Archive for January 1, 2018

Passport to Nowhere

Posted in Biographical, Politics on January 1, 2018 by telescoper

This is a picture of one of my old expired passports. It is, in fact, the first I ever had. It was issued to me in 1986, when I was 23 years old and a PhD student; I needed it to travel to a conference in France. It expired in 1996 (hence the docking of the top right corner) whereupon I had it replaced by a much better made Burgundy one.

I had never travelled abroad before 1986. I’m not from a wealthy family and we never had any holidays outside the UK. Given that,  I’m grateful that I ended up in a career that allowed me to travel quite widely,  within in the European Union and beyond.

I’m guessing that most of the people celebrating the imminent “return of the blue passport” recently announced by the Government never actually had one of these old-style passports, as they weren’t the colour of the ones UK citizens will have to carry after Brexit, which will be Navy Blue a tone much lighter than the blue of old passport, which is almost black.

This is, to me, just another example of the absurd hankering after an imagined past that never was that signifies a country in steep decline.

Anyway, the colour of the next UK passport is of no real concern to me. Whatever its design it will not allow UK citizens to live and work freely within the European Union, so it will be of considerable less value than the existing ones.

Fortunately (for me, at least) I won’t be needing a British passport much longer and will have no need to renew mine for the downgraded version that will be mandatory after 2019. In fact when I get my Irish passport the first thing I’ll do is throw the old British one in the bin.