+++New Years Honours 2015: Paddy Ashdown becomes a Companion of Honour

We’re having our annual look down the New Years Honours list and we didn’t get very far before we saw a name we recognised:

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 22.51.46

 

For political and public service.

He joins fellow former Liberal Democrat Sir Menzies Campbell who became a Companion of Honour last year.

The Royals’ website has details of the Order, which was founded 97 years ago:

The Order of the Companions of Honour was instituted in 1917 by George V at the same time as the Order of the British Empire was founded, and it is sometimes regarded as a junior class of the Order of Merit.

The Order consists of the Sovereign and 65 ordinary members.

Foreigners are admitted only as honorary members and certain additional members are appointed by statute in commemoration of special occasions.

The Order is conferred on men and women for recognised services of national importance.

Prime Ministers of Commonwealth countries may also make nominations, and the Order includes a number of Commonwealth figures.

Recipients include painter Lucian Freud, Professor Stephen Hawking, naturalist Sir David Attenborough, painter David Hockney, historian Dr Eric Hobsbawm, politicians Sir John Major and Lord Patten of Barnes, General John de Chastelain, dramatist Harold Pinter, conductor Sir Charles Mackerras, the Reverend Chad Varah, and scientist Professor Anthony Pawson.

Congratulations, Paddy.

We will now go and have a look for other Liberal Democrats on the list. If you see any, please let us know.

Cllr Wendy Taylor, from Newcastle receives an MBE.

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20 Comments

  • Cllr Erica Kemp Lord Mayor of Liverpool has been appointed. CBE. Well deserved.

  • Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Erica Kemp got a CBE (matching her husband Cllr Richard Kemp who got one in 2011). Tweeted a link to the Liverpool Echo story here- http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/lord-mayor-liverpool-first-receive-8363944

  • Peter TRUESDALE
    Lately Councillor, Lambeth Council. For
    public and political services

  • Tsar Nicolas 31st Dec '14 - 5:42am

    Why does everyone get so excited when people who are, on the whole, rich and famous, get made more famous (and therefore, get their earning ability increased, so they can get richer)?

  • Tsar Nicolas 31st Dec ’14 – 5:42am
    “Why does everyone get so excited when …..”

    Search me. I have never nderstood why adults get excited about being made the “member” of an empire that ceased to exist before I was born (and I am now retired).
    As a five year old at infants school I noticed that some of the other kids swooned at the thought of being “milk monitor” for the week.

  • “The Order consists of the Sovereign and 65 ordinary members.

    Foreigners are admitted only as honorary members … ..”

    UKIP are no doubt delighted that the Companions are keeping out those damned foreigners.
    We wouldn’t want the sovereign to have to mix with people from places like Greece, would we?

  • Tsar Nicolas 31st Dec '14 - 8:07am

    JohnTilley 31st Dec ’14 – 6:23am

    “The Order consists of the Sovereign and 65 ordinary members.

    Foreigners are admitted only as honorary members … ..”

    One foreigner we can be sure (on grounds of ideological non-conformity) will never be considered for an honour of any description is film director Oliver Stone, who has just posted this on his Facebook page.

    JohnTilley 31st Dec ’14 – 6:23am

    “The Order consists of the Sovereign and 65 ordinary members.

    Foreigners are admitted only as honorary members … ..”

  • Tsar Nicolas 31st Dec '14 - 8:08am

    Correction to above post – here is the link.

    https://www.facebook.com/TheOliverStone/posts/901387646552202

  • peter tyzack 31st Dec '14 - 8:55am

    ‘why does everyone get excited’? … not sure ‘excited’ is the word exactly, but sometimes it is clear they are not going to give you anything else for your years of service. I was awarded the honorary title of Alderman, to replace the mere ‘Mr’ I used to be, for my 20yrs as a councillor. I accepted it graciously.

  • Dan Falchikov is right.
    On reflection I would have been better off as mllk monitor for the week.

    I fully recommend Dan’s blog for today entitled — “Only pizzas are delivered”

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 31st Dec '14 - 4:08pm

    I’m not into titles given to people who are recognised already – by their works of one sort or another. It does make me smile, however, when I’m called Sir by those I greet – as I approve of no honours apart from those bestowed by other citizens – on a minute by minute basis, which keeps us all on our toes – to do the best we can for our fellows.

  • JohnTilley

    “have never nderstood why adults get excited about being made the “member” of an empire that ceased to exist before I was born”

    No one is being made a member of something that has ceased to exist, an MBE is a member ship of “Member of the Order of the British Empire.”

    You cannot be made a member of something that has ceased to exist but you can be made a member of something named referencing something that does not exist.

    No that any of that takes away from the bizarreness having some of the most common Honours related to the British Empire.

  • Psi 2nd Jan ’15 – 3:45pm
    I agree with you about — “the bizarreness having some of the most common Honours related to the British Empire.”

    Benjamin Zephaniah once wrote an article explaining why he had refused such an honour.
    I wish I could give you a link to it.

  • I have found the Benjamin Zephaniah article link —

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/nov/27/poetry.monarchy

    Well worth a read even after eleven years.

    Here is a sample —
    “.,.I woke up on the morning of November 13 wondering how the government could be overthrown and what could replace it, and then I noticed a letter from the prime minister’s office. It said: “The prime minister has asked me to inform you, in strict confidence, that he has in mind, on the occasion of the forthcoming list of New Year’s honours to submit your name to the Queen with a recommendation that Her Majesty may be graciously pleased to approve that you be appointed an officer of the Order of the British Empire.”
    Me? I thought, OBE me? Up yours, I thought. I get angry when I hear that word “empire”; it reminds me of slavery, it reminds of thousands of years of brutality, it reminds me of how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised. It is because of this concept of empire that my British education led me to believe that the history of black people started with slavery and that we were born slaves, and should therefore be grateful that we were given freedom by our caring white masters. It is because of this idea of empire that black people like myself don’t even know our true names or our true historical culture. I am not one of those who are obsessed with their roots, and I’m certainly not suffering from a crisis of identity; my obsession is about the future and the political rights of all people. Benjamin Zephaniah OBE – no way Mr Blair, no way Mrs Queen. I am profoundly anti-empire.”

  • It would be an inexpressible satisfaction to me to witness the final abolition of the lordships, gongs, and other honours; but I fear we are in for another half century of Baron Nicholas de Clegg of Sheffield, KG, CH, PC, etc.

  • JohnTilley

    Very odd to find us agreeing on something. The continued use of the “Order of the British Empire” gongs still being used is a mystery to me. I would have expected it to have been gradually slipped away and replaced with something else by a marginalist minister.

    (or less likely to have been replaced in a big public announcement, which would then: unwind; be back tracked on; eventually result in its abolition after embarrassing the person who originally tried to abolish it who would have been someone who considered themselves a “radical”).

    David-1

    Most countries have gongs of one form or another, the best thing would be to get rid of the worst offenders (ones that place people in the legislator on the basis of friendships and money, or ones that don’t seem to fit in the modern world and a reasonable minority of potential recipients find uncomfortable).

  • David-1

    You also missed “the Right Honourable” prefix

  • Richard Underhill 3rd Apr '16 - 9:51am

    Heroes have heroes.
    Stephen Hawking refers to Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar in a Brief History of Time.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subrahmanyan_Chandrasekhar

  • Richard Underhill 3rd Apr '16 - 10:08am

    JohnTilley 31st Dec ’14 – 6:23am
    “The Order consists of the Sovereign and 65 ordinary members. Foreigners are admitted only as honorary members … ..” UKIP are no doubt delighted that the Companions are keeping out those damned foreigners. We wouldn’t want the sovereign to have to mix with people from places like Greece, would we?”
    Satirical?
    She is known to be a widely travelled supporter of the Commonwealth.
    Commonwealth leaders from India, Jamaica, Australia and others have stated that their interest is that the UK should Remain in the European Union.

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