LETTER: End of line for coins and notes?

Readers' letters | Published:

Since time immemorial the English pound Stirling has served these islands faithfully.

Is it nearing the end for cash and coins?

The sovereign’s head, and Britannia on all Britain’s coins, represented all that is noble and true.

Since the founding of the royal mint in 886 AD, the coins of the realm, and later, paper notes were the only form of exchange.

In 1762 the first cheques were introduced, and so for the next 200 years or so, the monetary system jogged along nicely.

In 1966, the first credit card appeared, very soon all the major high street banks flooded the country with their ‘buy now pay later’ inducements. Today the total private debt amounts to £1.4trn.

I am guilty of using the plastic card when out shopping, it’s too easy to wave it over the reader, saves carrying wads of notes, and pockets of small change.

Household utility bills are paid over the phone, again with the magic plastic card.

The deep thinking ones now tell us that the plastic card payment far outstrips cash payments, and some companies and firms will no longer accept cheques.

Now we read that notes and coins harbour dangerous bacteria, with a host of dangerous viruses and stomach churning nasties that can incapacitate, and even kill.


I have never heard, read or seen in the mass media of anyone, who has died from handling England’s currency.

In the beginning, we had bartering, goods exchanged for services rendered, then silver and gold coinage, post war, paper money, copper and nickel steel coins, then cheques and bankers’ drafts, the recent past introduced plastic cards, and the future, biometric cards, and perhaps, neck implanted information chips, or tattoos, maybe bar codes on the left forearm, hang on, that’s been done, between 1939-1945.

I suspect a hidden agenda, in that Britain’s metallic and paper currency is to be quietly phased out, with us all carrying a plastic card, negating the use of over a 1,000 years of traditional paper and coinage, and the health scare is part of the master plan.

I am more susceptible to coughs and sneezes travelling on a bus, and as for being hospitalised from handling money, I’ve got more chance of going over Niagara Falls in a gas stove.

Tony Levy



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