Following Peter Mandelson back to the front line of politics in the UK is Ken Clarke, to be appointed Conservative business spokesman today. If Peter Mandelson was said to cast a large shadow over British politics, he has now acquired another one.
But not all the Conservatives are happy about this. Ken Clarke’s views on Europe are rather different from those of the rest of the Tory party. Here is William Hague in the Daily Mail at the beginning of the year:
“A Conservative government under David Cameron would have no ministers telling Brussels we would be better off without the pound and no goal of joining the euro one day. We would never join the euro.”
How many times will Ken Clarke be taunted by the Labour party about this?
In the Daily Mail, William Hague went on to say:
“When you think about it the idea of abandoning your currency when it has lost a lot of its value is a pretty stupid one: rather like thinking that if you have let your house run down in value until it is the same as a smaller one next door, it is a good time to swap. We all know that in that situation you have to learn to look after your house better.”
Well, for Britain to join the euro is nothing at all like swapping ownership of one house for another. But if your house is declining in value like that, maybe it’s a good idea to pick up some tips from the neighbours on property management. Not to mention joining in with them in keeping the street free of litter and joining the Neighbourhood Watch scheme. William Hague isn’t so keen on those ideas, either.