By SimplyLogical
2 years ago

Common Sense Breaks Out

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The UK has a new £5 note which, according to the Bank of England, is virtually indestructible. The "Paper" that the note is printed on is essentially a plastic (actually called a polymer) that is said to be able to survive the washing machine, is crease resistant and will have a far longer service life than the old "fiver".

So, why has this seemingly non newsworthy move by the bank to save money caused so many UK headlines? Is it because they decrease the number of replacement notes that will be issued by over 60% or to be more environmentally friendly because the polymer notes can be recycled into other plastic products when they are life expired? The answer is no, these facts were hidden away at the bottom of other articles.

Firstly there was the argument that the obverse side should feature a woman and not Winston Churchill as the Bank of England planned. Feminists up and down the country said that this was sexist. They seemed to have forgotten that the other side of the note prominently featured a woman in the form of Queen Elizabeth II in their rush to become enraged. Fortunately, the bank did not bend to their demands and the result is what you see in the banner above this article.

I should point out at this juncture that I am not being sexists here. If Winston had been a woman, I would have been equally happy to see her featuring on the note.

The next headline caused by the new fiver was the completely ridiculous treasure hunt involving the search for low or "special" serial numbers. As I understand things, your fiver may be worth up to £50,000 if it features a serial number starting with AA followed by lots of zeros, or is in the range starting AK47. No doubt gang culture is responsible for the latter and they seem to be prepared to spend large chunks of their hard earned drug dealing profits to own one.

The new note again caused headlines when a micro engraver, called Mr Short from Birmingham, engraved a small portrait of Jane Austen in the transparent area of four of the fivers and placed them in general circulation. Said to be worth £50,000 each, only two have been discovered at the time of writing. Neither will be cashed in, as both will be retained by their recipients. Mr Short's feminist micro protest has at least been registered.

Then came the "biggie". Somehow it became known that tallow is used in the production of these notes and that each one contains a microscopic traces of the substance. For anyone who doesn't know, tallow is just purified fat (usually from a pig) that has been rendered out during processing. It has excellent lubricating qualities and I remember using it at technical college to assist in thread cutting on pipework. It really is good too, I tried once to cut a thread without it, because I couldn't be bothered to walk to the other side of the workshop for more. The result was not so much a thread as an exhibit for the Tate Modern.

I expected more of a noise from the religious groups who consider pigs to be unclean, but they were too slow. The vegans had barely finished choking on their tofu before they were demanding the notes issued thus far were withdrawn and replaced by ones not containing tallow. I admit, I was expecting the bank to spend millions withdrawing them and issuing replacements considered less offensive. It seems however, that after much deliberation, this will not happen. A victory for common sense really. There is such a minute quantity of tallow in these notes, described as " a trace" by the bank, that it really cannot be considered as a pork product. Secondly, vegans are not being asked to eat them, so their bodies will remain temples and they can always buy things with bank card only, thus avoiding the need for cash altogether.

If I were a vegan, or considered a microscopic trace of pork unclean, I think I would be more worried about the bacteria and other nasties that are to be found on notes and coins. I think that the dried on snot and faeces from the last "owner" is probably far more of a worry.

And besides, it adds a touch of realism to the phrase "bringing home the bacon".
2 years
ze2000 I have to say that I hate them XD. Having said that I just can't understand why developed countries still use physical currency.
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Borderline Agree with ze2000
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Bilston I don't like the new.£5 note.
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Sonia You have amused me with this one, SimplyLogical. Great thoughts.
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NyishaHv The new polymer five pound note is apparently tareproof. Cant say i miss the old one. These ones are kind of cool, just seems somewhat pointless. Soon they're going to introduce a polymer £10 note with Jane Austen on it. That'll be interesting to see.
2 years