He Told You So
One person who has more right than most to claim vindication by history is Bryan Gould (pictured), defeated by John Smith for the Labour leadership in 1992 and who left British politics soon afterwards. I wrote in November that he and Peter Shore, two Labour politicians I knew well in the 1980s and 1990s, had been right about the euro all along.
So I was sorry to miss Gould when he was in London last week, but I communicated with him by email and he said that he had, in fact, just written a comment on his blog entitled “I told you so”.
His praise for Ed Balls is interesting, as the shadow chancellor was also an early and rigorous sceptic about the euro, condemning the plan for a single currency as “Euromonetarism” at the same time that Gould was resigning from the shadow cabinet over Smith’s support for it.
I am still puzzled, by the way, by Balls’s support for political union of the eurozone countries, which contradicts everything we know about his economic view, which is that trying to keep Spain and Italy in a currency union with Germany imposes such severe costs that it will suppress European growth for decades. I can just about see why George Osborne supports it, for reasons of expediency: breaking up the euro might cause short-term pain leading up to the 2015 election before the benefits of floating exchange rates come through. But Balls’s position is curious, suggesting that he is deferring to the more EU-minded views of Ed Miliband and Douglas Alexander.
How awfully collegiate of him.Tagged in: bryan gould, contemporary history, euro, euroscepticism
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