who stood for Labour leadership against John Smith on a No to Euro platform. He outlined why a one size fits all currency was bad for Europe and UK and it was because of Labour’s embrace of the Euro as an essential part of the super-state EU project that they became “Tories” promoting PFI mickey-mouse accounting and needing to enforce “EU Austerity” when it all went wrong.

    And the reason the “Left/SNP/Green” claim to be “anti-Austerity” rang hollow is because they were for the EU project responsible for the austerity they claimed to oppose as “Tory Austerity”. Made clear by Craig’s call for Scotland and presumably UK to immediately join the Euro!

    It Brexit that delivers the chance to end “Austerity”, hence Hammond tearing up Osborne’s EU/Euro fiscal rules and no doubt why Corbyn was a Brexiter until he became Leader and voted remain to appease pro-EU Labour MPs, who have all now voted to trigger Article 50! With Ken Clarke walking off stage alone with the Euro banner

  • Robert

    I’m very glad you’re out of hospital.

    But with respect, reading these last posts, I think you may be losing the plot completely.

    Democracy is all we have – imperfect though it may be. Take it away and we have nothing left.

  • Dave

    I can understand intellectuals despairing at the mob, but intellectuals can be too clever by half and the mob, voters, are needed to restore some balance. I recall David Irving’s “holocaust” trial without a jury. I don’t know the exact details but Irving agreed to a non-jury (non-mob) trial, because being an intellectual he thought his interests lie in explaining to an intelligent English judge the compelling facts rather than rely on a jury!

    But being too clever by half he overlooked that its easier to nobble a judge than a jury and however sympathetic a judge may be, they are hardly likely to throw away their career and pension by finding in Irving’s favour, whereas a sworn jury is quite capable of understanding complex arguments if explained in layman terms. So a clever man rather than an intellectual would favour a jury, particularly as the Judge found against Irving as a fabricator of history ‘forgetting’ that revisionism in history is an on going feast.

  • Dave

    I admire Corbyn’s resilience and good humour, particularly in facing down the Elders of Hatred, but this strength is an Achilles heel when it also becomes a refusal to even at least try and restrict immigration. I mean, to say in effect, no immigration is too high, is a saintly “we are all brothers” position, but also insane and voters may still treasure him as a dotty and principled old uncle, but not as a future PM.

    And Ken Clarke has the same affability, but his support for and wanting to join the Euro is also a saintly “we are all EU brothers” position, but equally insane – and of course not surprisingly he never became PM. Hence beware saintly people in politics because they are the true megalomaniacs.

    • michael norton

      Ken Clarke is well past his sell by date.
      He has nothing further useful left to do or say
      but please do not boot him into the House of Lords
      or we will never be free from him moaning on about the Eurozone and how bloody great it is for the Elite.

      • michael norton

        Can you imagine Lord and Lady Kinnock, Lord Mandy and Lord Heseltine and Lord Clarke
        moaning on and on about how bloody great the E.U. is and how fucking stupid the peasants were not to vote for staying in.

    • sentinel

      It is not “insane”: a single market works better with a single currency providing the economies of the trading partners are sufficiently convergent.

      Now the UK might be leaving the EU, pressure will be put on Poland & Sweden to adopt the euro.

  • Dave

    No you don’t need a single currency to operate a single market, indeed it puts the single market at risk as without separate currencies the normal economic corrections cannot be made, reducing support for the single market. Perhaps if economies are similar it can mostly work, but the countries of the EU are economically distinct.

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