Saturday, June 16, 2007

Thanks, Your Majesty

“You're not in it again,” says my wife.
“So I see. Clearly a simple clerical error that will, no doubt, be rectified in six months time.”
We were discussing the Queen's Birthday Honours List and I must say, apart from this one omission, it seems to have been compiled with common sense this time. As Winston Churchill once remarked, it would be impossible to please everybody with such a list but at least, this time, we have been spared the proliferation of pop stars of dubious talent who appear simply because they had lunch with that other sometime banjo player, Tony Blair, at Chequers. Benefactors of the government are also mercifully absent.
I was fearful, in view of the rumours that were spreading around, that a well known kicker of the football was to be included, which would make his wife a Dame, an unusual appellation for someone resembling, both in shape and talent, an ironing board.
The Queen, does, of course, have little to do with the process and I suspect has often been appalled in the past at some of the honorees. But Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense and she hides her feelings well.
Noel Coward had to wait until he was in his dotage before being recognised for his services to the country so it's no wonder he bunked off to Jamaica, and many other deserving characters have inevitably been passed over – see the first few lines of this piece.
Now that the system is open to the public to vote, this does place an awful lot of trust in the good taste of the populace, something which has not been obvious in the past. Presumably the Honours Awards Committee take this into consideration when compiling their final list for presentation to the Prime Minister. Perhaps it is the fact that there is no genuine incumbent at No.10 at present that has made it so sensible.
But as someone once said “It's always nice to get an Honour. It irritates one's enemies so.”
And Denis Thatcher, while accepting his gracefully, did say that he'd have preferred a membership to Sunningdale Golf Club.



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