The Breakfast Table

Britain and the Future of Europe

Dear Mary,

What you say about the JNA’s experts in psychological operations was new to me, although I don’t suppose it should have been surprising. It is quite appalling, if that word still conveys any meaning. It makes one all the more certain that something must be done–but, as you say, all the more doubtful over the present strategy. It really is the most frightful mess.

Let’s allow ourselves a moment of light relief, and turn briefly to an easy, tractable subject, the one you raise, in fact: The future of Europe (and Britain’s place in it). I did follow Prodi’s comments. I bet Blair is wondering whether he was right to push him so firmly for head of the Commission: He’s turning out a steady supply of clear-cut pro-federalist, pro-harmonization, end-of-the-nation-state stuff. Not at all helpful, I imagine, to new Labor this side of the referendum. Where do you stand on all this–do you think we should join the single currency? Your answer can’t surprise me, because I have learned that people’s views on other subjects have no predictive power when it comes to the euro. Regardless of their worldview, they can be anything from wildly enthusiastic to rabidly hostile. At the moment, if it helps, I would characterize myself as an unstable reluctant skeptic.

You know, if this is too difficult to get into, there’s always Northern Ireland.