Letter: Tories and Europe

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The Independent Culture
Sir: In discouraging British membership of the euro, William Hague has marked out new territory on which his discredited party can regroup. "Wait and see on the euro" and many other Tory policies were skillfully adapted by New Labour.

In their acceptance of the euro currency principle, it is hard to see what Lord Howe and his fellow Conservative grandees think they are conserving. As a member, Britain will have no long-term control of her interest and tax rates. Provincial status within the United States of Europe follows. Is this what Lord Howe ("Turn again, Mr Hague", 8 October) means by "making a success of Europe"?

Politicians who slavishly follow public opinion polls and focus groups forget their duty to lead opinion. Whatever one thinks of their policies, William Hague and Paddy Ashdown show a refreshing inclination to do this duty. Perhaps Lord Howe would be more comfortable on the Labour benches.

WILLIAM LATEY

London SW5

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