Thursday 3 April 2008

Thank you, Mr Dent.

I would just like to go on record as saying that, unlike The Telegraph's editors, I love Matthew Dent's new designs for our currency. Each coin looks beautiful by itself, but the idea of having them all work together as a type of jigsaw is inspired.

Unsurprisingly, however, they've provided an excuse for lots of people to indulge in one of Britain's favourite hobbies: whinging about change. The Times's comments are a fantastic display of idiocy. No-one's content to say simply that they don't like the design. No, they have to back up their dislike with weird political motivations.

We can only hope that this truly wretched idea is another nail in the coffin Nulab is building for itself.
In a way it seems to represent the the disjointed shambles that the Gordon Brown government has become. Perhaps they think such a ghastly idea will make us want to adopt the Euro.
Is it already too late to veto this latest lefty scheme to make Britain a laughing stock?

John W Meadows, Los Altos Hills, California

I'm no fan of the Labour Party myself, but sometimes I'm tempted to vote for them just to disassociate myself from their more vociferous opponents. I mean, these people are just crazy.

The majority of the British population, if asked, would probably say that they would like "traditional" coins, such as the "wren" farthing, the "ship" halfpenny, Britannia, etc.
Imposing coins of a design which the majority of the population strongly dislike does establish an important polical principle - that is to say, that it is the Government, not the population, which knows best.
This can then be applied to other more important aspects of government, such as, for example, invading foreign nation states against international Law and the wishes of the majority of the British population.

Tony Mole, Enfield, Middlesex

Yup, that's the problem with New Labour, right there: they allow the Royal Mint to come up with new designs for coins. But only so that we'll allow them to go to war without UN approval. The fiends.

Here's some sanity:

40 years from now when the coins are changed again, everyone will complain about the new coins and go on and on and on about how this great british country has had the same beautiful british coins since 2008, it's an absolute travesty to ditch decades of tradition and britishness, this country is going straight to hell, blah blah blah blah blah bah....

James Daly, London

And some more:

Of course everybody will hate them. John Major may fondly remember brass threepenny bits, but they too caused an outcry when they replaced silver ones. A switch to base metal signalled the end of civilization and the novel non-circular shape confirmed the triumph of barbarism. The British people love their made up timeless threads of continuity and probably think that Danegeld was paid with the present coins rather than them being of only a couple of decades vintage (alloy and size have both changed recently, these new changes are trivial).

E Skelton, cardiff, Wales

And then there's all this fuss from the Welsh Nationalists, one of the world's more irrational bunch of ranters, even by nationalist standards. Apparently, the fact that the Prince of Wales's three feathers have now gone and there's no Welsh dragon on any of the new designs proves that we all hate the Welsh, or something. It's a plot!

I've been a big fan of pound coins for ages now. The fact that the design changes every year has got me well and truly hooked. Call me sad, but I never have pound coins in my pocket without knowing which types they are. Now, at the moment, they're going through an architecture phase — I love last year's design, with the new bridge in Newcastle — but they usually have national symbols: coats of arms, mascots, etcetera. And they cycle through the national symbols completely fairly. So we already have millions of coins in circulation with a beautiful Welsh dragon on them and millions more with a leak on them. (One of the worst coin designs ever, that. I'm sorry, but surrounding it with a crown doesn't change the fact that it's a bloody leek. Thistles may be weeds, but they have style.)

But none of those coins count now. Despite the fact that there are no plans to remove them from circulation. There's no dragon (or leek) in the new designs, so the Royal Mint must hate the Welsh and want the Union dissolved. It's the only explanation.

Only a raving lunatic would point out that every single one of the new coins represents the Welsh, because they were designed by a Welshman.

And besides, whence this fondness for the three feathers? Most of the time, one of the gripes of your average Welsh nationalist is that the Prince of Wales isn't Welsh, doesn't live in Wales, and never did a damned thing to get called "of Wales" other than being the firstborn son of the English Queen. To be fair, I have some sympathy with that argument. But this coherent stand started to become decidedly less so when Diana died and Bernie Taupin rewrote the lyrics of Candle In The Wind. "Goodbye, England's rose"? Suddenly, the same people who had been complaining for years that some simpering Sloan gets foisted on their country without setting foot in the place were up in arms that the English were trying to appropriate their princess. I laughed then, and I'm getting deja vu with this ridiculous three-feathers upset.

Anyway, I for one look forward to having some of these new coins in my pocket, and, yes, to putting them on a tabletop and assembling the jigsaw.

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