Ignore it at your peril:
A former foreign policy adviser to Margaret Thatcher has said that the return of blue British passports was an act of ‘nostalgia’ driven by ageing Brexit voters.
Charles Powell said it had been Mrs Thatcher’s Conservative government which phased out the old passport and brought in the EU-style burgundy version in the 1980s.
The new blue passports will start to be issued a few months after the UK leaves the European Union in March 2019.
Mr Powell told the Daily Express that the move to restore blue passports was ‘part of the nostalgia on which the predominantly elderly Brexit constituency thrives’.
Sure, it’s nostalgia. It might even be misplaced such. But there is a significant section of the country unenamoured with the European State to come, desirous of not being subsumed into the technocratic bureaucracy.
Sure, old maids cycling to morning communion and all that. But, as GKC himself pointed out:
We only know the last sad squires rode slowly towards the sea,
And a new people takes the land: and still it is not we.
They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords,
Lords without anger or honour, who dare not carry their swords.
They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;
They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.
And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,
Their doors are shut in the evening; and they know no songs.
We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,
Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.
It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen rose the first,
Our wrath come after Russia’s wrath and our wrath be the worst.
It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest
God’s scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best.
But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.
We did speak, didn’t we? And whether it was merely nostalgia or not, do not forget that.