So the great British honours system has announced the latest list of honourees today. Known as the New Years Honours, it bestows ludicrously anachronistic and socially divisive titles to British citizens seen by the establishment to be worthy to join the ranks of other grandees who bask in the honour of having a title drawn from fantasy novels and pantomime. How appropriate, our overseas neighbours must think.
Of course, everyone loves the Queen, how can you not? Bless her. But really, do we have to go into 2017, knowing that we’ve pushed the ejector button on the country’s role at the top table of world politics, declaring that we are a picture book nation, rapidly fading into a picturesque joke with our lords and ladies, our knights and dames and, of yes, somewhere behind them, the rest of us ordinary citizens. It is more than time to make a change here.
Give people medals if we like the idea – a nice coin on a ribbon is a suitable prize for those who have done well in races, tennis matches, telling jokes, presenting quiz shows, supporting the government from Parliamentary backbenches, declaiming from the stage and of course anyone whose PR agents succeed in exaggerating their clients’ tax-benefiting charitable donations. God bless ’em all but do we really have to turn them into knights and dames?