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Is the UK honours system discredited?

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Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by Ivan on Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:25 pm

First topic message reminder :

Some might argue that giving out medals that refer to ‘The British Empire’, which to all intents and purposes ceased to exist about fifty years ago, immediately discredits the system, but the rot set in long before that. Lloyd George sold honours about a hundred years ago, and the practice has in effect continued ever since. For example, when the firm P&O made a donation to the Tories in 1984, its chairman, Jeffrey Stirling, received a knighthood “for services to industry” in 1985, and hardly anyone blinked an eyelid. Presumably the donations continued, because when Thatcher was forced to resign in 1990, she bumped Mr Stirling up to the status of baron. That’s why I couldn’t understand all the fuss about the so-called “cash for peerages” furore with Tony Blair, when the precedent had long been established by both Liberals and Tories.

Then along came the snake oil salesman known as Cameron, who, with his catalogue of other lies and broken promises, assured us of “transparency”. So what do we have in the latest honours list? Well, we have more than a third of all the honours going to bankers and their ilk, rewarding the parasites who caused the economic mess and aren’t doing anything useful to get us out of it. We bail out the banks, they blame the government that bailed them out and then they get the gongs for it.

One award which has attracted much attention is the knighthood for Paul Ruddock. He is a hedge fund manager who profited from the collapse of Northern Rock. His company used a practice known as “short selling” to bet on shares in the bank falling. Northern Rock subsequently failed and had to be rescued by the taxpayer. Officially Ruddock’s title is for “services to the arts”, but let’s not fool ourselves of the real service he provided – a donation of £500,000 to the Tories. I wonder how long it will be before Andy Coulson gets a knighthood or a peerage, no doubt for “services to journalism”? After all, he did siphon money from Murdoch into the Tory coffers as discreetly as possible.

Another controversial award is the CBE for millionaire property tycoon Gerald Ronson, whose company built the tallest skyscraper in the City of London. Apparently Mr Ronson has given money to charity, but this is a man who served six months of a one-year sentence after being convicted of theft, conspiracy and accounting fraud following the Guinness share-trading scandal in 1990. His wife also recently received an honour. The man has done his time, you might say (though not very much of it), and he should be allowed to move on, and I would agree. However, there’s no need to honour him, is there? There are plenty of people who do their bit for good causes, including many elderly ladies in charity shops on every high street in the country. They aren’t all getting gongs, and I doubt if very many of them have been to prison.

Ronnie Corbett has received a gong, and like his golfing chum Bruce Forsyth, who was rewarded last time, both are known to be Tories. Helena Bonham Carter probably deserves her award since she’s an accomplished actress, but it’s probably no coincidence that she’s a personal friend of Dave and Samantha.

A further contentious award is the OBE given to Christopher Preddie, a north London former gang member who used to be involved with drugs. His brother was shot and two of his cousins are in jail after being found guilty of killing schoolboy Damilola Taylor in 2000. The father of the murdered boy is understandably upset over this award.

Michael Dugher, the Shadow Cabinet Office minister, said: “David Cameron promised to clean up politics, but in office he has shown he is utterly out of touch with decent British people. He’s giving a knighthood to Paul Ruddock, who made millions from the collapse of Northern Rock and has given over half a million pounds to the Tories. This tells you everything you need to know about the Tories’ priorities. At a time when millions of families are struggling to get by, it’s the Tories’ friends in the City who get the rewards.”

We’ve come a long way from all the fuss there was back in 1965 when the Beatles were awarded the MBE, prompting gin-soaked Tory colonels in the shires to return their war medals in disgust. Nowadays you can fight for your country and be told that you’re being sacked while you’re still on duty in Afghanistan, or being sacked because your injuries have left you disabled. You can then become part of the growing number of job-seekers unable to find work because of the failed policies of this hideous government, and you can be treated like the scum of the earth and forced to do community work alongside convicted criminals. On the other hand, you can give money to the Tories, deal in drugs, take part in fraud, and maybe receive a gong. That’s Cameron’s idea of using the honours system to reward those who play a role in his fatuous ‘Big Society’.
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:24 am

It can't be long before we'll either be able to find a voucher for a Knighthood in our breakfast cereal packets or buy one on e-bay.

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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by Ivan on Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:45 pm

Almost 30 Tory Party members or supporters receive awards amid accusations of cronyism

Article by Andy McSmith

The honours system is supposed to recognise dedicated public service, not simply be a vehicle to reward Tory cronies and donors. David Cameron should take care not to undermine the integrity of the system”. (Graham Jones MP)

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/new-years-honours-almost-30-tory-party-members-or-supporters-receive-awards-amid-accusations-of-a6791366.html
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by Phil Hornby on Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:55 pm

It doesn't impress everyone that somebody has a title.

In my own small and insignificant way, I have sought to ensure that I was just that little bit less respectful ( some would say more disrespectful) to anyone I met who had a title of sorts - and, in that vein, most especially those 'minor celebrities' who love to be called 'Councillor Smith' (eg).

You could say that I wonder whether anyone who would willingly accept a title should be allowed to have one...
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by Ivan on Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:16 pm

Theresa May called on to stop culture of honours for No 10 'cronies'

Extracts from an article by Rowena Mason:-

May is facing calls to block honours for No 10 ‘cronies’ after a leaked list revealed Cameron has requested knighthoods for party donors, pro-EU campaigners and political aides. Labour and Lib Dem politicians called for an overhaul of the system as it emerged one of Cameron’s last acts in office was to propose rewards for more than 40 allies, including four cabinet ministers.

Cameron recommended awards for more than 20 Downing Street advisers and staff and knighthoods for Philip Hammond, Michael Fallon, Patrick McLoughlin and David Lidington. One of the most controversial knighthoods named on the list is proposed for Ian Taylor, an oil executive who gave almost £1m to the Conservatives in the past 18 months and helped fund the campaigns against Scottish independence and in favour of the EU. Andrew Cook, an engineering businessman who donated the use of a private jet to Cameron before the 2010 election and donated about £250,000 to the remain campaign, is similarly in line for a knighthood. George Osborne, Cameron’s closest political friend, was put forward to become a companion of honour.

Cameron started as Conservative leader by saying he wanted to clean up politics, but he handed peerages to at least 13 major Tory party donors during his tenure, as well as a number of knighthoods and lesser honours. Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham said: “Regardless of the fact that they come from an outgoing PM, these recommendations should be turned down. If they are accepted, they will destroy any remaining shred of respect for the honours system.”


http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jul/31/remain-campaign-leaders-tory-donors-honours-david-cameron
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by boatlady on Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:37 am

The people I feel sorry for are those who still get their honours because of selfless public service - they must feel that their honours are seriously devalued by the cronyism evident in the general raft of MBE's etc - if you can get an honour for picking a rich woman's dresses for her or donating to the Conservative Party, why bother running a boy scout pack for 40 years?
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by Ivan on Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:58 pm

Why I showed the red card to an MBE

by Howard Gayle

"Last week I received a call from Ged Grebby of 'Show Racism the Red Card'. After ending my football career in 1994, during which I became Liverpool football club’s first black player, I have been an ambassador for 'Show Racism the Red Card' for 20 years. Grebby told me that I had been nominated for an MBE and asked if I would be willing to accept it. I said no. I didn’t even have to think about it, because I have always had a very keen sense of Africa and colonialism. My father came here from Sierra Leone after the war and I have always been aware of the impact of colonialism on Africa and on my life. Grebby said he knew that would be my answer.

I felt it would be a slap in the face for so many to be part of that British empire process. When you look at what the empire did to my family and our ancestors, it just doesn’t bear credence. I am British, I was born here and my children were born here. There is no argument to be had about my patriotism. But the empire is something that oppressed black people. Like everyone else, I am grateful when my work is recognised. Over the years, I have received many awards, from other organisations and from my own community, and I have always been pleased and proud to accept them. But not this.

I think we should just get rid of these awards, and the empire link that sends such a dreadful message to people of colour. Quite apart from the historical association, all sorts of people get them who shouldn’t, and so many deserving people miss out. It seems a farce. People who have really made a difference should be nominated by their communities.
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https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/15/howard-gayle-mbe-liverpool-first-black-footballer
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by Ivan on Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:09 pm

For his services to record national debt, missing all targets, losing the nation's AAA rating and the lowest wage growth for 70 years........


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CyHgReOWQAArreP.jpg
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:08 pm

Aphorisms revisited: "Honours amongst thieves".
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by Phil Hornby on Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:35 pm



" And I didn't even fold the towels neatly...!"
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:20 pm

Why do people keep complaining that there seems to be a fundamental disconnect between The Government and The People?
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by Ivan on Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:14 am

Company boss who gave £930,000 to Tory Party receives knighthood

The Conservatives are making a mockery of our honours system. Every crony appointment is an insult to the incredible people from right across Britain who are rewarded for the great contributions they make to our national life.” (Jeremy Corbyn)

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/dec/30/company-boss-david-ord-tory-donor-receives-knighthood
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by Ivan on Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:34 am

List of people who have declined a British honour

Starting with Oliver Cromwell, who turned down the crown when Parliament offered it to him in 1657... Shocked

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_who_have_declined_a_British_honour
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by boatlady on Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:50 pm

This year, for the first time, the only people on the honours list I have any respect for are those that turned down an honour - let them that buy them have them all and then we see exactly what this anachronism stands for
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by sickchip on Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:37 pm

.....best not voice my opinion on honours, the monarchy, etc. I don't wish to be banned from these boards Wink
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by Ivan on Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:02 am

Two DWP directors were awarded CBEs after treating the disabled with contempt:-


Source: 'Private Eye'
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:01 pm

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that Private Eye is now the only publication which actually tells it as it is.

I hadn't read it for several years, but Mrs Hornby kindly provided me with a subscription as a Christmas gift. She really should know better...
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:35 pm

But what might we think of a Lord Hislop?
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:09 pm

Surely a cross-bencher if ever I saw one...
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by boatlady on Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:26 pm

Private Eye is, and has always been, amusing - but if all you want is to be amusing, you do tend to over-simplify - which is of course what the very entertaining Ian Hislop does - I think you'd always have to allow for his need to be amusing before his need to tell the truth
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:40 pm

Not sure Private Eye is simply a vehicle for the trivial and amusing article...its regular appearance in the libel courts is testimony to that...
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

Post by boatlady on Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:40 pm

I think being funny often people overstep the limits - but would bow to your superior knowledge - don't often read Private Eye, just see Hislop on TV and he strikes me as a bit of a clever clogs rather than a really serious commentator

Very funny - but would often rather be funny at the expense of really saying anything worth while
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Re: Is the UK honours system discredited?

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