Opinion here in the UK has been swinging Blair's way in the last couple of weeks, which probably helped cut down on the number of Labour rebels in the war vote.

It would probably have shifted earlier, if Blair had been willing to openly criticise the UN, which a large section of the public has supported.
But this would have risked offending the tradtional reverence of Labour for collective security.

What seems to have influenced a LOT of people in shifting to pro-war is the traditional English "damned if the French will tell us what to do" response. Ironically, Tony Blair may owe Chirac a favour.

Warren, as regards Blair being anti-Euro: waayyy off base. He's been pro-Euro for years, project blocked by Chancellor Brown (to cut a long story short).

Whether he changes his mind now, heaven knows.
Will he try to repair relations with Paris and Berlin, or take them on head on? I can't guess.

Posted by: John Farren at March 20, 2003 08:48 AM

John, correct of course about Blair's past STATED position on the euro, but it seems to now come with the qualifiers of a true smoke and mirrors man; when economic conditions are right, when it suits Britain's broader economic interests, and always stressing the need to keep options open.
It is kind of like Bush saying the oil in Iraq belongs to the people of Iraq.
I believe Blair's strings are dollar controlled for the moment.

Posted by: Warren Celli at March 20, 2003 02:34 PM

You have to read this wacky theory.

Posted by: Gary Farber at March 20, 2003 06:56 PM

It occurs to me that since that's a wordy -- and otherwise worthless -- piece, I should isolate the Amazing Line: "The point is that Washington wants to punish Baghdad for adopting the Euro, potentially ruinous in the long term to the US economy."

Posted by: Gary Farber at March 20, 2003 07:02 PM
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