Red and blue

Red and blue

The red one or the blue one

The oldest sales trick in the world is to ask a buyer if they want the red on or the blue one. Trick? Certainly, it presupposes that the buyer wants one at all. It seems that the EU has symbolically pulled this gag on the Brexiteers of Britain. They want their old blue passport back. They are going to get it. Hooray! Except that it is very likely to be printed by a French company. Sacre bleu!

Touch a Brexiteer in the wrong place at the wrong moment and s/he is likely to explode. And where the British Blue is to be printed is definitely the wrong place. So PM May, you remember, that harassed-looking lady who lives in Downing Street and is trying to look after a totally divided country, well, Mrs May must now devote her time to the fine print on the order for the new – sorry, old – passport. It’s a wonder our politicians bother. And it’s no wonder we get the politicians we do.

Turns out that Britain could already have printed a blue passport. Nothing in the Treaty of Rome forced us to have the Rebellious Roman Red. British Bulldog Blue was perfectly acceptable all along, even to Jean-Paul Juncker, and he’s no easy one to please I can tell you. But here’s the real problem being stoked up. Seat-belts, folks, this is not very conducive to peace and harmony.

Half the British wanted Brexit. They didn’t just like the idea, they demanded it, good and strong. They will wish, I have no doubt, to demonstrate their Britishness when the Deed is Done. What better badge of honour than to slap your new blue passport on the immigration desk of your German – or indeed any other – EU hosts. “Stick that in your ear” won’t even need to be muttered. The blue will do it for you.

Except, of course, in France. There they will smile that enigmatic smile only a genuine Parisian can muster as they jingle the change in their pockets. For they will see how half the population of Britain rescued the European economy even as they turned their back on seventy years of sweat and toil to make Europe cohesive once again. Roughly thirty million blue passports will need to be produced to satisfy this doubtful demo. And that’s a lot of Euros in the kitty.

My heart goes out to the Amazon Rainforest. Try as we might to conserve our dwindling lumber assets we still find too many things that require the slaughter of trees. British Blue Passports are about to be another dent in conservationists targets. So let us use our well-flaunted creativity to see if we can delay the death of a thousand trees and limit additional payments to the EU.

Using the Union Jack as our template, acknowledging that we’d like blue but are actually stuck with red, let us reach for the only other colour in the flag, white. We shall get a decent rubber stamp and white ink and stamp across the front of our existing passports “BREXITED AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT”. The combo of red and white will automatically suggest the absent blue and the message can be as powerful as we want to make it.

And we won’t be paying the French a penny for it.

I was getting old when I said Mozambique had a disastrous inflation rate (my last DP on the Day of Reckoning). I meant, of course, Zimbabwe. Back to proof-reading school…