Letter: Embrace the euro

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The Independent Culture
Sir: On Monday your leader exhorted Tony Blair to stop Rupert Murdoch taking over Manchester United. On Tuesday your business Outlook pointed out at some length that for him to do so would be nigh impossible.

Also on Tuesday, your lead news story was about the inevitable "victory" Mr Hague will get from his party referendum to confirm Conservative policy that the UK should not seek to join European monetary union before the end of the next parliament. And you carried a pithy article by Steve Richards analysing the growing problems the Prime Minister has with his now rather too cosy relationship Mr Murdoch.

The fact Mr Blair is, metaphorically, in bed with Mr Murdoch has nothing to do with stopping the takeover of Manchester United. He could not do that even if he had never spoken to him. But it does have a lot to do with when we may become part of the EMU.

Once the sad Tory isolationists have had their say, the only alternative UK policy on EMU will be the Government's one that we should join when we have seen that it works, when the time is right, and when the UK electorate has confirmed their willingness in a referendum. That really is a pathetically weak stance on one of the major issues of this decade.

It is going to happen and it will be made to work, and made to work in a way over which we currently have precious little influence. To suggest that we should wait and see whether it works cannot be taken seriously as part of policy.

Tony Blair still has immense credibility with the electorate. Is he really going to wait - possibly for ever - until he is certain of The Sun's endorsement before he finally says that we have immeasurably more to gain than to lose by joining as soon as possible?

He clearly believes that to be the case and even gives the impression he would like to say so. But although he protests that neither Murdoch nor any other businessman stays his tongue, his actions suggest otherwise.

Can I use your columns to say, "Please, Prime Minister, break the creeping mould before it is too late. Slay the dragon while the next election is still three and a half years away!"

Sir SIMON GOURLAY

Knighton, Powys

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