The New Year’s Honours list recognizes hundreds of unsung heroes who have devoted their lives to their community or country – in many cases it is decades before these local heroes get the recognition, they deserve. However, this is not the full story. For others their existing public profile, political connections and money seem to gain them honours. This is not the honorable thing to do.
This year Liz Truss brought the whole honours system into disrepute by rewarding her trusted cronies for virtually destroying the economy and ruining the chances of hundreds of thousands to get on the property ladder. Not bad for someone who lasted only 49 days in office
Truly inspiring honours
There were two honours announced which got my attention and which restores some credibility to the honours system – to a nine-year-old boy and a London tube worker
Nine-year-old Tony Hudgell’s story is just jaw dropping. He was abused by his parent and suffered terrible injuries losing both legs as a result. This nine year old has founded a charity and has raised £1.7million and his adoptive family have successfully campaigned for tougher sentencing of child abusers
Rizwan Javed who works at Ealing Broadway station in West London attended a Samaritans training course over a decade ago and since then has saved 29 people from taking their own lives and has been awarded an MBE .
So many others have been recognised for outstanding services to their local communities and to the wider public at large but what about the Liz Truss list? Does this not make you feel physically sick?
The Liz Truss honours list
To say this this has attracted many critics would be the understatement of the year. She lasted 49 days and was probably the most disastrous Prime Minister ever.
Are we just naïve in thinking that connections and money don’t feature when honours are given out? It seems that we are rewarding abject failure and costing the country many billions. Interest rates are higher as a direct result of her disastrous uncosted budget – one which briefly crashed the pound and came close to causing the UK pensions industry to collapse. According to The Guardian it has cost the treasury thirty billion pounds.
It’s the workers of this country who paid for her mistakes and we are still paying for it today. So how can she get away with it? Well, it seems to me that the simple answer is tradition and the Tories looking after their own.
Forgive what sounds like conspiracy theory but does any of this have a Russian connection? Whilst I am confident Wetherspoon’s pubs were probably visited by Russian spies (They have great toilets by the way) over the years that it’s not what concerns me. I am grateful to Yorkshire Bylines articles on Russian influences in our democracy and Russian interference. We need to refer to these as included in the Liz Truss list is Matthew Elliott who is heading to the Lords. Press reports have him linked to the Conservative Friends of Russia. Well, there may be a silver lining for Putin who is probably thrilled by the Truss Honours list.
Spoons boss knighted
I can see some logic in Tim Martin, the boss and founder of Wetherspoon’s receiving an honour. However, I do wonder if his staff will agree given his attitude at the beginning of the Covid pandemic. While he is successful in business, I suspect that the real reason he was knighted was more to do with his active support of Brexit and close association with the leave campaign and Boris Johnson.
I also have a second reason which I believe is the real reason for it. The Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch who got him knighted is desperate to court favour with the Tory right wing. She is the most popular minister amongst Conservative supporters who seem to have warmly welcomed the news about Tim Martin. Do we suspect a cunning plan?
Is there a point to the honours?
Yes, most definitely there is and this annual event recognising many hundreds of unsung heroes is a fabulous tradition that must be maintained but can we get the grubby hands of politicians away from it please.
We know the prime minister is a fan of the writer Jilly Cooper who was one of many authors, musicians, and sports people who were recognised for an honour. Did he nominate her I wonder?
My final thoughts are that it is bonkers mad that the rich and famous and those with power money and connections grab the headlines and awards year after year. The extraordinary people all over the country are the real winners. It must be just such a thrill to receive a letter saying you are getting an honour. We need more of their stories told
Will our honours system ever change? I am not hopeful as it’s dominated by dishonourable characters but there is a glimmer of light. Removing the current government at the next election may help but the replacement team must be up to the job. The system needs a radical overhaul.
Could we just recognise only the nation’s ordinary people who do extraordinary things. A radical idea perhaps but an honourable suggestion.
Happy new year to all