Blue passports... not much of a victory, is it?
PUBLISHED: 00:00 25 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:04 25 December 2017
The new colour passport will be a colour of shame for a narrow-minded view of the world, writes STEVEN DOWNES.
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There’s nothing like a British victory to lift the spirits as the year tails off.
And what a victory.
After almost 30 years of humiliation and subjugation, we will rid ourselves of... burgundy passports.
Raise a glass of warm, weak beer as you welcome the return of blue, with gold detail.
In the background I hear Rule Britannia as I feel a lump in my throat.
It has got me thinking about the post-Brexit opportunities to restore Britain to her rightful place as the world’s preeminent nation. What else could we bring back? How about this lot?
1 - The Raj
Things worked well when we had our hands placed gently around India’s neck. Now, they are making a damned nuisance of themselves economically, buying our football clubs and winning cricket matches. It’s just not cricket.
2 - Smog
Can you think of a single film or TV show featuring smog that didn’t have a happy ending?
3 - Wooden battleships
Nelson, Hornblower, Pirates of the Caribbean - wood was good. Hearts of oak sounds so much better than hearts of metal.
4 - The birch
I’d employ this vigorously on the hides of the young people who whine about how Brexit has destroyed their future. Snivelling, unpatriotic wretches.
5 - Monocles
As we move into a new era of looking down on foreigners, what better way to do it than through a monocle?
6 - National Service
Two years of being shouted at by monocled Army sergeant majors should cure our teens of independent thought and ensure that they understand British values.
7 - Alf Garnett
Comedy to symbolise post-Brexit Britain.
8 - Heavy brown leather footballs
England’s football team has been progressively less successful as balls have got lighter. Damned fancy foreigners and their light balls, with their tricks and flicks.
9 - One toff, one vote
The landed gentry know what is right for Britain - and that doesn’t include letting the great unwashed put their mucky hands on voting slips.
10 - The Queen’s English
The only time we should hear regional accents on the BBC is when the speaker is a criminal being patronised in clipped vowels.
Those who are so excited about the blue passport probably support some or all of the above. That’s because there’s a tendency - writ large by the Brexit vote - to live in the past.
“In my day,” we often say.
The past seems more attractive the further you get from it. The mind tricks us.
When I broke my leg and ruptured my anterior cruciate ligament playing football in 2009, the initial pain was sickening.
But time has masked the memory of the pain and turned it into an adventure to recount in the pub. And so, aged 44, I have so far this season played 21 football matches - even though there’s a risk of another serious injury.
Britain’s past featured many notable things.
But it also featured: jail for being gay; mental patients being strapped to beds and zapped with electricity; cholera; child labour; world wars; workhouses; slavery.
Those who are so delighted at the return of the blue passport will have plenty of time to admire it as they wait in the post-Brexit immigration queues at airports.
I’d have liked a vote on the colour of our passports. Burgundy is a pretty rubbish colour, so I’d go for yellow - the perfect colour for those who have decided to run away and hide from our European friends and neighbours.
They choose to live in the past, but have taken me, my children and my grandchildren with them.
The blue passport will be for us a symbol of regression, narrow-mindedness and delusion.
The only thing it’s worth using for is to disdainfully slap Brexiteers on the back of the head.
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Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.Become a supporter