Skip to comments.EU wants to purge the Queen from our passports (Great Britain)
Posted on 09/09/2007 5:11:51 PM PDT by Stoat
Mention of the Queen could be removed from British passports and replaced by a page explaining why all EU citizens are entitled to use our embassies abroad, it emerged yesterday.
Current UK passports contain a traditional message from the British sovereign printed inside the front cover requesting 'assistance and protection' for the holder anywhere in the world 'in the Name of Her Majesty'.
But the time-honoured passage could be dropped as a result of the new European Treaty - which critics claim is simply a repackaged version of the discredited EU Constitution.
A new message would set out rules under which any EU citizen who gets into trouble in a country where their own state has no representative can go to the British embassy and demand help.
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Original: The time-honoured royal request. New version: What the EU's wording could look like
The proposals attracted fierce criticism yesterday, with opposition critics claiming there was no good reason to ditch the traditional wording and warning that the plans highlighted the importance of giving British voters a say in a referendum on the Treaty - which Gordon Brown is refusing to allow.
Brussels forced Britain to change its passports 20 years
ago when the popular 'Old Blue' hardback documents were abandoned in favour of a smaller, flimsier, standardised burgundy design.
But the passage of text - which originated more than three centuries ago when the monarch stopped signing every passport in person - survived that change, as well as the subsequent addition of security features.
Newly-issued UK passports still contain the impressive words: 'Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State Requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.'
As part of moves to implement a new EU Treaty, commissioners in Brussels now want to include the rules on consular representation for EU citizens. This dry, bureaucratic prose states that: 'Every citizen of the Union shall, in the territory of a third country in which the members of state of which he is a national is not represented, be entitled to protection by the diplomatic or consular authorities of any member state, on the same conditions as the nationals of that state.'
Britain has made no objection to including the passage in new passports, and stated in an official submission to Brussels: 'We agree that printing Article 20 in future designs of passports may prove to be an effective means of disseminating information to EU citizens.'
A Foreign Office spokesman said the change was 'still under consideration', and it had not yet been decided whether the new text would be an addition, or whether it would replace the message from the Sovereign.
The Home Office insisted there were 'currently no plans' to revamp the documents.
Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague said: 'People
want to be proud to be British and their passports should have a clear association with that. There is no good reason to change the traditional presentation of our passports. 'This is yet another illustration of how the British people must be given their say in a referendum before any new powers are signed over to the EU under a proposed new treaty.'
Citizens of other EU member states have had the right to demand help from British diplomats abroad since 2001, if their own country has no embassy or representative locally.
But with the EU expanding greatly since then, the deal has given rise to fears that UK consular staff will be swamped by requests for support.
Britain has one of the largest networks of foreign embassies and high commissions of any EU state, far larger than countries such as Estonia, Latvia, Romania or Bulgaria.
Anyone from such countries who lost a passport or was arrested by local police would be just as entitled to help from British officials as UK citizens.
THE British passport has had a long and proud history and a good many revamps - but there has been one constant. For 600 years it has been inextricably linked to our monarch.
Introduced in 1414, and mentioned by Henry V in his speech on the eve of Agincourt (according to Shakespeare), a passport or 'Safe Conduct' started out as just a note issued to someone travelling on the king's business.
Written in Latin or English and personally signed by the monarch, it asked that the holder be allowed to travel freely, and specified the destination, time and purpose of his journey.
There were, of course, earlier passports. The first known reference is found in the Bible's Book of Nehemiah, when an official serving a Persian king asks to travel to Judah. The king agrees and gives him a letter demanding he is granted safe passage.
The term passport probably originates from medieval documents which were sometimes required to pass through the gates - 'porte' in Latin - of ancient walled cities. In medieval times, such documents could be issued by local authorities.
The oldest surviving British passport --signed by King Charles I - was issued on June 18, 1641. The latest record of a monarch signing was in 1778, by George III for Sir John Stepney who from 1775 to 1782 was on a diplomatic mission to Dresden.
Like all British passports issued between 1772 and 1858, it was written in French - the official language of diplomacy. From 1794 the system changed so that passports were granted by the Secretary of State and centrally registered.
The First World War was the catalyst for a shake-up. Nation states issued passports to distinguish their own citizens from foreign nationals. At the outbreak of war, they were printed on paper, with a gluedon photo of the holder and cost 6d but they changed again when the British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act 1914 came into force in 1915.
This determined in law that all persons born in the United Kingdom and Crown's dominions would hold the status of British subject and was the first modern British passport - a one-page document folded into eight, with a cardboard cover and a detailed personal description.
Again the design was short-lived. A League of Nations conference in 1920 agreed to a book-format passport for member states, each to be issued in two
languages - their own and French. Thus 'Old Blue', the passport sporting the Royal Coat of Arms, traditional wording and issued at the discretion of the government under the Royal Prerogative, was born. Over the next 68 years, other than the removal of the name of the Secretary of State from the text of the first page in 1954, and small security-related changes, very little changed. But in 1988 Old Blue was replaced by today's shrunken burgundy booklet with European Union on the cover.
Initially it was desperately unpopular but, despite cosmetic changes, its essential Britishness - the Royal Coat of Arms in gold on the front and the traditional wording on the first page - remained. It was still a UK passport, not an EU one - a fact very dear to our hearts.
Which is why, when the Royal Coat of Arms came under threat in 2000 - EU commissioner Antonio Vitorino wanted to replace it with the 12 yellow stars of the EU - there was such an uproar that the proposals were hurriedly shelved.
Goodbye, Great Britain, I hardly knew ye.
Ack. Don’t change Britain. We need a few sane allies in the world.
You shall only pay homage to the politburo — LOL.
The EU is nothing more than Jacobinism in disguise. Europe needs to wake up before its too late.
I wonder if Mexico is going to require that we change ours.
Sane? Have you seen what the Tories are proposing? You'd expect this out of Labour, but...
Perhaps the Brits should purge themselves of the EU, instead.
I would be absolutely delighted and thrilled if they would.....few things would energize patriotic Americans more. The Southern Wall would be completed in record time and the illegal immigration issue would be dealt with in a definitive way.
It would do wonders to wake up so many people who have been complacent on these essential issues.
Ok is it just me or does this ‘new’ version just SCREAM ‘Run on sentence written by a lawyer on crack’? Holy cow that hurts my eyes to read it. What’s wrong with the old version?
At this point, it seems that such a commonsense plan would be as difficult to accomplish as to excise a badly metastasized cancer.
bwahahahah. how pathetic.
bye bye Britian
Because ...well...it's...well, b/c it's old. That's why. It's so twentieth century...so bourgeois...
It's not just you, and it's the sort of thing that we can look forward to here in the USA if the Left is allowed to prevail.
Whats wrong with the old version?
It reminds the bearer that he or she is part of a great nation with very ancient, important and special traditions that have stood the tests of time. All of this is anathema to the EU in that it suggests that the weight of history has significance, as opposed to the EU's desire that all people instantly embrace a "constitution" drawn up by West-hating Marxist / socialist attorneys and diplomats in Brussels, with the primary focus being the elimination of important traditions, not the maintenance of them. Traditions stand in the way of the forward march of worldwide socialism, something that they cannot tolerate.
The Damned frogs must be involved, heathen Papists don't even speak English. LOL, my 12x Grandfather would be rolling in his grave.
Thank you so much for invoking Blake in this context...entirely appropriate.
Here's the complete poem, for those interested:
To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.
A dove-house filled with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell through all its regions.
A dog starved at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.
A horse misused upon the road
Calls to heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.
A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.
The game-cock clipped and armed for fight
Does the rising sun affright.
Every wolf's and lion's howl
Raises from hell a human soul.
The wild deer wandering here and there
Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misused breeds public strife,
And yet forgives the butcher's knife.
The bat that flits at close of eve
Has left the brain that won't believe.
The owl that calls upon the night
Speaks the unbeliever's fright.
He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be beloved by men.
He who the ox to wrath has moved
Shall never be by woman loved.
The wanton boy that kills the fly
Shall feel the spider's enmity.
He who torments the chafer's sprite
Weaves a bower in endless night.
The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother's grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh.
He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar's dog and widow's cat,
Feed them, and thou wilt grow fat.
The gnat that sings his summer's song
Poison gets from Slander's tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt
Is the sweat of Envy's foot.
The poison of the honey-bee
Is the artist's jealousy.
The prince's robes and beggar's rags
Are toadstools on the miser's bags.
A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.
It is right it should be so:
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know
Through the world we safely go.
Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
The babe is more than swaddling bands,
Throughout all these human lands;
Tools were made and born were hands,
Every farmer understands.
Every tear from every eye
Becomes a babe in eternity;
This is caught by females bright
And returned to its own delight.
The bleat, the bark, bellow, and roar
Are waves that beat on heaven's shore.
The babe that weeps the rod beneath
Writes Revenge! in realms of death.
The beggar's rags fluttering in air
Does to rags the heavens tear.
The soldier armed with sword and gun
Palsied strikes the summer's sun.
The poor man's farthing is worth more
Than all the gold on Afric's shore.
One mite wrung from the labourer's hands
Shall buy and sell the miser's lands,
Or if protected from on high
Does that whole nation sell and buy.
He who mocks the infant's faith
Shall be mocked in age and death.
He who shall teach the child to doubt
The rotting grave shall ne'er get out.
He who respects the infant's faith
Triumphs over hell and death.
The child's toys and the old man's reasons
Are the fruits of the two seasons.
The questioner who sits so sly
Shall never know how to reply.
He who replies to words of doubt
Doth put the light of knowledge out.
The strongest poison ever known
Came from Caesar's laurel crown.
Nought can deform the human race
Like to the armour's iron brace.
When gold and gems adorn the plough
To peaceful arts shall Envy bow.
A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply.
The emmet's inch and eagle's mile
Make lame philosophy to smile.
He who doubts from what he sees
Will ne'er believe, do what you please.
If the sun and moon should doubt,
They'd immediately go out.
To be in a passion you good may do,
But no good if a passion is in you.
The whore and gambler, by the state
Licensed, build that nation's fate.
The harlot's cry from street to street
Shall weave old England's winding sheet.
The winner's shout, the loser's curse,
Dance before dead England's hearse.
Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born.
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.
Some are born to sweet delight,
Some are born to endless night.
We are led to believe a lie
When we see not through the eye
Which was born in a night to perish in a night,
When the soul slept in beams of light.
God appears, and God is light
To those poor souls who dwell in night,
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day.
Well, speaking as a Brit...
It’s not that I love the sample language suggested for the new version. But I would have to say that if you want your country to be a republic, like I do and like the US is, then the old version really isn’t quite appropriate. I could say (and George Washington could say with me) that it’s no business of Her Britannic Majesty whether I cross MY country’s borders or not.
I have know idea what “Jacobinism” is. However, I’d have to call it totalitarianism. Is that close to the same?
why not put sir elton john on,
and then they’d still have a queen.
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