The debate on whose face belongs on the new £50 note rages on. The Bank of England announced earlier in the week that the £50 note won’t be discontinued, but will be replaced with a new polymer note. Since then, the suggestion to have Margaret Thatcher on the new note hasn’t gone down well:
And a timely reminder that she didn't think the plebs should ever have £50 notes
— JJinBoro (@trotty_jj) October 19, 2018
Oh dear. Some nobs are petitioning for Thatcher to appear on the £50 note. Have we literally been through everyone who has ever been born cos if we haven’t I cannot understand why we would put the most evil woman in British history on our bank notes? Just use Po from teletubbies
— Tony Padilla (@DrTonyPadilla) October 19, 2018
Along with Po from the Teletubbies, people have come forward with several other alternatives for potential candidates. Some suggestions came from pop culture and sports:
— Capital (@CapitalOfficial) October 18, 2018
— Sky Arts (@SkyArts) October 18, 2018
It’s worth noting that a petition to put England footballer Harry Maguire, atop an inflatable unicorn, on the new note has gained considerable support:
If the petition for Maguire riding a unicorn on the new £50 note receiving more signatures than Thatcher, makes you proud to be British, please RT. https://t.co/5r3yVk4rAy
— Nicola James 💚 #GTTO (@NAJ562) October 18, 2018
And there have also been some truly sensible suggestions, such as the late MP Jo Cox:
#bbcqt My vote for the person to be on the new £50 note. Please let it be Jo Cox. "We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.” pic.twitter.com/gnOYUe6vII
— Paul Dreczko #FBPE (@Paul_D1963) October 18, 2018
Having an iconic Black woman on the new note would be a welcome change, too:
3 iconic black British women who should be on the cover of the new £50 note – Face2Face Africa https://t.co/NyKVFEmXZe
— Farida Dawkins (@FaridaDawkins) October 19, 2018
Supporters have started petitions for various personalities to receive the honour:
We completely reject the idea that Thatcher should be on the new £50 note. Here’s our version of what we’d like to see: the creator of the NHS, Aneurin Bevan becoming the first Welsh person on a bank note. #nyeonthenote
— Merthyr Rising 🚩 (@merthyrrising) October 19, 2018
And there’s a particular desire for minority representation on the new note, including nurse and community worker Mary Seacole:
"… a fitting tribute to her contribution to the nursing and caring profession as well as a historical role model for women and for people from African, Caribbean and other minority ethnic communities in Britain."
Get Mary Seacole on the new £50 note: https://t.co/ACUyPf42Gh
— Investing in Ethnicity & Race (@EthnicityInvest) October 19, 2018
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi is backing the campaign to have Muslim WWII spy Noor Inayat Khan on the new note. Although not everyone is convinced:
— Sayeeda Warsi (@SayeedaWarsi) October 17, 2018
The whole discussion around “Muslim patriots” +“Muslim armed forces personnel” is so problematic. Patriotism is only ever expected/demanded from marginalised groups.
— Afroze Z 🦋 (@AfrozeFZ) October 17, 2018
The pattern appears to be: we prove our commitment to British Values by having a Union Jack all over the building owned by the muslim org in question, and regular invites to the armed forces.
We need a better understanding of difference betw a citizen and a subject
— CAGE (@UK_CAGE) October 17, 2018
“Muslims are only to be valued and promoted if they serve an interest of the British establishment” and that be recognised by putting them on a bank note.
— Abdul-Hannan (@drhannan) October 18, 2018
But ultimately, whoever goes on the new £50 note, it’s important to remember the bigger picture:
I don’t care if Thatcher is on the new £50 note. Thanks to her I’ll never see one.
— Mr Ethical (@nw_nicholas) October 17, 2018
Whatever happens, we can likely agree on one thing. Any of the proposed alternatives would be a considerable step up from Margaret Thatcher.
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Featured image via Flickr/Images Money.