Monday 30 January 2012

The Strange Death Of Democratic England

Whilst Cameron is poncing about at the latest European Council meeting, trying to pretend to his party that his non-veto was a veto and he isn't backtracking, Conservative Home has further evidence of the sharply declining Tory party membership.

Depressing reading I'm sure it is for most Tories (except Cameron), Adrian Hilton's article is a rather apt analogy for the political process as a whole, as he lays bare the extent of decline in party membership.

Referring to Beaconsfield " the Tory Premier League historic and prestigious seat of Disraeli", he  illustrates the decline of membership by the graph above and writes:
This pattern of decline is in evidence in just about every Conservative association the length and breadth of the country. Beaconsfield can still glory in having the second-highest number of members of any association, but the fact remains that this represents a loss of almost 5000 paid-up supporters (76%) over the period I’ve been a member, and the reduction continues at the rate of about 100 a year. But more pressing even than the likelihood of extinction within a decade is that, on present rates of fund-raising and income, the association is projected this year to record its first ever financial loss. 
The flight of members then is so acute that even the 'wealthy Beaconsfield Conservative Association' is unable to cover its costs (other than by mortgaging assets). This crisis in membership therefore, argues Hilton, really ought to be a priority concern as the threat is now existential.

So what is the cause of the 'alarming rate of decline'. Well Hilton has a theory which in my view not only applies to the Tories but the entire political system:
...there was a time when being a member of the Conservative Party was an active democratic pursuit – we could freely select parliamentary candidates, propose motions for conference and even participate in debates from the floor. It was a festival of genuine political participation: we didn’t all agree, and neither did we have to pretend to: democracy is messy...

Sadly, all of these processes are now controlled by the centralised oligarchy, and members are left with the façade of engagement. Candidates are imposed, selections are rigged, and the annual conference is no longer a vibrant celebration of democracy with halls packed to standing: it is a technocratic rally to demagoguery, and a poorly-attended one at that (at least by Party members). No contentious "big issues" are discussed or debated... It is little more than window-dressing and sophistry for mass media consumption....
Replace the words 'Conservative Party' with 'Labour' or 'Lib Dems' and you wouldn't have to re-write much, if any at all, and replace with words like 'MP's' or 'government' or 'local councils' etc and the sentiments still apply - in spades.

"Little more than window dressing and sophistry for mass media consumption" summed up the 2010 election perfectly, with contentious "big issues" not being discussed nor debated as demonstrated so clearly.

As the article makes clear 'on the ground' Tories are being treated with absolute contempt, yet that is a malaise which infiltrates everywhere.
Under Cameron, the Conservative Party has become increasingly centralised, top-down and anti-democratic... why would hard-working, intelligent and highly educated [sic] Conservative Party members put up with this?
Or indeed us voters in general. The article concludes that despite Cameron's empty rhetoric of returning power...
"...from the state to citizens; from the government to parliament; from Whitehall to communities. From Brussels to Britain; from judges to the people; from bureaucracy to democracy".
  Precisely the opposite has happened:
Under Cameron, the Conservative Party has become increasingly centralised, top-down and anti-democratic.
 And, more sinisterly:
But, as sure as night follows day, this will lead to the state funding of political parties. As I say, it appears almost purposeful.
Cameron's party is the perfect analogy of our current political climate; centralised and contemptuous of those it supposedly represents. Interestingly the Tory grassroots' reaction to it's party's ever increasingly anti-democratic nature has been one of apathy (my emphasis):
The vast majority seem passively content to permit their memberships to lapse, often citing (if asked) some generalised disillusionment with the lack of Tory ‘robustness’ – whether in government or opposition.

We are contending more with incremental indifference than forthright objection, and no number of polite letters or coaxing phone calls seem to persuade them to reconsider.

...members are left with an apparently unbridgeable epistemic distance between themselves and the Party Chairman, and so they fade away.
A mood reflected by the ever lower turnouts in elections, the electorate like the Tory members are retreating from a system that no longer reflects their views nor cares. But the sad truth is we simply cannot sustain a political situation where political views can no longer be expressed, in a purposeful (and peaceful) manner, indefinitely.

We live in dangerous times.

Friday 27 January 2012

I'm Not Sure Whether To Laugh Or Cry

"MP's have little to do" wails Jack Straw (my emphasis):
"The government is running dry of legislation from its programme to put before MPs.
"So desperate have they been to manufacture activity that ordinary bills that could and should go into a public bill committee where they can properly be examined line-by-line are now to have all their stages on the floor - a procedure normally reserved for bills of great constitutional importance.
"I can rarely recall a time when the business of the Commons has been so light..."
There's, obviously, a very good reason why this is the case but neither, unsurprisingly, Jack Straw nor the BBC are willing to highlight it.

Wednesday 25 January 2012

We Will Remember Them

The Telegraph reports that the EU wants the "digital right to be forgotten":
Embarrassing, inaccurate or simply personal data will have to be deleted from the internet and company databases if consumers ask, under a new set of European laws.
The move will mean that social networks such as Facebook or Twitter will have to comply with users' requests to delete everything they have ever published about themselves online. It will also mean that consumers will be able to force companies that hold data about them, such as for Tesco's Clubcard, to remove it. 
Naturally it being the Telegraph and all matters EU this isn't actually recent news. The EU have been keen to do this for some time. Eager to update the 1995 Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC), here's the EU Commission's paper in 2010 (page 9):
"...clarifying the so-called ‘right to be forgotten’, i.e. the right of individuals to have their data no longer processed and deleted when they are no longer needed for legitimate purposes. This is the case, for example, when processing is based on the person’s consent and when he or she withdraws consent or when the storage period has expired;"
And from a "EU data protection reform – frequently asked questions":
For example, there should be a "right to be forgotten," which means that individuals should have the right to have their data fully removed when it is no longer needed for the purposes for which it was collected. People who want to delete profiles on social networking sites should be able to rely on the service provider to remove personal data, such as photos, completely.
Similarly, users should know and understand about how their internet use is being monitored for the purposes of behavioural advertising. For example, people should be aware when online retailers use previously viewed web sites as a basis to make product suggestions.
It is also important that individuals are informed when their data has been unlawfully accessed, altered or destroyed by unauthorised persons. The Commission is therefore considering extending the obligation to notify personal data breaches beyond the currently covered telecommunications sector to other areas, such as the financial industry.
And the reason the EU is keen on this is relatively simple, it allows another power grab which leads onto more regulation of the internet, dressed up as 'looking after our interests', as well as another important persuasive factor:
The changes...also include a new EU power to fine companies up to 2 per cent of their global turnover if they breach the rules.
More potential coffers in the kitty, how convenient.

But despite this, going by the comments under the Telegraph article the EU move appears to be depressingly popular - "at last the EU does something useful" is a common one. The irony of complaining about lack of privacy on the internet a comment on the internet appears to be lost; epitomised by this gem (click to enlarge):

One wonders why you'd complain about internet privacy when voluntarily signing up to a 'social networking' website where the fundamental business model is based on sharing information.

Then there's the practicalities - one man's privacy is another's free speech. What if you want to as an example, years later, erase a photograph of yourself on Facebook being embarrassingly drunk but the other chap in the picture finds it highly amusing and wants to retain it? Whose rights come first?

What if you're on a protest and photographed by a newspaper who then advertises their story on Facebook. Should you be able to insist Facebook remove the picture? This would surely be tantamount to censorship. And we all know where these kind of 'helpful' laws' eventually end up:
Wikipedia is under a censorship attack by a convicted murderer who is invoking Germany’s privacy laws in a bid to remove references to his killing of a Bavarian actor in 1990.
And there's the technicalities. Is it possible to request that every bit of data that might identify you is erased? For example removing IP addresses, logs and timestamps? The list would be endless and is impossible to enforce. What about demanding that even your request for deletion gets deleted?

In summary, what we have is an unelected and unaccountable Government body wanting to regulate the internet, and thus by implication free speech, on the pretext of our own protection. That, history tells us, never leads to anywhere good.

Disability Benefits

Although I have a vested interest in the Government's Welfare reforms (Mrs TBF is disabled), for various reasons I've been rather reluctant to comment on them here.

In the main though I agree with many of the sentiments expressed here by Oliver Lewis at the Spectator. Like him, I cautiously welcome them albeit with some concerns. The welfare system does desperately need reforming and Iain Duncan Smith appears to be trying to make a decent fist of it with due consideration to the disabled community:
In fact, despite Polly Toynbee's claims, as far as I can see, the government has been cautious and sensible about making sure these reforms do right by the disabled community. Starting from 2013, it expects the process of examining every claimant to take up to three years. It has engaged with disabled groups, amended proposals and recently agreed to halve the time that seriously ill or disabled people will have to wait to receive PIP – to three months instead of six – a massive improvement, especially for cancer patients. The Welfare Reform Minister, Lord Freud, has also proposed an amendment allowing disabled people living in care homes to keep payments worth up to £51 per week. 
Undoubtedly, due to the nature of bureaucracy, some will be wronged - thus making the headlines, it's inevitable. But a Government has a duty not only to look after the weakest in society but a duty also to spend taxpayer's money wisely.

Such contradictions and subtleties though escape the likes of Polly Toynbee, which the Spectator, in its article links to. To her life is black and white instead of the shades of grey that it really is. It's one of the reasons I've tried to leave this subject well alone - it's an emotive subject which will reduced down to a narrative of 'nasty cuts' and 'evil Tories' and 'right wingers' against instead those nice cuddly Labour left wingers. Despite all their faults, I doubt very much any MP, regardless of party or political persuasion, is callous enough to want to deliberately send disabled children into abject poverty.

One wonders, reading Polly's rather ironically hate filled article whether it even crossed her mind that Cameron knows exactly what it's like to look after someone who's disabled.

Monday 23 January 2012

How Apt

According to the Telegraph, Parliament could be sold off as part of radical proposals to tackle the building's subsidence:
Radical proposals are being considered as to how to tackle the long-term problem of the Palace of Westminster’s subsidence, which has already caused Big Ben’s clock tower to lean 18ins from the vertical.
Among the ideas is one for Parliament to be sold off to developers, possibly from foreign countries such as Russia or China, which could raise an estimated £500million.

There's nothing more apt for the building that's no longer fit for purpose in every sense than to sell it off to foreigners

Sunday 22 January 2012

A Waste Of Space

Underdogs Bite Upwards highlights a Daily Mail article showing (photoshopped) pictures of children smoking. But as one of his commentators points out the Daily Mail is 2 months behind - and depressingly that's an improvement - only 2 months? We've been here before, sometimes it's taken nearly a year.

Not just on news, but right across the board the MSM is failing. Seriously, what's the point of newspapers?

Celebrating The Rebellion

One of the consequences of the smoking ban is that the gents' toilets in sports stadiums, particularly football grounds, have become the equivalent of bike sheds at schools - somewhere to go for a 'crafty half-time fag'. Completely illegal of course but often the stewards take the view that they would be significantly outnumbered in a confined space if they raised an objection, so they leave well alone.

Usually, in my experience, most who use the toilets are ok with the situation - probably because the reason for a large number of us being there is to empty our bladders as a consequence of a consumption of copious alcoholic beverages. A complaint on health issues would be highly improper.

But... you always get one. And so it proved yesterday - the classic father and 'think of the kids' complaint. Which would all be plausible if said kid didn't look like he ate too much and also decided not to move about a lot. Needless to say the father was left in doubt regarding the general sentiment.

Anyway the point of this post is a tribute to classic British obstinacy. The Government may like to tell us what to do but the power resides with us - we only have to choose to use it.

Update: Just spotted this over at the Filthy Engineer's blog

Friday 20 January 2012

Dehumanising The Victim Makes Things Simpler...

Richard North reminds us that it's the 70th of the Wannsee Conference.

Above is an excerpt from the very unsettling BBC film Conspiracy based on the infamous meeting, which vividly illustrates that people's lives were reduced to that of numbers and 'Dilbert like corporate speak'.

It can, and will happen again...

Wednesday 18 January 2012

How To Report The News

Sometimes I find Charlie Brooker a little sanctimonious, but his early series of BBC's Newswipe resonates completely with me regarding MSM news reporting. Here's a great example:

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Can He Wire A Plug?

I've never met Tory MEP Dan Hannan but going by his Telegraph blog I have the impression he's a bright and well-read chap. But I also get the impression that he indulges in convoluted intellectual gymnastics that, as a guess, is probably necessary as a result of being a member of the Tory party which as a consequence presents him with contradictions. This leaves the unfortunate, maybe accurate, view of 'yes he's bright but can he wire a plug' - i.e. does his common sense often elude him?

And so it's with these thoughts in mind I read his latest blog piece which argues against the breakup of the United Kingdom in light of a possible Scottish referendum on independence. Whilst I have some sympathy with the view that a breakup would largely be a bad thing, it's the following passage that caught my eye:

What’s so special about ‘the UK as a whole’? Why is it worth keeping? Well, look at what we have achieved together. Centuries of unbroken parliamentary democracy. No revolutions, no dictatorships, no invasions. Secure property rights and an independent judiciary. Armed forces that are respected around the world. Religious pluralism. Moderate and democratic political parties. If you think these things can be taken for granted, watch what is about to happen in some eurozone states.

It's hard to know where to start. Apparently we have achieved "centuries of unbroken parliamentary democracy". As one of the authors of the book the Plan - in his words an attempt to renew Britain's democracy - this seems a rather odd statement to make to say the least. Is Hannan really suggesting that omitting half the UK's population from having the right to vote until 1918 or that full universal suffrage wasn't achieved until 1928, or that the unelected House of Lords had the same powers as the 'elected' Commons until 1911 or indeed that the rotten borough of Old Sarum which existed in the 19th Century constitutes a "centuries old parliamentary democracy"? If so, one has to wonder what version of democracy Hannan believes in.

But even by Hannan's established Parliamentary democratic terms, leaving aside the flaws in the basic principles of representative democracy, we can only argue that the UK's system of 'parliamentary democracy' has only ever really existed between 1928 and 1973 (when we joined the EEC).

But even this is not enough. If we indeed argue that genuine democracy existed in those short 45 years - this is undermined by the fact that under a genuine democracy, we'd never would have joined the EEC in the first place. In 1970 only 15% of people approved of EEC membership and joining never cropped up in the 1970 election as an issue. However just 2 weeks after being elected Heath began negotiations for entry with no obvious clear mandate. A wonderful example of 'parliamentary democracy'.

Hannan then states that we've had "no dictatorships". Really? Presumably being fair when Hannan says 'centuries', he's not going back as far as the mid 17th Century. However since 1973 that is precisely what we have had in effect. The Oxford dictionary lists a dictatorship as:

Absolute authority in any sphere.
We cannot elect the EU Commission nor throw Barroso nor Rumpy Pumpy out of office or reverse the overwhelming laws that emanate from Brussels. Some democracy - it certainly looks like a form of dictatorship to me.

Then Hannan says:

Armed forces that are respected around the world.

Would these be the same armed forces that lost in Iraq, were humiliated by the Iranians and can't even run our own aircraft carriers.

And, laughably, we should be proud of parliamentary democracy because we have:
Moderate and democratic political parties...
These would be the same 'democratic' political parties where there is no difference between them on major policy issues, such as EU membership, taxation or climate change (to name just a few), where breaking manifesto promises is a given, where every party exploits taxpayers money for expenses. Or where Parliamentary parties are selecting candidates on any criteria far removed from being democratic. As Witterings from Witney rightly says it's a democratic dictatorship

Hannan's loyalty to his party is blinding him to the obvious contradictions of his position - a perfect example of everything that is wrong with how we are currently governed.

Monday 16 January 2012

Slow On The Uptake

When I spotted this story in today's Daily Mail, it sounded very familiar. And so it was - it was picked up by Captain Ranty in March 2011.

So there you have it, paid MSM journalists recycling old news that was highlighted by unpaid bloggers nearly a year ago.

The MSM's purpose in life is...?

Monday 9 January 2012

Referendums And Hypocrisy

The Daily Telegraph has an article by Labour MP Douglas Alexander criticising Alex Salmond's reluctance to go for a Scottish independence referendum. The sheer arrogance and hypocrisy in the piece that pours from every paragraph from Alexander is enough to send me to bed with industrial quantities of ACE inhibitors. Here's a selection of quotes:
Everyone knows an independence referendum is coming, but for the moment only one man knows when. Alex Salmond is determined to delay for one simple reason: despite all his bluster, he fears the verdict of the Scottish people.
In 2007, the SNP became the Government of Scotland, but in the four years of their first Parliamentary term they chose not to present a bill bringing forward a referendum. Only in the final months of that Parliament, in February 2011, did they publish a consultation which pledged an immediate referendum – a position they have subsequently rowed back from.
Laughably he then invokes the manifesto promise argument:
Last May, the SNP was elected on a manifesto that promised a referendum....
Funnily enough Douglas Alexander was elected on a manifesto promise too in 2005...but hey nevermind inconvenient facts. He continues:

No credible explanation has yet been offered to account for the delay – presumably because it simply reflects the SNP’s fear of the Scottish’s people’s answer. Only this weekend, an Ipsos Mori poll found support for Scottish independence at 29 per cent, against 54 per cent who want to remain part of the UK.

Oh now we're using polling evidence to criticise Alex Salmond for fearing that he will lose - doesn't that sound familiar? Still, self awareness doesn't appear to be his strong point - but on he rumbles regardless:

I have never feared the verdict of the Scottish people. As Johann Lamont, the new Scottish Labour leader, said yesterday, we want the referendum to be held as quickly as possible.

Never feared the verdict of the Scottish people eh? Well I beg to differ, guess, no really guess, how Mr Alexander voted regarding a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty:

Yep, he feared the verdict of the British people. But then this is not the first time he has been 'less than candid' with the British people.


Surely it wasn't too much to hope that this sort of embarrassing gimmickry was left behind with New Labour or as Richard North points out:
This is the sort of half-assed stunt you expect from third world countries, not Her Majesty's Government.
But no, it seems that one of Cameron's great ambitions is trying to make Labour look respectable. One begins to dread the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics - can we now expect Cameron to jump out of a giant cake as an attempt to try to upstage Boris Johnson - don't bet against it, anything now is possible:

Sunday 8 January 2012

Official Confirmation Of The Cameron Deception

Bloggers4UKIP has had an official response to his FOI request regarding Cameron's phantom veto, in short he's received official confirmation that Cameron has lied (Bloggers4UKIP's emphasis):
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office have responded today with the following:

Dear Mr Parr,

Thank-you for your email. I apologise for the short delay in getting back to you.

We are not treating your email as an FOI request as no EU Treaty was drafted at the European Council in December. So I have passed your email asking about the Prime Minister’s rejection of a new EU Treaty and a financial transaction tax to my colleagues in our Europe Directorate for a response. They will be in touch shortly.
No treaty? That's interesting because according to the Conservative Party website on the 9th of December ...

Prime Minister David Cameron has today spoken of his decision to veto a new European treaty following a round of discussions with European leaders in Brussels.
Despite this, the narrative of Cameron's veto still continues, never mind the facts.

Talk Constitution

I meant to blog earlier on this new initiative by David Phipps of Witterings from Witney and IanPJ on politics on trying to fix our currently subverted constitution and attempting to restore the broken relations between the people and Parliament. WfW's relevant post here is well worth a read in full.

The site is due to go live at noon today and you can register here to take part in the debate. The more the better, as UKK41 says democracy is not a spectator sport. Use it or lose it.

The task ahead is however somewhat daunting and I wish WfW all the best in this endeavour. Given that Mrs Thatcher was described this morning, on Andrew Marr as the first UK female head of state, Brown and Cameron both refer to "my Government" and Cameron says "my Parliament", we all face a huge uphill battle.

By Mistake?

I'm intrigued by this from the Guardian at the bottom of their article on Manchester United:

Comments opened by mistake? Going by the overwhelming negative comments below the article one can't help feeling that the Guardian is a little sensitive when its journalism is called into question.

Comment is free? Yes, but only on our terms.

Saturday 7 January 2012

Making The Most Of It

Apologies in advance to non-football readers of my blog but this doesn't happen often, so I'm making the most of it - a bit of gloating if you like:


Thursday 5 January 2012


Cameron really is useless, this is a Daily Telegraph headline earlier today:

"Kill" health and safety...hmm that's unfortunate wording, so later the Telegraph duly oblige in changing the headline into something more palatable:

Such is the amateurish administration that is the coalition Government - how did no-one spot that before it reached the press?

Still at least we can take comfort in the fact that Cameron is standing up for Britain.

Shut it

As someone who runs a small business myself, when I hear stuff like this I really want to shoot him:
David Cameron: "Government is not a good customer for small business. But we will do everything possible to help small businesses."
Yes Dave, if you say so Dave...

Wednesday 4 January 2012


According to the Metro, a new set of coins will be issued to celebrate the London 2012 Olympics which includes a 50p piece that explains the football offside rule.

Allegedly, as pictured above:
The ingenious diagram shows a football pitch with simple icons showing whether a player is offside or not.
Yep, so ingenious that a 50p coin clears all the confusion up.

Such nuances like not "interfering with play", or was he in a "passive position", or was it "second phase play" or giving the "benefit of the doubt" are irrelevant.

We're all simpletons apparently - thank god we have a 50p coin to let us know the rules of football.

Double Trouble

I'm glad I'm not the only one to have had doubts about Stephen Lawrence's trial, this from Tim Worstall:

No [I'm not happy about it], not because I’m some scumbag racist, no, not because it’s a bad idea that murderers go to jail. Rather, this:

But in 2005 a chink of light emerged when the double jeopardy rule was abolished, meaning the men could be re-tried.

Double jeopardy is one of our protections against them. Us as citizens against those who would rule us.

The abolition of it leaves us open to continual prosecution: if they don’t manage to get a jury to convict us first time they can just try and try again.

This is a very good example of why hard cases make bad law. That racist murderers go to jail, Hurrah!

That all 65 million of us are stripped of a protection in order to do so, Booo!

I couldn't agree more. Yes racists scumbags deserve justice and nor do I have much sympathy for Norries who allegedly has had a hard time whilst inside, but double jeopardy was there for a reason - a very good reason. As with the RIP Act used against petty crime or terrorist legislation used against innocent football fans, the slippery slope is obvious, we all will be next: tried and tried again until they get the right answer.

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Feel The Narrative

"History is a set of lies agreed upon" - Napoleon

Despite the fact that Cameron had no power of a veto, there was no treaty to veto and he didn't use the word veto when reporting back to the house (that would have been lying) the 'veto' narrative continues - as pictured above.

It's revealing that Cameron's greatest achievement of 2011 is to take credit for an event that never actually happened but still it's one that his party is proud of. A damning indictment indeed.

With barely a dissenting voice the MSM to a man have reported an event that is complete fiction - one that is lapped up by the public at large. The maxim: "don't believe what you read in the papers" must be one of the most ignored in history - most of us it seems take comfort in being lied to - the truth being treated as a mere inconvenience. This is how history is written.

The overwhelming lesson therefore is, never mind the facts, feel the narrative.

Sunday 1 January 2012

Ten Very Happy Years

Today is the tenth anniversary of the Euro's launch in the form of coins and banknotes, three years after it had existed as a virtual currency. The launch was celebrated by fireworks, parties and solemn speeches ushering in a 'brave new world'.

Strangely though ten years on celebrations across the EU have, in contrast, been rather muted:
In Brussels, there will be neither a ceremony nor even a news conference to mark the occasion. That set the tone for other countries, many of which were doing the minimum: preparing to circulate a 2-euro commemorative coin for the anniversary.
So it would be rather remiss of me if I didn't indulge in a little gloating, As Richard North at EUReferendum puts it:
"If you cannot have the occasional gloat then, frankly, life ain't worth living."
Today, several Euro members are on the edge of bankruptcy. Europe is pitifully reduced to asking the IMF and China for help and the euro itself is on the brink of unravelling.

Have I said "We told you so" yet?

The Mail is also jumping on the gloating bandwagon by laying the boot into the BBC:
What a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago, the BBC announced ‘Euphoria in Euroland’ as it hailed the birth of the euro.

But with the single currency now facing collapse, the Corporation’s coverage of today’s anniversary has been notably more restrained, as senior executives prepare to defend their ‘pro-Brussels bias’ during a showdown meeting with Eurosceptics.
So here, as a bit of New Year's fun, are a few quotes from some of our great and wise 'leaders' such as Nick Clegg:
The euro, despite the foolish assumption of many commentators that it should be judged according to its external level with the dollar, has already provided great internal stability to the eurozone
The euro has done more to enforce budgetary discipline in the rest of Europe than any number of exhortations from the IMF or the OECD. If we remain outside the euro, we will simply continue to subside into a position of relative poverty and inefficiency compared to our more prosperous European neighbours.
Or this from Chris Huhne:
If we get rid of sterling and adopt the euro, we will also get rid of sterling crises and sterling overvaluations. This will give us a real control over our economic environment. Our manufacturers, farmers and other trading businesses would be able to rely on the exchange rate against our main continental trading partners staying unchanged forever.
And this from Michael Heseltine (my emphasis):
We see [the dangers] today in the exchange rates where our own non-membership of the eurozone is threatening great swathes of British manufacturing industry. The effect of [the introduction of euro notes and coins] will unleash a range of competitiveness which is simply not understood.

You see the most extraordinary things said about the plans to encourage British industry to change its capacity to trade in euros, as though changing over your tills and cash registers is somehow a contribution to the sacrifice of your sovereignty. If you have 300m people who have nothing but euros to spend you have to be barking mad not to be able to take the euros.
And Peter Mandelson:
The price we would pay [by not joining] in lost investment and jobs in Britain would be incalculable. Outside the euro, there is little we can do to protect industry against destabilising swings in the value of sterling.
Not forgetting Tony Blair:
Even if it [taking Britain into the euro] is unpopular, I will recommend it if it is the right thing to do.

Europe's economic fundamentals are sound: sounder than they have been for over a generation. The EU's economies are growing and it is important to underline that they are now creating jobs in Europe faster than almost anywhere else in the developed world.
The decision to launch the single currency is the first step and marks the turning point for Europe, marks stability and growth and is crucial to high levels of growth and employment.
Let's have this one from Yves-Thibault de Silguy a former EU Commissioner in 1998:
Britain can not survive as a serious international power unless it joins the single currency. We can live without you, but you can't live without us.
Or Charles Kennedy:
The euro, despite gloomy predictions from anti-Europeans, has proved to be a success. We cannot afford to be isolated from our biggest and closest trading partner any longer.
Or Wolfgang Muchau in the Financial Times in 2006:
There is not the slightest danger of a break-up of the Eurozone. On the contrary, I expect the Eurozone to be exceptionally stable in the long run. Make no mistake, the Eurozone is here to stay.
The world’s two large reserve currencies, the dollar and the euro, offer more protection from speculative attack than a free-floating offshore currency unit. The UK will at some point have to make a choice whether it wants to be in the Eurozone or whether it wants to seek an alternative use for those rather tall buildings in the heart of London.
Nostradamus has a better accuracy rate than that.

Still, the Euro managed to limp along and make it to Christmas, but the expectation must surely be that the crisis will return with a vengeance in the first few weeks of the New Year, certainly the noises are that a breakup in one form or another is being anticipated.

So will the Euro survive 2012? We'll have to wait and see but the chances are not good.