Doing The Honours

Too many civil servants, politicians and celebrities are receiving honours, a report by a group of MPs has said.

The Public Administration Select Committee called for a rise in honours for volunteers in the community.

All well and good you might think. Furthermore…

Its report said an independent honours commission should be set up to remove political influence from the process.

The government denied honours were dominated by officials and celebrities, while Labour said it was vital the system’s “independence” was maintained.

The bold on that last word is mine. “Maintained”? Does that mean for New Labour “Independent” now means politically motivated? Political control over the honours system has diminished in recent years but it doesn’t mean it isn’t still there.

Things have moved on a little since this clip…but not that much.

The article goes on to say…

“We believe that no-one should be honoured for simply ‘doing the day job’, no matter what that job is,” the committee said.

“In particular, honours should not be awarded to civil servants or businessmen unless it can be demonstrated that there has been service above and beyond the call of duty.

“It is distasteful and damaging for people who already command vast personal remuneration packages for doing their job to also be honoured for simply being at the helm of large companies. This must stop.”

My problem here is that this all seems like very nice and egalitarian stuff until you remember what the honours system is really all about. Ken Loach described it perfectly when he refused his honour, so I made a little pic to show you all…

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