What is the world coming to? A survey of visitors to the MSN.co.uk website published on July 31, 2003, suggested some unlikely contenders to be faces on British sterling bank notes.
Even by regional breakdown, the same names appeared in the voting for the top five. We will spare you the embarrassment of who made the top five in each category of £5-, £10-, £20-, and £50-notes. But we are surprised that Elton makes none of the categories and we call on the British monarchy to find the handful of respondents to the survey, spare them no safe harbour, and be "off with their heads"!
Certainly, how the world has changed. The English £20 bank note Scotland issues its own notes from three issuers with lots of different artwork is adorned with a portrait of a musical wizard, the 19th century composer, Edward Elgar.
Hes the man who gave us British hits like Pomp & Circumstance, aka Land of Hope And Glory. Well, surely, another man who knows a thing or two about pomp and circumstance, has courted the popularity of the Royal Family, and has sung patriotically about Little Island, Sir Elton John CBE, should be the new face of the twenty note?
I mean, the late HM Queen Mother Queen Elizabeth was an Elton fan who danced to his tunes, after all!
So what has gone wrong with a poll of the nation that could only scratch around for Will Young, the Pop Idol new face, a pop crooner from the type of manufactured muzak that Elton has publicly rebuked in the past year, to join its top five names?
And what of the only other musicians in the top five? They were Madonna (American citizen and perhaps proud of it, but she does live in London, and she did attack the American Life), and Kylie Minogue (that well-known singer from a country which once received Britains incarcerated convicts, who would become her ancestral Neighbours).
Was there a conspiracy to keep Elton off the notes? Was he too spendthrift, with the emphasis on spending and not on thrfty? Was there a risk that he would walk into a shop and present no cash "because you know who I am from bank notes and my identity is not in doubt, so I insist that the bearer of this image will pay £50 on demand" (as the notes customarily say?).
While Fortress Britain still wages war against joining the euro zone, no doubt we should be celebrating the Best of British on our strong currency. Bring on Elton now!