Another New Year done with and another chance for me to take The Boss to Buck House has passed me by again.
Not that I realistically stand much chance of receiving a mention in the New Year’s Honours List, unless pastry consumption or services to profane language suddenly become recognised as a valuable public service. The honours system gets a rum deal in my opinion because, with the exception of perhaps Bruce Forsyth, any recipient of the gong usually gets knocked in some quarters of our fair minded society.
How often do we hear the cries, ‘He’s been knighted for doing his job’ or ‘I cannot believe they are 25 and they have got an MBE’? Those in the firing line may consider these brickbats as sour grapes from people who will never get experience the feel of metal on their shoulders but there are is a sizeable minority people who are firmly opposed to a system they regard as elitist and divisive.
It seems that some of those ‘lucky’ enough to be considered fro recognition by Her Maj don’t like the idea of being honoured. It has been reported that Danny Boyle, the nation’s favourite film director and the man behind the Olympic ceremony that made the world British for a couple of hours, turned down a knighthood and the grounds that he doesn’t believe he is better than anyone else.
While Ken Livingstone – a man who makes me shiver whenever his smug features appear on my television – has won my grudging respect because he too turned down a gong, because he doesn’t believe politicians should be awarded for their work.
Perhaps the most high profile award went to Eccleston pedaler Bradley Wiggins who was made a knight of a realm after a 2012 to remember when he became the first Brit to win the Tour de France before he picked up his fourth Olympic gold. There is no doubt that, if you are going to hand out such gongs for achievement in life, then Wiggo deserves it. But my problem is that he says he has “difficulty” coming top terms with being knighted and has been reported as saying that he would only use his title in a “comedy” way. I think he protests too much. If he really felt that uncomfortable with his new found lofty status then surely he would have followed the lead of Boyle and Red Ken and politely told the Queen ‘thanks but no thanks’?
Perhaps he thinks being known as Sir Bradley would jar with his image as a free thinking, super talented sportsman with a penchant for Fred Perry clobber and guitar music? What we do know is that many will now refer to the greatest British sportsman of the 21st Century so far as Sir Bradley, whether he likes it or not. At least it more than I will get.