Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I gave my love a (half) Sovereign

When Lowdenclear and I tied the knot, we used the 1961 Marriage Service laid down by the Irish Hierarchy. It includes the words "This gold and silver I give you, tokens of all my worldly goods" which are recited the groom puts coins into the bride's hand. In our case, they weren't merely yellow and white metal coins but actual gold and silver! The business of money and sovereignty has come to the fore in a less happy context recently, of course. Ireland's massive, gaping and apparently uncontrollable public debt is threatening the Euro to such an extent that the Euro Commission in the person of the damp rag himself want to force us to accept a bailout, whether we want to or not.

A question was asked by Nigel Farage on BBC television this morning about how we (and the Greeks, Portugese etc) could refloat our own currencies. It's a possibility that was mooted by David McWilliams two or three years ago but sooner or later we'll have to face what was a truism until recently. The illusion of sovereignty cannot be maintained where the sovereign entity has no currency of its own. While we have almost always been linked to another currency (the pound Sterling until 1978), it was at our behest and under our control. We could retain or abandon the peg as we saw fit. Does anyone really think that we have that freedom now?

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