Tag Archives: honours

The political honours system is sick, possibly fatally

BEM

I lost my job following the General Election of May 2015 after nearly 35 years of working in and around politics.  MPs are not generally held in high esteem but in my experience, they are overwhelmingly decently motivated.

An exception is the blind spot of political parties, including on occasion the Lib Dems, for the political honours system.

Lynton Crosby, said to have been paid £500,000 for his work on behalf of the Tories and with no long term commitment to the UK was the outrage six months ago.  Now we have David Cameron’s resignation list.  And so it goes on. The other parties condemn but then go on to do the same.

Way down the honours list you find British Empire Medals. BEMs are given to individuals for dedication and hard work in their communities, typically for unpaid voluntary work, sometimes over decades. Not glamorous or high profile and certainly not profitable.  Recently a 99 year old received a BEM for 50 years of service to her community.  Another elderly recipient was an Auschwitz survivor who volunteers with the Holocaust Memorial Trust. Ordinary people giving their time altruistically and sometimes extraordinarily, for no financial reward.

Posted in Op-eds | 9 Comments

A tale of two Lib Dem knights

Twice in the last 8 days a former Liberal Democrat Cabinet Minister has headed to the Palace to kneel before Prince Charles to formally receive their knighthood.

Last week it was the turn of Sir Danny Alexander, who said:

It was a great honour and a wonderful ceremony and it’s all rather humbling.

It was something I didn’t expect but it is a real honour to have the recognition for the work I did in the coalition government – turning the economy around and getting the country on the right track.

Today, Sir Vince Cable had his big day. The Yorkshire Post has the story:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

Sir Simon Hughes knighted by the Queen

Sir Simon Hughes’ knighthood is official! Yesterday he went to Buckingham Palace to receive his insignia from the Queen.

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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 …

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Arise, Sir Malcolm*

Gary Barlow and Kate Winslet are very lucky. Not only did they get to meet the Queen today as they received their respective CBE and OBE medals at Buckingham Palace, but they were in the same batch, if that’s the right word, as our very own Sir Malcolm Bruce.

It dawns on me that Barlow and Bruce are quite close to each other in the alphabet so they may even have been sitting near each other.

Sir Malcolm and Lady Bruce enjoyed a celebratory lunch with family and

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

Lib Dems should have had no part in ‘Knights of the Long Knives’ reshuffle honours

Nick Harvey’s had a tough week. On Tuesday his ministerial career was brought to an abrupt and surprising halt when Nick Clegg told him he was ‘trading’ his post of armed forces minister for a Lib Dem foothold in another department.

The North Devon MP has been a victim of his own success. So shrewdly has he overseen the Trident nuclear weapons review — the crunch defence decision which divides Lib Dems and Tories — that it is highly likely to produce more effective, better value deterrent options, with a final decision not needed until 2016, after the next …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 21 Comments
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