By Mark Wallace
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"As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly", says the Book of Proverbs, pipping Einstein to his definition of insanity ("doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results") by thousands of years.
Either phrase could have been made for the pro-EU campaigners who have lined up behind the banner of Roland Rudd's Business for New Europe campaign. In the Mail, Andrew Pierce dissects the group which represents the rump of a once-mighty euro-enthusiast elite.
The group puts itself forward as an independent voice of businesses in the real economy – and yet as Pierce reports, it looks far more like a reunion club for Tony Blair's close friends and colleagues.
Among its supporters are: Lord Jay, top Foreign Office civil servant during the Blair years; Sir Nigel Sheinwald. whom Blair appointed as Ambassador to the EU; and Sir Stephen Wall, Blair's EU adviser in Downing Street. Even Rudd himself, who runs the group, was a personal adviser to Blair on his career after leaving Number 10 – and in 2006 hosted an un-minuted dinner at his house for the then PM to discuss unlimited immigration from Romania and Bulgaria.
As Daniel Hannan wisely points out, Blair is not the only thing these luminaries have in common. They all once once predicted disaster if Britain failed to join the Euro. That is all the more reason not to listen to them this time.