Letter: Who will tell us the truth about the single currency?

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The Independent Online
John Lichfield ("Ignoring it won't make it disappear", 13 October ) is right: Britain is walking blindly into one of its biggest crises since the war.

Why? First, because the first-past-the-post system forces discussion of new issues to take place inside not between the two main parties. Hence there is very little enlightening parliamentary debate on the single currency. Second, nostalgia: we still believe we can rely on the relics of an empire and a special relationship with the US for trade and defence. We can't.

Newspapers and television don't help; they concentrate on Ken Clarke's suede shoes and cabinet intrigue. In your own paper Alan Watkins says: "Whether a single currency can exist in the absence of a federal arrangement is a difficult question ... I do not propose to go into the question in this column." Why not? Nobody else will.

As far as I am concerned the Bundesbank can change its name to European Central Bank any day - it would only legitimise a de facto situation. The Germans are the only European nation which has learnt the lesson that money is a store of value, a unit of account and a standard for deferred payments - and never a politicians' plaything.

Ken Clark