Saturday 29 December 2012


...where we all get to laugh at the New Year's Honours list.

That annual self congratulatory, class ridden farce where people are awarded honours for doing their job (or sometimes not doing it), creeping, stumping up money for political parties, and after a absence  of a few years, being bought by the prime minister.

Cameron promised us before the Olympics (presumably hoping to distance himself from Brown's statement that Olympians were like troops in Afghanistan and should be rewarded with gongs), that Olympians wouldn't automatically receive honours unless they had "put something back" (in Big Society style)... [Ha ha, remember the Big Society?]. Incidentally, at this point it is interesting to note that 'worst injured but still living' member of the armed forces from Afghanistan was indeed awarded a gong yesterday. Ben Parkinson, who lost his legs and suffered brain damage, was awarded an MBE, the lowest possible British Empire medal.

Of course every year we wonder why on earth this one or that one was awarded whatever they got, but this year takes the biscuit.

Cameron, desperate to buy the services of some of his less adoring MPs, and because he didn't actually win the election, being unable to find them the non-jobs of government, has handed out knighthoods to nonentity backbenchers.

There were knighthoods for Tories Gerald Howarth, Jim Paice and Edward Garnier, MPs who left the government at the last reshuffle. Amazing, really, because losing your job is a sign of failure to those of us who live in a normal world.
Additionally Cameron breached the gong code by handing out the bulk of his political honours to Conservatives, instead of sharing them around the two main English-based parties and the Liberals.

The already ennobled and be-knighted Sebastian Coe was not, as I had predicted he would be, married off to princess Goofie, and made an honorary prince. Maybe his wife objected. He was, instead, made a Companion of Honour, whatever that is. They'll soon need two Wikipedia pages for this man, one for his name and all the letters after it; the other for his career details.

Tory donors did well too. Despite the outcry at last year's handouts to Cameron's friends in the City (Eton boys don't hear what plebs are's an inbuilt upper class hearing defect), the Tory paymasters are there again. Michael Heller, is the most prominent. He forked out £100,000 for his knighthood. Some paid a good deal less.

Lord Oakshott said that it was "Arise, Sir Donor" as usual, and the Deputy Chairman of the Labour party (somewhat ironically) pointed out that this showed that Cameron was out of touch and that he always stood up for the wrong people. How fortunate we are that the Labour party is in touch and stands up for the right people.

Among other notable personages (Labour ones as it happens) to achieve what passes for greatness in London society, Cherie Blair, her of the large mouth and insatiable appetite for more and then yet more money, became a Commander of the British Empire for 'services to women'...what?.... and Maggie Beckett of Hanging Baskets became a dame commander of the same place for..erm...being an MP forever because she had a safe seat and never really succeeding at anything. 

We cannot pretend that this corruption and nepotism is anything new. Tony Benn wrote in his diary that the honours system has always been corrupt. First it was the king who sold honours to increase his power, influence and finances, and with time that responsibility, like so many others passed to his government.It's just that with every year it becomes tackier and tackier. 

If I had one I'd seriously think of handing it back.


  1. Tris, this is exciting news. Could you check the list and see if my Garter Knighthood came through this year? Or maybe the Thistle?

  2. I'm vying for a CyBErnat with honours for being a pain in the @rse to the establishment.

  3. Just gimme a second Danny...

    Da, Dann... Your second name isn't Quail is it?

    No... only joking...


    Nah, there's a note here, in David Cameron's handwriting...

    D***** Y**** sympathetic to SNP and Al** S******d. No Bribe received... ...absobumin'lootly NOT.

    So... sorry Danny. It looks like you've been unsuccessful... Never mind ... You can always petition Big Eck for an "Order of Scotland" in 2014!


  4. You're in with a chance for being that CH... Keep up the good work!

  5. Well, thanks for checking that Tris. I see how I fell short for a Knighthood now.

    The Order of Scotland will be very nice. Although I suspect that the costume is maybe not as impressive as the Garter. Oh well. ;-)

  6. Sorry mate... probably just a kilt and warm pullover...

    Still, there's time. All you need to do is donate to the Tory party, and you're Garter will be winging its way to you by 2nd class post.

  7. Well, lacking much money, the kilt will be cool. I don't see a lot of those here in the states....LOL.

  8. I look forward to grabbing my SIS ( no, not my sister) Subject of an Independent Scotland in 2014. That and saying goodbye to my BASFEG ( Bought and Sold For English Gold) will see my happily head for the Elysian fields!

  9. Another farrago of baubles from the British empire, handed out to loads of failed right wing nut jobs, a few ghastly Labour placemen, those bankrolling the Tory party and one Lib Dem crank. No doubt Seb Coe is once again basking in the glow of being Great British, with all the police cover-ups, chicanery and fiascos conveniently forgotten. A knighthood for Bradley Wiggins for winning a French cycle race and an Olympic gold medal but only an OBE for Andy Murray for winning a US tennis match and an erherm Olympic gold medal. Please Bradley spare us the series of triple spaced “autobiographies” and the execrable adverts for things like Bran Flakes that make you cringe behind the sofa much more than the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz ever did!

  10. Yay Boorach! I'm with you on that!

  11. Don't worry; there are plenty of them here in Scotland... and probably more by 2014.

    I'm thinking of wearing one in Paris in March when I go to the big Petula Clark concert there. Should be a bit of a laugh, and as I'm in the front row, I expect she will notice and she can crack a few jokes about it...

    Mind you, if she asks me what I'm wearing under it, and I have to show... on French TV!!!! (Actually Paris in March I'll probably wear long johns).

  12. Lord CH. Didn't he make a complete tube of himself wearing that. And it was on an official visit too. He looks like he's wearing his wife's skirt.

  13. Tris

    I really hate this pish and I am always ashamed when a Scot collects one. No doubt Murray is taking his, that's sad. He must feel like he doesn't want to upset the Wimbledon crowd, what a shitty UK we have to live in.

  14. Bruce, I always think that for people who are small minded enough to think that a reward from Cameron or Blair or Brown or the Queen, well, that is what they like. If it gives them pleasure, fine. I think it's repulsive(Knighthoods for the upper classes, MBEs for the carers and people who REALLY do something for society).

    I never use any of the titles they get, unless I'm being ironic: e.g. The Noble Baron, the LORD George ffoukes of ffolkes Castle.

    I despair of people like Connery and Soutar who accept things from the British Empire and I respect people who turn this rubbish down.

    I've no problems with countries handing out gongs of some sort to people who really deserve them, but everything in this god forsaken dump has to be class ridden, or corrupt (as in the political honour, or for friends of the Tory party...Labour were just as bad).

    And no honour in the 21st century should change people's names: Lord, Sir, Dame should be consigned to the rubbish bin of 18th century Europe.

    I don't see why people get awards for doing their job (and that includes singers, actors, and politicians).

  15. tris

    seems to me a bit of the green eyed demon jealousy there.

    Never mind we will award you

    'The Ancient Order Of Nationalist Whingers and Whiners'

    there hope that makes you more calmer.

    why despair of people like Connery and Soutar they after all are just self serving honour grabbing two faced snp supporters.

    Thought you might like to read this

    David Blunkett wonders why there is no 1980s-style "revolutionary fervour" in the face of the current deluge of cuts to local government and services (The hidden truth of local cuts will soon be revealed, 28 December). The answer is staring him in the face. New Labour's determination to collude with the neoliberal experiment begun under Margaret Thatcher (Thatcher's role in plan to dismantle welfare state revealed, 28 December) progressively deprived mainstream politics of the language and experience of non-marketised provision for the public good. One result is the cuts to local authority funding that Blunkett bemoans – but in whose ideological underpinning he and his colleagues colluded.

    Where was the New Labour equivalent of the cabinet "riot" that apparently put a temporary brake on welfare state dismantling in the early days of the Thatcher government? If recent pronouncements are anything to go by, "one nation" Labour seems equally unlikely to change the political weather. Ed Miliband wants to head a party "as much of the private sector as the public sector" (Report, 28 December). The order of words is important – Labour is still on the defensive in the face of the market assault initiated by Thatcher. The signs are that the persuasive counter-commentary you ask for (Editorial, 28 December) will have to come from outside the political mainstream.
    Andrew Dobson

  16. A Niko. I wondered where you'd been. Any news of your brothers?

  17. BTW Niko, thank you very much for the award. I shall wear it with pride.

    Yeah. I don't think there is any REAL opposition now. Labour should have been screaming (mind you, so should all the other opposition parties at Westminster and I've not heard anything about it) about all the deaths caused by Atos.

    But Miliband should be leading people on the streets to protest at the horrors of the ATOS farce. But he's more or less for it.

    It's a terrible thing, but that's the future, and it's to get far worse, according to his Old Etonianness's new year message to the his people.

    Why doesn't Blunkett organise something if he's so all fired keen?

  18. You missed out the knighthood awarded to Hector Sants, the Chief Executive Officer of the FSA, who presided over the total failure of regulation of the finance sector from 2007. He was oblivious to the fraudulent activities and money laundering undertaken by UK banks during his term of office.

  19. Oh yes, I did forget him. Useless prat promoted to be with all the other useless prats

  20. Good to see Ken Livingstone putting principle before self, turning down his knighthood.

    A true Labour man... if a tad too far on the left for my lil ole tastes :)

  21. You want independence from the United Kingdom; because they are no longer worthy?

  22. Well, a bit like Danny Boyle, he stood up for what he believes.

    He's old Labour in many ways...although not in all, I suspect, but like many of us on the left all this Sir and lord nonsense is just that. However, many have bent to the obvious draw of the title (I appreciate that Ken was only offered a CBE), Prescott, for example, Marain, ffoulkes...

    Noblemen all!!!! tut tut.

  23. No. There's nothing about worthiness in it. It's about two different countries with different visions of what society should be, in different economic situations, in different climates. And with very unequal status in the union.

    It never really worked've only got to look at the kind of money that London used to spend on Scotland to see that.

    Now it doesn't work at all. England has become a far more right wing country, and its policies no longer have any relevance here.