Letter: A euro tactic for Tories

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Steve Richards (Comment, 4 January)makes a poor Macchiavelli if he thinks that it is in Labour's interest to avoid "mid-term electoral misfortunes" by holding a snap referendum on joining the euro. This would be a godsend for the Tories, irrespective of success or defeat.

Defeat for the Government would be an obvious triumph against the odds for William Hague, but more importantly, success would allow Conservatives of all stripes to unite under a new leader (Michael Portillo?) with the message "We shouldn't have joined, but now there's nothing we can do about it."

The historic opportunity to push the Tories into third place has, I fear, been irretrievably lost; let us not start giving them a leg-up.