Everything about this country tells you it is time for a change. I have blogged before about the Church of England, and how we probably need to accept that things will never be the same—maybe the churches should become community centres for the English. I would prefer this to a long embezzlement of remaining funds by female bishops and clergymen preaching from the pulpits a doctrine that sounds remarkably similar to state propaganda on egalitarianism.
It’s the same thing when it comes to the Royal family. Sean Gabb blogged on the Queen’s Christmas Day address to the Commonwealth, and it is probably true that the Queen maintains an air of public decorum that doesn’t attach to elected politicians. But the Royals are a great disappointment too. I was struck by the Countess of Wessex’s comments in the newspaper yesterday that women wearing the Islamic burqa are probably concealing some very sexy clothes underneath. A stupid attempt to cosy up to an immigrant demographic leads this “Countess” to make approving noises about whatever is worn under a burqa in a way that Queen Victoria would never have done. Who cares if a woman wearing a burqa is actually sporting a Victoria’s Secret brassière underneath?
This brings me to the Honours System. I expect the honours would be handed out in a more rational way if the Palace alone apportioned them. But instead the whole thing is handled like a game show, possibly with one eye on what would go down well with the uneducated chavs. Look at these.
- Joan Collins: a dame for “services to charity”. Yet her services to charity are not her defining feature. To the extent she has performed services to charity, she has managed to defend the large pensions and expense accounts of charity bosses.
- Esther Rantzen: a dame for “services to children”. However, it seems to me that she has worked tirelessly to promote a moral panic surrounding children. Her real services are to the technocracy.
- Fiona Wolf: the Lord Mayor of London forced to step down from a paedophilia enquiry becomes a dame.
- Paddy Ashdown: already a “lord” and now a “companion of honour”. A failed politician, whose main “achievement” was to become NATO-imposed ruler of part of Yugoslavia.
- Catherine Ashton, former EU foreign affairs chief, becomes a Dame Grand Cross.
- Cressida Dick, the senior policewoman involved in the unwarranted killing of De Menezes on the Tube, gets a CBE (De Menezes’ family were shown short shrift at the time).
A bit of entertainment was provided by the decision of the rugby player, Jonny Wilkinson, to tweet his acceptance of a knighthood he hadn’t received. Some of the people receiving the honours are not famous, including a former director of Cheltenham racecourse. A Network Rail manager received an OBE: why are these people even considered for awards? The mother of one of the men killed at Hillsborough in 1989 received a CBE: it is much easier for the state to acknowledge the concerns of the Hillsborough families in this way than it was to prosecute the police officers responsible at a time when they were all still a live and in their jobs.
I was rubbing my eyes in disbelief when I read that an MBE had been awarded to Chris Bates, a man who represented the British possession Tristan da Cunha for seven years from his bedroom.
I’m sure everyone has identified further absurdities in the list. While I was once a monarchist, I’m tiring of the stupidity of the whole thing now. It’s time to scrap the honours system—and we will eventually have to reconsider the House of Windsor too.