Whilst I’m often swept away by the allure of digitalisation and our march into the modern age, I can’t help but harken back to the undeniable allure of a crisp note.

There’s a romance, a simplicity, a security in clutching cold, hard cash. When the purse strings draw tight, severing the chains of direct debits and cradling tangible currency becomes less an option and more a survival strategy. It’s a technique many a Briton, weathered by economic storms, will testify to, claiming it as their lifeline in navigating the choppy waters of fiscal distress. Cash is the bottom rung of the economic ladder.

Now, this “ladder of opportunity” I often speak of isn’t just poetic licence. Picture, if you will, a scaffold enabling every Tom, Dick, and Harriet to ascend to greater heights of personal prosperity. Each step, each rung, be it the cornerstone of education, a roof over one’s head, or the humble coin, is pivotal. It’s the very essence of providing a fair shake for all in the complex dance of socio-economic advancement. It is the core of my conservatism.

But here’s the rub: with the alarming trend of cash being side-lined, being treated almost as an archaic relic, we’re not merely nudging people towards newer methods. We’re quite literally pulling a rung out from under them, threatening to tilt the balance and leave many teetering. Charging for access to one’s own wealth, one’s hard-earned cash, is nothing short of removing a foundational stone from our national edifice. Eroding cash as acceptable tender is akin to taking a sledgehammer to those foundational stones.

As the sands of time have shifted, we’ve watched these integral rungs gradually wane, and we ponder, often aghast, at the repercussions as the nation goes further down the toilet.

And so, I beseech my Conservative brothers and sisters: Let us not be mere witnesses to yet more decline. Let us ardently champion the preservation and restoration of these crucial bottom rungs on the ladder of opportunity.

[Note: this post was inspired by a conversation with Pete Gilbert]

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