Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year

If you cannot have the occasional gloat then, frankly, life ain't worth living. But, on the tenth anniversary of the launch of the euro notes and coins, the opportunity is too good to miss.

At the time of the launch the BBC was, of course, crowing, but even the Daily Wail was having a little fun at our expense, covering all the bases, while Toby Helm in the Failygraph offered the unrestrained headline, that the launch would herald "peace and prosperity".

And here we are ten years on with the Daily Wail yesterday talking of riot and revolution. Yet those ten years ago, the euro and the European Union looked unstoppable. And look where they are now.

So this year, we do not need to offer predictions, and nor will we. All we have to do is look at those joyous, confident predictions of a decade ago, and enjoy seeing how wrong they all are – how little the great and the good could get right.

The funny thing is that, in his own way, Duisenberg was right - up to a point. The launch of notes and coins on, following up on the official launch of the currency in 1999 when they celebrated not with Ode to Joy but with a rendition of Land of Hope and Glory, was indeed the start of a new era - but not one the "colleagues" wanted to see.

Even if the euro manages to survive another year, the aura of inevitability has gone.  No one will ever be able to say again, with a straight face, that British entry to the euro is "inevitable".  The only thing we now see as inevitable is the eventual collapse of the single currency.

But it is too early yet to celebrate. That time will come, when the evil empire crashes and burns – and we can't yet tell when that will be. Thus, all we can do is wish each and every reader a happy new year at a very personal level. It is time for us to look after ourselves and our own, to protect ourselves from the actions of fools and knaves, and to be ready to enjoy the moment when nemesis becomes a reality.

In the meantime, be careful out there.