Friday, November 03, 2006

Independent England: Bring back the bob

Have you ever noticed the way certain things are so contradictory?

For example, you can always be sure that any nation which has the word "Democratic" in it's title is not going to be a democracy - at least not as we know it.

A similar contradiction can be seen in the European Union is forever banging on about Europe's cultural diversity and how it celebrates this while doing everything in it's power to eliminate that diversity. The most obvious of these attempts to eliminate diversity came with the introduction of the euro.

Fortunately, for now, Britain resisted the euro and kept the pound. Virtually every nation that adopted it, regrets it. Not just because it has failed to achieve what it was supposed to achieve (or what they told us it was supposed to achieve), but also because they feel they lost part of their identity when they said goodbye to their francs, deutschmarks and pesetas.

We kept the pound and the pence, but some time ago now we lost the shilling. I want to bring it back.

I'm not suggesting that we go back to having 12 pence in the shilling and 20 shillings in the pound - our kids couldn't cope with that sort of mental arithmetic anymore.

What I would like to see is the people of England readopting the term "bob" and "shilling" while referring to our current currency. This is how I see it.

We should have five pence to the shilling and 20 shillings to the pound.

The 5p coin becomes a shilling or a one bob bit.

The 10p coin becomes two shillings, a florin or two bob bit.

The 20p coin is four shillings or a four bob bit.

The 50p coin is 10 shillings or a 10 bob bit.
If you see something costing £1.50 - that's thirty bob!

If you need 10p for the car park - ask someone if they have a couple of bob spare!

Even better - if you own a shop, price your goods in pounds, shillings and pence! £5/4/3 for a packet of Silk Cut - that sort of thing.

Nothing has to change - we just have to start using these terms again. If we can get them into common usage once more we'll have regained part of our national identity which was once lost.

Who knows - if enough of us do this to the point where it becomes accepted nationally, the Royal Mint may even start minting coins with the word shilling on them again!

If you like the idea of bringing back the bob, start using the terms above. Mention it on your blog or website. Perhaps someone more internet savvy can start a "Bring back the bob" campaign with a nice graphic and a blogroll like with the Witanagemot Club.

And when we get our English Independence we can once more have a currency which is part of our national heritage.

This may seem a bit trivial. It isn't. It's about the slow erosion of our national identity that gradually dismantles it piece by piece, inch by inch over years and years. Eventually it becomes a distant memory and an irrelevance - and then that part of our national identity is gone. For good.


Anonymous said...

Bring it back, I'm 15, I was never alive when the shilling was. But listen to that word... It's so british, you'd be supprised how much a simple, single word can and may change. Our accent, our culture, our identity. I want that part of England I never got to have. My Blogs got it, and I'm calling things shillings.

Anonymous said...

Same poster...
I'm not sure about your idea's on what exactly each should be though, surely a shilling should be a little larger than 5pence? And I'm not so big on Florin's etc.

Stan said...

A florin is just a two bob bit.

If we ever bring back the bob - properly - then I would have no problem if it were the old 12d that it used to be, but for the purpose of bringing back the terminology I think referring to a 5p coin as a shilling or bob is about right. With our current coinage that gives us a shilling (5p), a two bob bit or florin (10p) a four bob bit (20p) and a 10 bob bit (50p) to talk about.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, as another young person, i much agree, although i wouldnt mind going one step further and going back to 240d to a pound. but given the monopoly the EU has on us, that unfortunately wouldnt happen. £5/4/3 sounds good for a pack of fags tho!

i was hopeful tht when the redesigned our coinage recently, they would call a 5p a shilling a 10p a florin and so on, they have a similar thing in the US.

Anonymous said...

I dont see why we cant start making 5p peices with "One Shilling" written on them, the yanks have their nickles and dymes.

also as a young chap, a supermarket cashier, it'd be great fun going one step further and having 240d to the pound. even better if a quid went as far as it did 40yrs ago!

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly with the latter two comments. Why did we lose the old system in the first place? It had been in place for nigh on a thousand years and nobody complained. I think that we should say bollocks to the EU, re-establish the 240p to a pound system, with all of the other interestingly-named coins(farthings, florins, half-crowns, guineas etc.), and perhaps quarter the value of the pound, similar to what the zimbabweans did a few years ago on a much larger scale. That way a pound might almost go as far as in the old days. As to the difficulties with mental arithmetic, if kids managed in the old days, why not now? Our currency was a major part of what made the old Great Britain so special, and we should strive to bring that back. Why should we lose our identity in an attempt to conform with a nation (the 'mighty' USA) whom we helped found, just for the sake of simplicity? Sometimes, simplicity is not a good thing, and a little complexity can make everyone's lives more interesting.

Shaun Shilling said...

Thanks for sharing! This is super interesting, keep up the great work on this blog!