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  • Man who cycles slightly faster than other men knighted

    by Rumbold
    31st December, 2008 at 11:21 am    

    The farce that is the New Year’s Honours list returns. British sportsmen and women are among the biggest winners. Tax exile Lewis Hamilton is made a MBE, while someone (Robert Plant) who sings songs for heaps of money is made a CBE. A person (Anya Hindmarch) who sold a bag that wasn’t a plastic bag becomes an MBE. Even Sir Chris Hoy found it a bit silly:

    “To become a knight from riding your bike, it’s mad.”

    Yes it is. Honours should really mean something. They should be awarded to those who perform above and beyond what we expect of normal human beings, for the good of society. That means people like Robert and Caroline Rejdak, who were made MBEs for fostering 117 children of all ages over a period of 30 years. Not people who are simply doing their well-rewarded jobs. Sir Chris Hoy’s win benefited humanity as much or as little as someone else winning would have. People who work in sports, entertainment or business shouldn’t be awarded honours unless they do something that would get them an honour even if they weren’t famous.

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    24 Comments below   |  

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    1. douglas clark — on 31st December, 2008 at 12:08 pm  


      At least the system isn’t completely broke! Terry Pratchett got a knighthood!

    2. fug — on 31st December, 2008 at 1:01 pm  

      Robert Plant is a genius, part of one of the most legendary bands this country had ever produced. He could probably compose appropriate music for the idea of knighthood.

      Also riding bikes fast, thats a skill like good horsemanship.

      taking away the idea that the system is corrupt/political i dont see what your problem is. the coolest thing to do is to reject these awards, and cool people do not seek these awards.

      uncool people follow these awards.

    3. bananabrain — on 31st December, 2008 at 1:30 pm  

      gosh - i’d never have had fug down as a led zeppelin fan. don’t islamists ban all musical instruments apart from frame drums, though?

      personally, my congrats to newly-knighted sir terry pratchett, one of the finest writers this country has ever produced (and, incidentally, the most shoplifted author in the UK) and a man who has nearly single-handedly got fantasy back on the literature map. a great artist in every sense.



    4. Don — on 31st December, 2008 at 1:33 pm  

      Wow, I get to agree with both Douglas and Fug. Pratchett and Plant are eminently worthy of being honoured.

    5. Sofia — on 31st December, 2008 at 1:44 pm  

      erm…the mbe…meaning member of the british empire? what empire? is pretty meaningless anyway so it doesn’t matter who gets one.

    6. Phatman — on 31st December, 2008 at 1:59 pm  

      Wow, lefty derides honours system, dog bites man, bears shits in wood.

    7. Sofia — on 31st December, 2008 at 2:17 pm  

      lefty? hahahahha

    8. douglas clark — on 31st December, 2008 at 2:42 pm  


      Perhaps the MBE should be renamed the MOBEOBC - Member of the British Empire of Bird Colonies - as that’s all that seems to be left.

      See here:

      Anyway, the people all seem a tad disenfranchised to me, but there you go.

    9. douglas clark — on 31st December, 2008 at 2:44 pm  

      Rumbolds’ a lefty!


    10. bananabrain — on 31st December, 2008 at 2:52 pm  

      judging by some of his recent comments on economics, rumbold is a little bit “wet”, if not a lefty. hehehe.



    11. Rumbold — on 31st December, 2008 at 4:05 pm  


      I suppose authors deserve honours. Probably.


      Robert Plant also campaigned for the Awani League in the recent elections.


      I’m not a lefty you socialist.

    12. dave bones — on 31st December, 2008 at 6:13 pm  

      Kinghts riding bikes? That is a great idea! They should do some sort of ketamine death jousting on those oval tracks. That would be a great Olympic sport!

    13. fug — on 31st December, 2008 at 6:46 pm  

      ^^ its ok, i dont take political direction from him.
      must have felt sorry for them, they must have fed him the usual pack of lies. ‘We need your rock’

      When shirin ebadi was celebrating her peace prize, plant did a version of Lennon’s Imagine. When the jarring line ‘no religion’, he cleverly replaced it with ‘ no division’.

      Another reason why he is a don.

    14. Kulvinder — on 1st January, 2009 at 1:08 pm  

      Clearly all those people achieved more in their lives than Colin Blakemore.

    15. Leon — on 1st January, 2009 at 3:41 pm  

      I’m not sure what I think of these ‘honours’ given that it’s a Monarch giving them and the history there…

      That said Terry Pratchett certainly deserves far more praise and adulation than most writers from this country!

      Heh if PP was the Discworld, who would be which characters (both writers and regulars)?! :D

    16. Amrit — on 1st January, 2009 at 4:48 pm  

      I suspect this sort of thing happens in order to make to make the notion of ‘sport as career’ (i.e. being an Olympic athlete) more appealing to young ‘uns. I mean, everyone hears about how well footballers are paid and whatnot, but Olympic athletes seem to lead a much more rigidly devoted life of training - and they’re not even competing as often as footballers are. Plus, while they’ve STARTED to get used more in promotions, it’s still not on the level of footballers and the like.

      Who knows though? I wonder who advises the Queen on drawing up the honours list, eh…

    17. Rumbold — on 1st January, 2009 at 4:53 pm  

      I don’t think that Her Majesty gets much choice- a committee draws up the nominations and she puts her seal on it.

    18. KB Player — on 1st January, 2009 at 5:55 pm  

      When will there be an honour for Services to Blogging?

      Who should be nominated?

    19. Kits Coty — on 1st January, 2009 at 6:41 pm  

      It’s not the fault of the civil servants who assess the applications for awards that the media choose to focus on the celeb end of the honours system. And I expect not one in 1000 people would have known who Chris Hoy was before 2008 having years in relative obscurity (i.e. not known much beyond the bike world) before the Olympics.

      The honours system is useful as it helps set a tone for what a country admires and values when the rewards from wealth are all too obvious. IT does need reforming though.

    20. Sunny — on 1st January, 2009 at 7:31 pm  

      Good point Kits Coty.

      That said… I also luvezzzz Terry Pratchett.

    21. Rumbold — on 1st January, 2009 at 8:08 pm  

      Kits Coty:

      I agree that there is a use for an honours system. But why have any celebrities/sportspersons at all?

    22. Kits City — on 1st January, 2009 at 9:16 pm  

      I am in two minds about this one. Leaving aside any issues about their egos, I guess it depends upon how much value you think their activities add to society. The honours system is a hybrid creation in that although it recognises the altruistic things that people do (things I think that actually make society hold together), it also pays tribute to those who create wealth and bring honour to the country.

      Rebecca Addlington’s income prior to to the Olympics was a lottery grant of about £10,000 a year and her boyfriend could not afford to go to the Olympics to watch her. It is easy to forget that the Olympic sports people are ordinary people who have a talent. At the other extreme there is Beckham - Sir David has no doubt been considered (and vetoed).

      For me the argument for reform lies along the clarity of the type of honours given between the two - the whole thing needs simplifying and to become less hierachial.

    23. comrade — on 1st January, 2009 at 10:35 pm  

      Kinghts riding bikes? That is a great idea! They should do some sort of ketamine death jousting on those oval tracks. That would be a great Olympic sport!

      Can we include shoe throwing in 2012 Olympics

    24. Steve M — on 1st January, 2009 at 11:27 pm  

      Can we include shoe throwing in 2012 Olympics

      Think of the sponsorship possibilities - Nike, Adidas… Oh, you meant…

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