Saturday, 7 April 2007
Cash for honours and honours for all.
Every tribe since Adam has had an honours system. A member of the tribe performs good works, or acts valiantly and the tribe rewards that person with a medal or robe or stick or whatever. The value in that reward is that it is a symbol that is rare, respected by others and encourages some of the others to perform to their best so that they, in time, may also bear the reward. That is the logic behind the honours system in its purest form.
Of course, the British honours system has been subject to abuse for many years. But isn’t it a feature of this government that they have capitalised on the self-neutering of HM opposition (by way of their own example, when in power) to "go nuts" in terms of excess corruption? At the present rate, all the far-left activists of the 1970’s campuses who are now in power, will achieve their teenage ambitions to do away with the aristocracy-smelling honours system, by way of making the currency so weak that it effectively dissolves. But the real cynicism lies in the way they are benefiting from the sell-out at the same time. Cash for peerages is just the more blatant example.
The world of sport and celebrity are other examples of the exploitation of the honours system. Celebs are perhaps the most undeserving recipients of honours. People who preach about poverty and at the same time are wealthy icons of the drug scene which enslaves thousands of South Americans, don’t rank highly for my respect. Labour’s sickening cosying-up with the airheads at number 10 and 11 is well documented. What price Sir Mick Hucknall if Brown the Clown becomes PM?
Sport has its own honours system and it’s very efficient. When you win the race, you wait 30 minutes and then receive your honour. Simple. Imagine being told "you won the race and we’re going to give you the silver and bronze as well - next week". And so it was, that the victorious England rugby team, trooped in to see Betty, replete with grey suits and brown shoes and were duly given their MBEs. If they were given the choice, how many of them would choose to keep the MBE in preference to their World Champions’ gold medal? Situations like these are an open goal to corrupt politicians like New Labour. They cannot lose. In the hysterical aftermath of the win, Labour awarded the team their medals and shared in the reflected glow of success. Anyone who dared to draw attention to the pointlessness and cynicism of this exercise would have been immediately vilified by the red tops as unpatriotic or worse. But the most exploited people of all were the players themselves. It would have been impossible to decline the medal in the circumstances. To do so, would have put an incredible downer on any refusnik and he wouldn’t have been seen as snubbing Labour, but his team mates and good ol' Queeny.
This short term and cynical political gain sets long term precedents though doesn’t it?. When the England cricket team win the Ashes, how can they be refused their gongs? So, off they go for a photo with Betty and Labour are seen to be doing the right, patriotic thing. But when you play false, matters are likely to return to bite you. The Australian cricketers are all members of the Commonwealth and are therefore eligible to receive MBEs too. No prizes for guessing why are they not being honoured after they whitewashed England earlier this year. There's no reflected glory for Blair.
The honours system, a potentially good thing - wrecked by corrupt and unprincipled politicians.