It's a curious thing - opinion on the EU currency, the euro. Over the last couple of months we've been hearing various people such as Nick Clegg saying we need to ditch the pound and join the euro, while on the other you've got people saying the euro is finished.
Personally, I don't subscribe to either view. Oh, don't get me wrong - I agree with Heffer that reality is going to bite the europhiles on the nose pretty damn hard. The fact is that the countries which have tied themselves to the single currency have deprived themselves of the main mechanisms they would normally have used for managing their economies in the recession.
Quite why Nick Clegg thinks we should commit economic hari-kiri right now is beyond me, but the fact that you hardly ever hear from him now - the Lib Dems preferring to put forward the much more likeable and sensible, Vince Cable - demonstrates just how out of touch EU apologists like Clegg are.
I do believe that one or other nation will pretty soon withdraw from the euro and I do believe that that will cause a domino effect. Once one does it, more will follow, but the euro itself will continue even when the only country that uses it is Germany. I expect, by then, it will be called the bundeseuro or euromark, by then - but essentially it will still be the euro.
The EU, though, is finished. As member states stagger and reel from the repeated economic blows this crisis is dishing out, the EU is remarkably silent on what they plan to do. All they can manage is to mouth platitudes about unity and how we must not allow protectionism and nationalism to rear its ugly head once more even as France introduces protectionism and Germany does everything in its power to ensure German jobs for German workers by refusing to allow immigration from recently joined east European EU states.
Instead, all the EU can do is ensure our economies will crumble by insisting on ludicrous taxes and restrictions on carbon emissions to save the world from "man-made" global warming even as it becomes evident that the world stopped warming a decade ago and may well be entering a prolonged and severe cooling phase - as the climate tends to do from time to time.
The EU won't survive much longer. As this crisis deepens the member states will look elsewhere to improve their circumstances and, slowly, but surely the empire will collapse.