The Queens New Years Honours list has come out. Once again I have been ignored, in spite of many letters in support of my application. No knighthood once again it seems, and after all that effort I put in and those stamps cost me a packet! I must make clear to the younger generation that the 'Queen' mentioned, is in fact the English queen, Queen Liz, not the plastic pop group full off nancy boys called 'Queen.' They do not give out honours, well, not to me anyway so they have something in common with her. I think I should point out to the historically unaware that Queen Liz II is of course queen only of England although they use the term 'Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. That term of course reflects the inherent racism at the heart of the UK. Scotland, as you must surely know, has never had a Queen Elizabeth, only England and it's junior partner Wales have that distinction. This fact does not stop the English from demanding we bow down and become part of Englandshire, and they know only to well what they can do with that idea!
Each New Year this Queen, through her ministers, announces the names of those honoured by her. She, according to the unwritten constitution (a very good idea in my view) has little if anything to do with the names put forward for selection. I believe she is made aware of the awards, and indeed does hand out several special awards by herself, but while she may or may not agree with the names her views are subject to the will of the government of the day. Lucky her! Her job is too stand for several hours at a time, pinning medals on some, touching the shoulders of the lucky new knights on occasion, and dreaming all the while of her day out at Ascot when she can actually enjoy herself. She always manages to keep her own opinion of the recipients to herself, quite a good idea when holding a sword in ones hand I would say.
Now the honours system is a good idea to me. Any nation ought to publicly acknowledge the hard work and diligence, the acts of bravery and the commitment to help others that comprise most nations. From top to bottom there are individuals who indeed deserve awards and recognition. What a shame then that those who are awarded all too often appear uninspiring.
This year Michael Parkinson, who has made his name allowing 'B' celebrities from all over the western world to bore the pants of the intelligent among us, has received a knighthood. Could this be a way of thanking him for retiring and getting his programme full of nonentities off the screen? Sadly I fear not. Kylie Minogue, a one time 'soap star' and now mediocre singer, has been awarded an OBE, why? Possibly because she is popular and this appeals to the younger generation, well men in their thirties actually! That, popularity, alas is today the real reason for awards. They are given less for talent and endeavour than to appeal to the mass market. Give the public what they want by awarding their favourites and appear to be reacting to the popular mood. That's the thing!
Once again Sir Ian McKellen is awarded, for services to the homosexual Mafia perhaps? It seems to be all he talks about, I cannot see it being for his undoubted acting talents as he has already been knighted for that. If indeed he was knighted for that reason. The token English sporting failures are awarded, Jason Robinson for failing to succeed as England captain this year, and the coach, both are rewarded for keeping up the standard. No doubt some token Scot will be found to present a lesser award. Not that there is bias here of course, although Denis Law has never been made a Knight, and Jock Stein was refused one in 67! Alf Ramsey, the sour England manager, received a knighthood gratefully for cheating in 1966, Law is unrewarded still.
I am however much in favour of Lollipop Ladies and charity workers, those unknown folks who care for the sick and lonely, those who work away for years keeping the world turning getting an award of some kind. Whether an OBE or a CBE or indeed any kind of honour matters not. What does matter is that the nation respects the actions of each and every one of us. Wherever we are, whatever level of society we exist at, whether rich or poor,those who ought to e rewarded and recognised as having done something worth commending need to be rewarded openly. This is good for our society. The only question to be asked, and it is a fair one, is this the correct way to do it? In spite of changes in the manner in which these awards are offered there is still the feeling that some receive honour simply for being in the right place. Which I suppose, is why I have never been able to turn one down.