Englishman; Ever wondered why we don't have the Euro?
Oooo... don't get me started. I love the fact I am English. No problem there, lots of other lovely places and people, but I'm happy to be where I am from. But I think many British peoples' attitude towards the EU/Euro is like the two of the three monkies; cover your eyes, cover your ears... and keep the mouth going.
In fifty to a hundred years time there will ONLY be the Euro and the Swiss Franc in Europe. The Swiss Franc will be Swiss, the Euro you will probably be able to spend from the Western shores of Ireland to the border of China.
There are about three things that can stop this happening, and they are major wars, major diseases, major reccesions; and even then it's just delaying really, not stopping.
It's quite likely in the same period the US dollar will be adopted by some other American countries, and that an 'Asio' or some such will be developed as a common Asian currency, or the Yen or the Ozzy dollar or some such will serve as such, becoming legal tender in more than one country.
These are all 'rock of cliff' events in history. There is only one way, you can kick, drop or throw the rock, but it is going DOWN.
In Europe, within fifty years, I think it's quite likely we will see a fair degree of federalisation, quite possibly upto and including an effective EU presidency.
Now, Britain can cover it's eyes and ears to the inevitable, and sing "They'll always be an England", but it ain't gonna change history.
Obviously a lot depends on the USA; megapower status does that to a country. Whether the USA develops increasingly protectionist and conservative policies (which seems likely given the demographics) or becomes more integrated in consensual world government... ah, it's far harder to call than the Euro issue. A lot of it depends on the religious right; I have a sneaking suspicion the religious right at some point will piss off the sort-of-a-bit-religious-but-really-far-more-secular middle so much that it will lose its disproportionate bite of the cake of power. This will be a good thing for world geopolitics.
As for Tony Parsons taking an idea and running with it; it's kinda sweet.
Everyone knew France and Russia et. al. would be better off with the civilian reigeme as was intact, so the lack of support of war was no surprise. Likewise, everyone knew that the USA and the UK would be better of with war, so their support was no surprise. By better off don't neccesarily mean just financially (the war will take some time to pay for) but politically too. To chastise people for looking after their countries vested interests means eveyone needs a whipping, and if all we have to figure out is 'who is the least morally reprehensible', why bother?
It shows a wonderful use of irony for the Americans to coyly suggest that the Iraqis be given major debt relief, as the debt relief would be given by Russia, Kuwait, and the Gulf States... very much a case of 'stuff you, you shouldn't have been selling that shit and you guys are rich anyway, next time back us, ha ha!'. I think it's very funny!
Tony is just getting a little over excited; many of the examples he gives as European attitudes are as often espoused by Brits as any European. The fact that not love for us Brits (or Europeans) but the USAs own interests have triggered involvement in WWI and WWII also seems to escape him slightly in his eagerness to make a point. If it were in their national interests the UK would turn their back on the USA, just like the USA would turn its back on the UK in the same circumstances. Special relationship pah!
Maybe working in a European Call Centre dealing with eleven languages and fourteen countries gives you a wider view. All I really want the Euro to be common tender in the UK for is it is so pointless having to change currency when I go to see my kids; the Euro and the Pound have been functionally linked as currencies for over two years now; you can effectively scribble € 8 on each £ 5 note and £ 3.10 on each € 5 note and have done with it...
Note to Xena; as you so vociferously objected to such a wicked term as 'many' when applied to Americans I look forward to your defence of the English when I slander them unjustly in a similar fashion