Saturday, December 30, 2006

She's missed my name off the list - again

I'm not on the New Years Honours list - again.

Surely the Queen can't be so remiss as to keep ignoring me all of these years ?

To those who are not subjects of Her Majesty, we have this little ritual twice a year where the Queen announces a list of her subjects who are to receive a medal from her, the New Years Eve list is one, and her birthday list (one of her birthdays anyway, she has two each year, its why she is so old) is the other.

There are various levels of awards that you can get and no-one is really sure what the hierachy is, its fairly certain though that an OBE (pictured) is the starter point of Her Maj's appreciation and a Knighthood (you get to call yourself "Sir") is the pinnacle, or maybe becoming a Lord is better, who knows ?

So twice a year we get the list announced and the press crawl all over it to pick out the best bits and the best bits are always show business celebrities and a handful of "ordinary people".

The whole idea of public honouring is of course that the person nominated has made some significant contribution to public service, preferably at some cost to themselves and no cost to the public, so for instance a person who has dedicated all of their spare time to running a local youth club for the last 30 years would be a suitable candidate for a medal, a token of appreciation from their community.

School crossing ladies are alwasy a favourite inthe press and without fail there is always one of them on there, a "lollipop lady gets a gong" is a headline that is dusted down every six months without fail.

But of course like all things royal the Queen has fekkall to do with the system, the nominees come from local and central government committees, which is fine for the lollipop ladies and scoutmasters who can be nominated by their local community, but like all things involving prestige and reward the process gets hijacked by those who wish to fawn and be seen being "cool" or scoring kudos amongst voters by nominating popular culture figures, and in no genre is this more visible than show business.

If you appear on TV at any point in yor life then you stand a good chance of getting a medal for "services to TV" despite the fact that you may be crap at your job, your TV series may have been dropped by the broadcasters with the last six episodes still unshown, it doesn't matter, you were on TV, you get an OBE, its the law.

So this year, like all other years we get the celebrity medals.

Rod Stewart for one.

Now I used to be a big Rod Stewart fan, but as stated previously, only until 1977 when he sold out and moved to Los Angeles to avoid the punk revolution in this country and immerse himself in LA Disco crap, he's lived there ever since, paid his income tax to the US Government ever since and produced shite music ever since, especially int he last five years.

So he gets a CBE for "services to music" - I'm a former fan, I listen to his music, don't make me fuckin laugh with "services to music", the only thing he's serviced for the last thirty years is his several wives.

The Queens grand daughter Zara Phillips also gets a medal, an MBE, for her sporting achievments, and Ian Woosnam, golfer, does too - both have been successful this year in their chosen sports but every year I ponder on the fact that they are substantially financially rewarded for doing something that they would do for free and the whole point of "doing sports" professionally is to win - its a sad indictment on British sports that our competitors always get an honour from the Queen on their first competition win, then we never hear from them again.

Another genre of prime candidates for the governments honours list (we won't call it the Queens honours list any more, she hasn't a fookin clue who these people are), are those who's jobs involve public service - civil servants have long been a staple of all honours lists, again, people who are adequately rewarded for just doing their job, then more than adequately rewarded with a final salary pension, then take the piss with an honour too - awarded to them by other civil servants who in turn expect theirs when they retire, its a self perpetuating system.

So John Scarlett gets a Knighthood, he is now Sir John Scarlett.

Who is he ?

Good question, he is the head of MI6, the British secret service, personally I think its fantastic that we have a Captain Scarlett as head of MI6, its just like those Gerry Anderson puppet programmes all over again - prsumably now that everyone knows who he is and what he looks like he'll have to give up the secret service job, I bet he's kicking himself now for accepting the honour.

An 80 year old shoeshine boy for Virgin Atlantic gets an honour (what the fook) which seems strange until you understand that he works in the VIP lounge at Heathrow cleaning the shoes of some of those civil service VIP's who decide who get the honours on the hounors list - you're starting to see how it works now aren't you - "sorry old chap I haven't got any change to tip you with this morning, will an OBE do ?"

And finally Bernard Mathews, the portly Norfolk turkey farmer, who is already a CBE, becomes a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, which sounds like a made up award to me, for services to the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme for young people (who is the Duke of Edinburgh ? Its the Queen's husband of course, see how it works now ?) - all of which sounds fine until you remember that his work with the DofE award scheme is probably offset somewhat by his work in bringing the concept of the "turkey twistler" to childrens school meals. The idea that after you've slaughtered a turkey and sliced off all of the useable meat, you should then mince all the bad stuff thats left, including the brains, intestines, skin, everything, mince it all up into a mush and then mould it into shapes that will appeal to children, their parents probably won't buy the crap so sell it to local authorities for school meal use - services to young people my arse.

Yes, I'm bitter again, I've been overlooked again, bas'tads.


Anonymous said...

Brilliantly put!
Funny yet so true.

Just goes to show what a poitless, farsical game the whole Queen's award really is!


Gary said...

Its pointless and farcical until the point at which I get an award from HMQ - then it will be the most important thing in the world.

mal said...

it has approached the level of silly. Rod Stewart? gimmme a break! I am thinking the wide distribution has made being on the list meaningless

Gary said...

I once heard an eminent professor of royal things (yes, we have them) say something that struck a chord - he was being asked about a certain celebrity who had suprisingly never been honoured, his answer was that he probably had but had turned it down - you are asked before an award whether you will accept it or not to save embarassment at the Palace when you don't turn up - the professor of royal things then mentioned lots of celebs who must have refused by virtue of their not already being a "sir".

Its a much ridiculed system.

Carolyn said...

I did hear some comedian in the eighties with the line, "I'd love an OBE and a peerage. Just so I could put Earlobe after my name."