Not paying attention to anything Peter Mandelson has to say is usually a good thing; just think of all the trouble Adam and Eve would have avoided had they not paid attention to that blasted snake. But it's probably a good idea for the Europe Minister, Caroline Flint, to listen to him. That way she can avoid making an arse of herself. In a speech today, George Osborne said:
"It didn't take long for the euro-fanatics in the Labour party to seize on our economic difficulties for their own political ends... It's true that our economy is doing worse than the rest of Europe. But our deteriorating economic performance is not a good reason to join the euro."
Caroline Flint responded with:
"Nonsense, [there are] no plans for Britain to join the euro... George Osborne is shoring up his own standing in the Conservative party by synthetic outrage over a non-story."
Hear that? No plans for Britain to join the euro. But what was it Peter Mandelson said on the Today Programme earlier this week?:
"My view is that the Government is right to maintain the long-term policy objective of taking Britain into the euro, but it is not for now."
It doesn't matter whether this is a matter for now or the future. Mandelson admits it is a long-term policy objective of the government to take Britain into the euro, and Flint's hot air and screeching should not be allowed to obscure that fact.