4 OCTOBER 1997, Page 28

All at sea

WHEN we joined the ERM I took the lib- erty of quoting Churchill, who as chancellor put us back on the gold standard — not, as it proved, his best decision. 'Nations on the gold standard', he said, 'are like ships with their gangways joined together.' Ships with their gangways joined together, I said, are not likely to be seaworthy. What gangways are good for is boarding.