Thursday, 17 June 2010

Euro Disintegration

Reading Dan Hannan's post and the wonderful metaphor from the comments below it - 'We all want to be good neighbours, but see no need to knock through the adjoining walls of our houses and marry into the family in order to be considered good neighbours' - I realise that Cameron needs to be a little more honest with European partners.

Britain's position on the Euro is unequivocal, widely understood and correct. But Cameron should - at least in private - now be preparing his European partners for life beyond the Euro. All those countries in a fiscal mess should be actively planning for life outside the Euro. Leadership means setting out the economic and political imperatives needed for a stable and prosperous Euro area, whilst supporting those unable to commit to the financial prerequisites. I also note that Iceland, Norway & Switzerland participate in the Schengen Area despite being non-EU member states.

The disintegration of Euroland is going to be complicated, expensive and very messy. But Cameron, as a relative outsider and leader of Europe's primary financial hub, should now be suggesting at a level of some impartiality, the various routes out of this problem.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Treasury Questions

Managed to watch some of Treasury Questions this afternoon with George Osborne looking impressively in control of economic matters. But just how impressive were Justine Greening - on the front bench - and Margot James (who delivered her maiden speech yesterday) from the backbenches. What knowledge and confidence. Perhaps the Coalition should be thinking of an all women cabinet as well.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Harman for Labour leader

Matthew Parris is right on Harriet Harman. Labour needs a clean skin - someone unassociated with the more deceitful and incompetent (and largely economic) aspects of Gordon Brown and New Labour. Someone like Harriet Harman in fact. Big on equality; small on the economy.

She of course has suggested that half the shadow cabinet should be women. But as Chris Dillow points out in his excellent blog, '...women are only one group of many which is under-represented in government. So too are: single people; ethnic minorities; people without degrees; people educated at state school; the under-30s, the over-60s; and, of course, the 95% of people with lower incomes than MPs. Ms Harman is not calling for quotas for these groups. So why single out women?'

And while were on that agenda, why not go the whole nine yards? Since men have been unfairly over-represented for the last 50 years, why not introduce a women-only shadow cabinet for the next 50 years? That way Harriet Harman and Diane Abbott could both be leader. One after the other.