Tom O’Sullivan’s article Pounding the Euro (MW August 5) suggests there is a crying need among ordinary folk for some swift, harsh appraisal of home truths. I suggest the following topics for discussion.
Lessons from history: why did the Soviet Union split up; why did Yugoslavia split up; and why do we now have parliaments in Scotland and Wales? The US has only had 200 “united” years because its white population killed most of the original inhabitants before they could have a say in how the place was run.
Safety in numbers: we’ll be part of 350 million consumers. How does Canada manage with 18 million people, and New Zealand manage with just 3 million people? The Internet champions the individual – size, it appears, matters less (sorry, Renault).
Home ownership: it is higher in the UK than in Europe, where renting is more common. If interest rates were fixed on a pan-European basis, and they had to rise, the British would suffer more directly than, say, the French. Also, would this mean that the British would have greater negative equity as house prices dipped to match those in Europe?
“Little Europe” mentality: again, we will be part of 350 million consumers, but they will be constrained by bureaucracy and regulation. What about emerging markets in China, where new ideas and products are seized upon quickly, and the rate of change and expansion would be much faster than in Europe?
The UK is perceived as being superior to the US in terms of political systems, legal systems, and in championing fair play. Can we not feel good about ourselves for having established the principles of democracy, and allowing large chunks of our former empire to rule themselves?
Please spare us from spin – harsh facts will stimulate the electorate. The electorate still has the capacity to think for itself, despite the determined efforts of the “nanny state”.