It’s funny, isn’t it, how the whole Brexit ideology seems to have very swiftly dissolved into rhetoric and symbolism.
Nowhere is this more true than the issue of the British passport.
Out of the EU, they told us, our passports can be blue again, like in the old days!
We could have chosen to have blue passports when we were in the EU. We just decided not to. We decided to go with the maroon colour we’re all so familiar with. Y’know, to fit in with our friends in Europe. (The title of this post is a simply red/Simply Red gag. Geddit?)
I’d also wager that most people don’t actually give a flying fuck what colour their passport is, as long as it does it’s job with the minimum of fuss.
And by “minimum of fuss” I mean this: less queuing at passport control.
Of course, deciding to leave the EU, and therefore making movement between the UK and the rest of the EU more complicated, slower, does the opposite of this. It’s a good job we’re used to queuing.
And then this week, gloriously, it was announced that the contract for producing the new passports was awarded to…a French/Dutch company. Hey! Alannis! You might want to rewrite at least one of the lines of Ironic to include this!
Some have said that EU rules force us to accept the French/Dutch bid as it was the cheapest, and that may be the case. But come on….if the Government accepted a bid that cost us more, then they’re going to get slaughtered for that instead.
Here’s some words you won’t hear me say often: I actually feel sorry for the British government at this point. What were they supposed to do?
Just wait until the UKIP lot find out the company in question is called De La Rue. Bit too close to Danny La Rue, that. And he was a homosexual, which is definitely not the stiff upper lip way.
This country – any country – is run as a business. A business running at an absolutely massive deficit, but a business nonetheless. So, if you put a contract out for tender, provided the standard of the product is acceptable, then it doesn’t matter where the bidding firm is based, you accept the most attractive, competitive bid.
The EU hasn’t forced us to agree for a French/Dutch company to produce the new passport; simple business and economical practices direct us to.
The contract represents a £120 million saving. Brexiteers (Oh how I hate that term) should be rejoicing that we have been able to place the business where we choose and save some money which can be invested elsewhere.
Much better to moan about the fact it’s them Frenchies what did it (and not mention the Dutch, because we quite like them and they’re not French).
As ridiculous and meaningless as it is: You got what you want, didn’t you? A blue passport (tick!) produced as aesthetically pleasingly as possible (tick!), as cheaply as possible (tick!).
Perhaps you should chuck a load of passports into the Thames as a protest?
A tune, selected for the irony of it’s title more than anything (and, of course, because it is a totally brilliant tune):