[I wrote this for my Diary Blog, but it deserves its own article]
New Year “Honours”
This has of course been a farce for a very long time. At least in the mediaeval period, there was no hypocrisy involved. You were a crony of the King, or helped him out in battle or otherwise, you got a title, and maybe the lands (and so, income) with which to support your new-found estate (status).
Later, absurdities such as the creation of the “baronet” class, the earliest example of the “sale of honours”, went alongside honours sometimes given for real achievement in the arts, sciences and commerce.
There were scandals along the way. The sale of honours under Lloyd George was egregious not in quality (it happened before, it still happens in 2019) but in quantity. Few “average citizens” realize that hardly any of the still extant hereditary titles predate 1900. And that is before we even consider the “life peers”, which rival the baronetage in risibility.
A woman starts a bra company. Turns out that it is a house of cards that eventually collapses, but not before Michelle Mone is “elevated” to the House of Lords as a “baroness”, having convinced idiotic David Cameron-Levita that she is a great “role-model”. A West Indian woman’s son is killed by some white ruffians in a scuffle at a South-East London bus stop. What?! Oh my God! Make her a “baroness” too! And bung her family a hundred grand at the same time.
The “House of Lords” was badly “reformed” by Blair; a poorly-thought-out reform, like so much of his legislation. It is time to get rid of it.
As to the new honours list: I have not read it in detail but, for one thing, is it not incredible that Iain Dunce Duncan Smith, a proven liar and fraudster, should be “knighted”? His record:
- A part-Japanese, who attended a “secondary modern” State school near Birmingham and then went on to a substandard merchant navy school on Anglesey, later fraudulently inventing a university background (was found out, but sadly too late);
- Poses as a kind of “upper class” Englishman by reason of having been a Scots Guards officer (never got beyond Lieutenant in 6 years, and was considered a deadhead even in Guards circles);
- Married a wealthy wife but still, for a while, fraudulently claimed State benefits;
- Has always sponged off his father-in-law, even —and to this day— living for free in a house on the latter’s estate in Swanbourne, Buckinghamshire;
- Has wasted literally billions of State funds in trying to make his misconceived “welfare” “reforms” work, while subjecting the sick, disabled, unemployed etc to a regime characterized by an Oriental cruelty and vindictiveness;
- Has, in effect, via his policies, killed tens of thousands of people;
- Fraudulently claimed hundreds of thousands of pounds on his MP expenses for “employing” his wife; in fact she never did any work at all; Dunce was, however, never tried for what was a plain fraud on public monies;
- Claimed that he could easily live on a few pounds a day if he had to; meanwhile, he claimed on his MP expenses for underwear and also for a £39 breakfast at the Waldorf in London (among a huge number of other doubtful claims);
- Has shown himself incapable of properly holding high office;
- Time and again proven to be a liar;
- Conservative Friends of Israel member…
Dunce is the most obviously unmeritorious recipient of an honour this time, but what about the degenerate singer-songwriter, Elton John? I should like to have him removed from the airwaves and from sight. There again, a black woman has apparently been given a minor honour for baking cakes. Also, there is the now-usual plethora of sports people etc. Win a cricket match or rugby game on the other side of the world? Knighthood. Bloody joke.
At the other end, there are the people who get honours for years of “service” (work). OK, and many may be meritorious; many may not be. I was slightly acquainted once with a woman who, 20+ years later (2006 or 2007), got an honour (MBE, I think) “for fostering relations with Russia”. From what I heard on good authority, mainly carnal ones…
I think that this whole business needs a reboot, especially the higher honours, the “peerages”, “knighthoods” etc.