The ultimate tour to Australia and New Zealand 3-21 October 2011
Begin this holiday of a lifetime in Singapore before heading to Auckland to soak up the atmosphere of Rugby World Cup 2011, enjoying quarter-finals 2 and 4. Then board P&O’s luxury liner Pacific Dawn and head to Poverty Bay, Napier and Tauranga including the Hawke’s Bay Food & Wine Festival. Disembark Auckland and head to Sydney and Cairns before flying home. • Two oﬃcial Rugby World Cup 2011 quarter-final tickets • Luxury 5* hotels in Singapore, Sydney and Cairns • 3 nights in Auckland • 4-night luxury cruise aboard P&O’s Pacific Dawn • RWC 11 celebrity entertainment • Full board onboard Pacific Dawn • International Qantas flights and transfers included 15 nights from £5,699pp
Itinerary 3 Oct Fly to Singapore from London Heathrow 4 Oct Two nights at 5* Shangri-La Hotel, bed and breakfast 6 Oct Fly Singapore to Auckland, 4* Rendez-Vous Hotel, bed and breakfast 8-9 Oct Rugby World Cup 2011 quarter-finals 2 and 4 10 Oct 4-night luxury North Island cruise onboard P&O’s Pacific Dawn, full board 11 Oct Poverty Bay 12 Oct Napier and Hawke’s Bay Wine & Food Festival 13 Oct White Island and Tauranga 14 Oct Disembark. Fly Auckland to Sydney. Three nights at 5* Amora Hotel Jamison, bed and breakfast 17 Oct Fly Sydney to Cairns.Three nights at 5* Peppers Beach Club, Port Douglas, bed and breakfast 20 Oct Fly Cairns to London Heathrow (via Sydney)
Tailor-made itineraries available upon request
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to explore Australia and New Zealand and experience RWC11 quarter-finals in Auckland. To book now call 08456 803 086 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Rod Liddle
How did I get it right on the euro?
Easy. I was racist
Do you remember the vicious debates back in the middle of the 1990s about whether or not we should join the single European currency? We don’t have that argument much any more; even the Liberal Democrats keep their traps shut about it these days and try to change the subject when any one mentions it. Anyway, the debate back then was remarkable because almost everybody except the entire British public was in favour of the single currency. The scattering of disparate politicians who were opposed to us adopting the euro — a hefty tranche of largely powerless Tories, the Referendum Party, a few lefties (plus Peter Shore) within Labour — were regarded as lunatics who you would not leave in charge of your children, let alone your money.
Indeed, when I was editor of the Today programme and had to deal with complaints from the likes of the Eurosceptical Lord Pearson of Rannoch, to the effect that we were not giving them adequate coverage on the programme, a senior BBC executive told me: ‘Rod, the thing you have to understand is that these people are mad. They are mad.’ She was the person in charge of political impartiality for the corporation — but then that’s how bien-pensant opinion of the time had it; not that Eurosceptics were simply wrong, but that they were deranged, doolally. And worse than either of these, they were racist. Their opposition to the euro was xenophobic little-Englander stuff, a hangover from the war, one part Captain Mainwaring and one part Enoch Powell, based on little more than a visceral dislike for and mistrust of krauts and froggies and wops.
As a consequence, the Eurosceptics, or Europhobes as they were then called (haven’t heard that insult for a while, have we?) were at great pains to point out that they absolutely adored Europe, especially the food, and the scenery, often went there on holiday etc, and that their opposition to the euro was based solely on economic pragmatism and a fear of vaulting bureaucracy and the authoritarianism of a European superstate. In truth, while those in favour of Britain joining the euro insisted that the economic arguments were the clinching factor, it was actually anti-racism, or reverse xenophobia, which seemed to me to be their main motivation: a dislike of the outdated and chauvinistic concept of a nation state and the usual multicultural codswallop that we’re all the same, we all want the same things, we share the same aspirations, wouldn’t it be lovely if we all joined forces, what could possibly go wrong etc.And it was difficult, back then, for the sceptics to challenge this glib orthodoxy without the shrill cry of ‘Xenophobe!’ being bellowed across the airwaves.
This was a problem for me, in particular. Insofar as I understood the economic permutations of what it would mean to be in
Those in favour of joining seemed to me to be motivated by reverse xenophobia: dislike of the chauvinistic concept of the nation-state or out of the single currency, I was vaguely opposed to joining. But my real reason for objecting to our membership of the euro was, and still is, I’m afraid, straightforwardly racist. I didn’t want to have the same currency (or government, effectively) as people in the south of Europe, who I thought were, in the main, lazy, hot-tempered and uncivilised. It occurred to me that we have very little culturally or socially in common with the Greeks (except Taki, of course), the Spanish, the southern Italians, the Portuguese (ancient alliances notwithstanding) and that while it is sometimes nice to meet these people briefly while holidaying in their interesting countries, one would not wish to go into business with them.
Europe seemed to me a potential battleground between the Protestant work ethic and the almost perpetual siesta, a marriage which could not possibly work. If someone had posited a single currency shared by Danes and Germans and Dutch and Flemings and Norwegians and maybe the Mila-
the spectator | 2 July 2011 | www.spectator.co.uk nese, I think I would have been in favour of signing up right away. But that was never on offer back then. Put more seriously, it occurred to me that the cultural, racial and religious differences between north and south would mean that in the end stuff just wouldn’t work out; we do not all want the same things, no matter how often we pretend that we do.
And it seems that this observation, largely unspoken until now for fear of unleashing the wrath of every bien-pensant from here to Muswell Hill, was pretty much correct. For a while now, the Germans, and one or two other beleaguered nations full of hard-working wage slaves, have been talking about the possibility of a Europ-sud, a division of the continent along precisely the lines I have suggested above. The stated reasoning for this is economic, of course; it always is. But it cannot be mere coincidence that the countries in trouble are those in the south, and that the further south you go the worse those problems become, until you reach the dislodged chunks of marble and the flaming fast-food shops of central Athens, where one protestor said to the camera crews: ‘We don’t owe any money, it’s the others who stole it!’
There’s a lot of wishful thinking around. That same bien-pensant wishful thinking was behind the original decision to let the Greeks into the EC first time around, without so much as a cursory glance at the books. And it is there in the first eurozone bailout package of nearly £100 billion, predicated upon the nonsensical idea that Greece could put its house in order — i.e., become a northern European country — within 12 months. Economically such a thing is possible to imagine; culturally it is beyond the wildest dreams of even the most committed Europhile. Contrary to what Marx insisted, the base — the economics — does not always determine the superstructure. Sometimes it is the other way around.
Spectator.co.uk/rodliddle The argument continues…