Sunday, 2 October 2016


©Bank of England
I've just got my first new plastic (or polymer-based, as the Bank of England prefer to call it) £5 note. Quite novel I suppose although it does feel as though I should be buying a hotel on Mayfair with it, or at least, a public utility. Seeing as how we do most of our shopping nowadays with plastic, we might as well make the banknotes out of the stuff as well.

I do have a couple of issues with it though. Firstly, the portrait of the Queen. They have decided to keep with the 1990 Roger Withington design which, let's face it, is pretty out of date by now. I would prefer a more up-to-date image showing the maturity and gravitas of the longest reigning Queen in British history. Shame on you Bank of England.

The reverse shows the perhaps timely image of Winston Churchill, coinciding as it does with our recent decision to leave the European Union. Winston himself was very keen on European integration and the people who were trying to achieve it. In his "Great Contemporaries" written in 1937 he wrote "One may dislike Hitler's system and yet admire his patriotic achievement" and you can read what he thought about Mussolini here. (Spoiler: He was very keen)

The jury is still out as to whether he included the United Kingdom in that.

When you consider the huge number of possible famous Winston Churchill quotes available, I'm a bit concerned about the one they eventually chose. "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, sweat and tears" is perhaps perhaps less of historical significance and more a warning of things to come. Or, given the present government's attitude to disability benefits, his quote "I propose that 100,000 degenerate Britons should be forcibly sterilised and others put in labour camps to halt the decline of the British race" when he was Home Secretary would be more in keeping with current thinking.

Perhaps the Bank of England was being ironic when they replaced the portrait of Elizabeth Fry, who spent her life tirelessly working with society's downtrodden with one of a man who would have them all sterilised or put in labour camps, and who used armed troops against striking trade unionists. Then again, perhaps they were just demonstrating how things are going to be from now on.


I haven't forgotten my update on the decision by Bexley Council to start using bailiffs to collect council tax arrears instead of attachment orders. I need to get it right and it's taking a while to research but I do hope to publish something by the end of next week.

1 comment:

  1. Mustn't forget WC's instruction to bomb Dresden, followed by his criticism of Harris when it was done. That and his refusal to issue a campaign medal to bomber command, despite their having suffered the highest casualty rate of all UK military units.