Liberal Democrats in the New Year Honours list

While we have been preparing our own Liberal Democrat Stars of 2013 (you can still submit your nominations), the Government has published its own list of recipients of New Year Honours list. For the first time ever, surprisingly since women make up more than half the population, they make up a slight majority of this list. It really might be time, though, for them to change the outdated way they list women. Married women are listed as their first names, then Mrs surname. Others have the designation Ms.  This is not the case for men, who are simply listed by name. Time to get with the 21st century, I think. Given that the Cabinet Office release the list, and our Nick is in charge there, this is a very quick change he could make.

Here are the Liberal Democrat names we have spotted so far:

Candy Piercy, a name synonymous to most Liberal Democrats with fantastic, relevant training. Candy receives the MBE for “voluntary political service.” That covers a whole host of campaigning and training both in this country and abroad. If you think of the seeds she has planted in people, the skills she has developed, the campaigners she has shaped in fledgling democracies, in countries from Eastern Europe to the Seychelles, as well as at home, you just start to understand the difference she has made.

Cllr Robert Brown from Rutherglen. Robert served in the Scottish Parliament as MSP for Glasgow from 1999-2011, having spent the previous 15 years as a Councillor. He was a Minister for Education during the second term of the Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition government. As justice spokesman, he fought valiantly against an increasingly illiberal SNP administration. He returned to local government in 2012, being elected as Councillor for Rutherglen on South Lanarkshire Council. A by-election took place there earlier this year and when I did some telephone canvassing, so many people said that they were voting for us because either Robert had helped them or someone they knew. He gets a CBE.

Paisley is not the most likely place to have a solid Liberal Democrat base but for 25 years now, Eileen McCartin has been a remarkable, hard working councillor. I went to a dinner earlier this year where we celebrated her service to her community over quarter of a century. She’s also Willie Rennie’s political mum. He studied in Paisley and stood in a council by-election in a ward that on paper we had no chance of winning in 1989. He ended up coming really close. She gets an MBE.

Willie Rennie said of her:

I have known Eileen since I joined the party in the 1980s in Paisley. Over the years I have seen first-hand how she has been a powerful advocate for the Liberal Democrats through good times and bad. From councillor to parliamentary candidate, she had held the torch high.

In 1961, Ruth Shaw was elected as the first Liberal on Sutton Council. She was still there in 1986 when the party took over the administration of the Council, which they’ve held ever since. She is rewarded for her service with an OBE. In the Sutton Guardian, she says:

I didn’t see this coming at all. I was absolutely astonished and obviously very pleased. To get this recognition is wonderful although I don’t even feel like I’ve done all that munch – although I must have been doing something right.

Basildon Councillor Geoff Williams, who has served continuously since 1986, receives an MBE for services to local government.

Congratulations to all of these. The list is 125 pages long. There must be people we have missed, so please let us know and we’ll update this post throughout the day.

Update 1: on the women’s title issue, you might find this post from Cllr Karen Chilvers interesting. She explains why she’s asked her council to stop referring to her as Cllr Ms Chilvers.

* Caron Lindsay is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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11 Comments

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 31st Dec '13 - 9:26am

    Thanks, Jonathan.

  • R Uduwerage-Perera 31st Dec '13 - 10:24am

    Candy Piercy who is probably known across the Party is a well deserved recipient of a bauble given the immensely positive influence that she has had, and continues to have on changing the culture of the Party to be more equitable and fair in action and not merely in rhetoric.

  • Graham Martin-Royle 31st Dec '13 - 11:51am

    “Time to get with the 21st century, I think.”

    And get rid of these outdated awards.

  • Jayne Mansfield 31st Dec '13 - 12:02pm

    I agree with Graham Martin-Royle.

    I believe that the honours system is totally discredited. Why should people who have have themselves rich get an honour? Why should party donors get an honour? With the exception of a few like Doreen Lawrence, Helen Newlove and those who are honoured (usually with the lowest form of honour) for a lifetimes dedication to un-paid charitable work), the sort of recipients who receive them has made the honours system a laughing stock.

  • I agree with both Graham Martin-Royle & Jayne Mansfield.

    I have no problem with people like the Mizzens being honoured because they have worked endlessly with the young since the death of their son.

    Awards should be for ‘ordinary’ people who have given outstanding service to their neighbourhood or charities.

    Political & celebrity awards don’t impress me in the slightest.

  • nvelope2003 1st Jan '14 - 12:27pm

    I believe that the Irish Republic has no honours system but people get things like honorary degrees and such like so they can call themselves Doctor. The honours list is a harmless and inexpensive way of rewarding people who have done something for society. Apart from a few celebrities few of us have ever heard of most of the recipients as they are just ordinary people. Please don’t be so mean minded.

  • Cllr Martin Hunt 1st Jan '14 - 2:00pm

    I think we should doaway with honours ….. but not until I get mine!

    Seriously on the other topic mentioned all councillors on Colchester BC are referred to as Cllr followed by their surname. In cases where there are councillors of the same name the Christian name is also used.

  • peter tyzack 1st Jan '14 - 2:17pm

    yes, Nick should look at some of the details, as you suggest.. and whilst at it he might look at the quaint rule that says an award will only be considered if you are still in post, doing whatever the award is for. Having spent 24yrs as a councillor, also representing the region at various levels including to EU(whether or not former colleagues would wish to nominate me) I am not eligible for nomination as I lost the election. All they can give me is ‘Alderman’, which is nice but . .

  • Jayne Mansfield 1st Jan '14 - 2:37pm

    @ Colin Rosenstiel

    Do we still have an Empire?

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