Sunday, 27 January 2008

It’s more of the little things.

I’m not sure whether it’s just me but sometimes I find changes to the little things almost more annoying than the major social and political issues of the day.

The attempt to enforce the sale of produce in metric measures was one recent example. There’s no fundamental reason why apples should be sold in Pounds when kilograms are an equally valid unit of measure. It’s the price per whatever the unit of measure that’s important. But I still felt that Pounds were historically MY unit of measure and therefore that’s what I wanted to buy my apples in.

Yesterdays Daily Hate (sorry Mail) brought another example by way of the news that in one of his last acts as Chancellor, before seizing ‘his precious’, Brown personally approved a decision to remove Britannia from the 50p coin.

The symbol - based on a Roman goddess has been used on designs of British coins since 1672.

The Mail in its usual inimitable manner goes on to use the story as a way to prove that the Dark Lord’s ‘Britishness’ campaign is a complete sham.

There may be a grain of truth in this.

However there is much more to it than that.

Ever succinct, William Hague said “Britannia has been an enduring symbol of British pride and history. It is all too typical of a Government with an inadequate sense of British pride and an ignorance of history to want to do away with such a symbol”.

Personally I like the idea that the coins I use have the same symbols as were used over three hundred years ago. It creates a connection to the past. It’s one of the small things that reminds you what you are a custodian of.

Modernisation is fine but without underpinnings you are building a future on shifting sands.

I know it’s just a picture on a coin. But it’s the same picture that’s been there for many lifetimes, it's my picture, and I know it’s a little thing but I’d rather it stayed there.


Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

Oh you're completely right on this. It's very much the sum total of all the little things.

Ed said...

Agreed. It's modernisation for its own sake, change for no good reason that I can't stand. There is nothing wrong with the coins so why change them? We only had an overhaul about 10-15 years ago when they were made smaller, why do we need new pictures on them?

Anonymous said...

I agree and its these small things which create an image of a Government as well - not all Gordons fine words..

Womble On Tour said...

Excellently put, and a lesson for all bloggers on how to have a rant on a "minor" issue without coming over all self-important.
And BTW, I agree.

Shades said...

Is the portcullis logo on any coins these days? (It used to be on the threepenny bit). Prime candidate for replacement by twelve stars.

Ole Phat Stu said...

I inherited a George III Guinea
from great-uncle Jack. Still got it, over 200 years old now :-)

Phil A said...

NEW! Labour appears to hate anything that is not NEW! They change things not because it is needed but to make it look as if they are doing something… anything… to justify their existence.

Apart from that though Gordon probably does not want us to remember that our coinage – and our state has an effective continuity that goes back hundreds of years This is more than can be said of the majority of European states and certainly more than can be said of the EU.

It could be that doesn’t want us thinking of things like that just when he is signing away our parliamentary birthrights for a mess of EU pottage.

Liz said...

What's he replacing it with? And why?

That's just stupid. Mutter, mutter.

RebeccaH said...

I'm not British, so perhaps I'm speaking out of turn, but I find this just another example of today's political class trying to cut off all ties to the past. You could call it Orwellism.

Phil A said...

RebeccaH, I think you nailed it there...