Friday, 7 September 2012

The Honours System - Contrasting approaches

The MP for South East Cambridgeshire James Paice has been given a knighthood. The eye-catching headline was Honours for Cabinet Reshuffle Casualties.

Poor poor people. How terrible for them to lose out to younger, fresher faces. They have done their jobs and to lessen the pain, heres a gong or two.

A snarky post comparing these people with the likes of people who also just did their jobs such as Bradley Wiggins; Dave Brailsford; Jessica Ennis; Mo Farah; Eleanor Simmonds; Sarah Storey; David Weir and Lee Pearson would have followed if it was not for the surprising news that Dave Cameron has announced a separate honours list for the Olympians and Paralympians.

I feel a bit sorry about the timing. Gongs for the MPs was clearly a bad news story in light of the Public Administration Select Committee's damning report into the "opaque" and "mysterious" honours system and the separate honours list have now clearly buried the much needed debate required about the honours system, the point of it, who it is for and how it is decided who gets what gong.

Much as the Olympians and Paralympians are deserving of recognition by this country, this debacle does not improve the image of the honours system one little bit and overdue reform is still very much needed.

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