Deliver £50,000 in used, non-sequential, vegetarian £5 notes.
It just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it somehow.
Sir George Campbell MP has asked me to remind readers that this is exactly how the 1857 Indian Mutiny started, with the British Army using beef tallow to lubricate rifle cartridges, but not telling their Hindu soldiers – who then ended up using their mouths to prepare their weapons for firing (hence the expression ‘to bite the bullet’) and getting quite cross when they found out what they’d been made to swallow.
Some of the best reaction to the news, though, came from the London Beit Din Kosher Direct Facebook group, which is something I follow closely, more for the comedy than for the ritual guidance. It’s the sort of place where people often post photos of eg. Aldi dried apricots and ask, “Any problem with this?” and receive a rapid and authoritative ruling from a tech-savvy posek.
The official answer to questions about the kashrut of the new beef-flavoured banknotes was, “The new £5 notes are perfectly kosher to handle but we would recommend they are not swallowed!“
But there followed a lively discussion, with comments including:
Do I have to wait 3 hours to hold a bar of chocolate after holding a £5 note?
Play it safe and don’t put your money where your mouth is.
The biggest question is can you buy milk with a £5 note?
If anyone is worried about the status of their £5 notes, please send them to me and I will dispose of them in a halachic manner. For a limited period I am offering this service free of charge.
One journalist calculated that, to make the 329 million offending notes in circulation, only half a cow would have had to be used. Seriously, how unlucky to be that particular cow.
Hard excommunication or soft excommunication?
Britons who were, quite understandably, worried about the fact that Brexit is a loomingly major political crisis for which the government has no plan whatsoever can now rest easy, following the revelation (in the Book of Revelation) that Theresa May is being guided, in these matters, by a Special Advisor like no other.
This Special Advisor, known only as God, has apparently had considerable experience in guiding nations out of a vast politicoeconomic empire, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and is no doubt anxious to seek His teeth into this latest challenge.
According to a source, the Prime Minister’s latest memo to God read:
Our Father, who art in Brussels, hallowed be Thy market.
Thy legislators come,
Thy integration be done, in Britain as it is in Belgium.
Give us this day our daily straight banana,
And forgive us our opt-outs,
As we forgive those who opt-out against us.
Lead us not into soft Brexit,
But deliver us from Europe.
For Thine is the fiftieth article,
The power and the vires,
For EUer and EUer.
Over at SPECTRE
Criminal mastermind Ernst Stavro Blofeld has been criticised after allowing himself to be photographed leaving his secret volcanic hideout, holding a sheet of paper displaying the details of his latest evil plan.
“This is a most basic security lapse,” said one expert. “The public has a right to expect better from the head of SPECTRE. If he can’t keep his masterplans secret, how can we possibly hope to get long film plots out of James Bond’s attempts to stop them?”
Postcard from Ghana
Unfortunately, it turns out that it was a fake embassy. Despite its authentic-looking flag, portrait of Obama and English-speaking staff, the entire building was a criminal enterprise set up to extort money off would-be travellers, in exchange for forged visas.
Apparently even the Ferrero Rocher was a cheap substitute!
In response, the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office confirmed that it is considering “as a matter of urgency” whether to set up a fake British embassy in Washington DC “to get Farage out of the way”. And the Metropolitan Police Julian Assange Unit just had a brilliant idea for a decoy…
You know when you get those competitions like, “Complete the sentence ‘I like Cheese Strings because…’ in up to 10 words”?
The government appear to have set themselves one, for no apparent reason, according to the Telegraph:
(Also Cheese Strings are great.)