Clearly the man never buys a round

That I can recall I have never had £50 note. To be honest, I can think of no need for one. And if I had such a need I can also think of no reason why two £20 notes and a £10 note would not do just as well.

I very strongly suspect most readers of this are in a similar position. Even recalling the colour of a £50 note would challenge most people (it’s red). So why do we have it when it is used so little?

By far the best justification for the £50 note is that it makes illicit activity – from drug dealing to tax evasion – so much easier. Any other use it might have is incidental, in my view, to that purpose.

£50 is, these days, perhaps 10 drinks. A decent round or a good breakfast. Thus we know who is BillyNoMates around here.

Or even, the populace finds that £50 notes are useful, government at least tries to produce what the populace finds useful….

20 thoughts on “Clearly the man never buys a round”

  1. If you’re buying a round of drinks, you pay by contactless. That’s been the norm for years now.

    Even tradesmen want payment by bank transfer these days.

  2. I tend to pay for most things with cash. Or even cheques. But I’m stubbornly old fashioned.

    The shops still accept cash. But all those with any power to bully would prefer to force me to use a card.

  3. Is it even legal to refuse cash?

    I thought that was the whole point of the concept of ‘legal tender’ ?

  4. The only ATMs I’ve encountered that dispense £50s are in the City, so I’ve always wondered where people get them from.

    I wonder why Spud thinks there is/was a €500 note (no longer issued, but still legal)?

  5. I pay my window cleaner via bank transfer – have done for several years. I haven’t used cash for over a year now, though my wife does at the local veg seller at the other end of the village – he has a tin box with a slot so no change.

    As for £50 notes, last time I used any was to pay for my daughter’s first car about 15 years ago. I believe tourists often (used to) bring their GBP as £50 notes.

  6. Typical cheapskate. The necessary wad of twenties for a decent night out would spoil the whole line of your suiting. It’s 100s you need, not abolish 50s.

  7. I remember getting 50s in casino winnings but not often otherwise. Main problem is that small businesses are not at all keen on taking them.

    These days, bar staff in London look at you funny if you try to pay for a round in cash.

    @BiS – I bet most coat wallets wouldn’t accommodate a 50 these days.

  8. Leaving aside that his typically obtuse objection to the existence of £50 notes is that he doesn’t want them himself and he can’t understand why anyone else might want them, so they must be drug dealers, is he even right – do drug dealers want £50 notes?

    Why? Even assuming your punters used them to buy their gear, they would surely attract a lot of suspicion when you went to the bank with them, having laundered them through your takeaways, bureaux des changes, and hand car-washes (‘Are you really sure you have a thousand people a week paying with £50 notes for £20 carwashes, Mr Murphy?’) Ditto your wholesaler – he’d prefer his cash in tens and twenties. You’d be better off banning them.

    Is he trying to make a portability argument? A million quid in fifties weights about 50kg; the same in twenties weighs about 25kg. No self respecting dealer is going to struggle with that weight in a day sack, even assuming they were in the habit of walking round with sacks of cash, which they’re not, this not being a Guy Ritchie film.

    I do understand the attraction of the 500 euro note, a bit. But that’s a far cry from a fifty.

    This is just something else this giant bellend either hasn’t thought about, or has thought about but hasn’t undertood.

  9. I think Richard is not being entirely truthful here. Whenever he does a money shot, I pay him in red ones.

  10. I prefer using cash because it helps me notice when I’m spending too fast – and it’s just ridiculous to pay by card for one loaf or a newspaper – but the only place I have to use cash currently is the weekly market.
    £50 notes are useful for holiday cash as well as the pub or restaurants.

  11. And a little of William Gibson’s wisdom. Great deal of innovation is born in what he refers to as “bohemias”. Where the grey economy rules & cash is king. Where people exchange the first examples of the future for readies without troubling the banking system or the overworked taxman. You abolish the folding stuff & you’ll get a lot less new toys.

  12. I bought a car once for £2,000 paying with £50 notes. That was probably round about 1990.

    What’s inflation done in the last 30 years? £50 today was probably less than £25 back then. Was Spud wailing about £20 notes in 1990?

  13. Used to regularly run into £50s about eight or ten years ago.

    The F&CO handed them out to staff to cover traveling expenses.

  14. When I used to buy stuff in shops, I would always use cash. I don’t trust the security of chip and pin card machines as I’ve seen first-hand what security researchers can do with specially-crafted cards!

  15. Whilst true that you rarely see £50 notes these day, cash, in the sticks, is still king. I generally keep a float of £2k to pay for ‘incidentals’, and am forever subbing neighbours who run short of ‘folding’.

  16. Looking up comments above, we must live in different worlds. There were a lot of transactions I needed to do in cash. In considerable amounts of money. Generally those where the other side wanted to ensure they were receiving the value of the transaction. For instance, we occasionally needed ready-mixed concrete poured. Often at short notice. Without an account with the company concerned, how else do you pay for it? The driver doesn’t carry a debit card terminal. A cheque’s cancelable. They can hardly come back & collect the goods if it doesn’t clear.

  17. Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, when I was punting on-course every day, fifties were highly prized. Twenties were OK to bundle up into a grand and fold over, but tenners were an utter pain. I remember Eddie the Shoe trying to pay for an order in the buffet car coming back from Brighton one day and spraying several thousand pounds in tenners over the compartment as he tried to extract a fiver from his pocket.

    Some bookmakers just used to try and piss off unwanted punters by paying them out in exotic notes. Hundred pound notes from the Bank of Ireland, that sort of thing.

    Wonderful days, but long-gone, now that all the action is online.

  18. I prefer to pay by card because I find it much more convenient and efficient than carrying around a heap of dirty metal lumps and bits of weird plastic pseudo-paper. But unlike Ritchie, I don’t think that my personal preferences should be the law and I am able to understand that other people have different preferences which are equally legitimate.

  19. Bis, you echo my words to Richard. Only he is reluctant to take paper. I know he declares his income but he hates to take risks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *