They are, according to the British Museum, ” objects resembling banknotes, with a political, satirical or fantasy theme (ie. they are not real money).” I couldn’t have put it better myself. So I used cut and paste, the plagiarist’s friend.
Unfortunately that’s about all the museum has to say on the subject, though they do have a few illustrations. The Cruikshank note is political (anti-hanging), others are Bank of Love and an advert. These are the broad categories you tend to get today.
Though skit notes have been about since at least the early 19th Century, I’m going to concentrate on a few of the more modern ones – one of Jacob Rees Mogg and one of Boris Johnson. They are both Old Etonians who went to Oxford and then set themselves up in politics to run the country. Rees Mogg is often known as the “honourable member for the 18th Century” due to his old-fashioned views, hence the top hat and denomination of “guineas” on the note and the slightly rude Latin mottoes on the note. Boris is best known as a liar, hence the sum mentioned on the note – infamous Brexit Bus lie.
I don’t totally dislike Rees Mogg as I do love an eccentric. I also believe that he is a man of conviction. It’s just a shame that I feel many of his convictions stink. According to Wikipedia (for those of you who didn’t read the link) “In February 2012, he used the word “floccinaucinihilipilification“—meaning “the habit of considering as worthless”—during a parliamentary debate; it was noted as the longest word then uttered on the floor of the House of Commons.” Of course, my view of him will be of no interest to him as I am of that sort he classifies as oafs.
Boris, on the other hand, being a repeat adulterer and serial liar, has no place in national politics and entertaining as he can be, should be removed from public life and, if there is any justice, be incarcerated in a small damp cell forever.
However, this isn’t a political blog so I will calm down. It’s strange to reflect, as I was saying to my sister earlier today, I am generally conservative by nature, but would be quite happy for these two to be consigned to the fires of Hell and prodded by demons on a regular basis.
The reverse of both the notes share a reverse, which is considerably less forthright than I am.
As a bit of light relief I will add another note, based on our old £5 from my youth.