Friday, December 31, 2010

Just for a riband to stick in his coat...

As time passes, which is what it usually does, my instinct grows stronger and surer that I will never be offered a royally sanctioned honour. I trust that, in the event of a catastrophic administrative error (“...for services to writing about fey Swedish indie bands and vaguely competent Japanese restaurants”) I would have the presence of mind to refuse such a bauble; although, every New Year’s Eve I find news of one or two people whose acknowledgment by the shadowy decision processes seems entirely right and just, and I can’t begrudge them their fleeting date with Her  Maj, or whoever happens to be doing the pinning. This time round it’s the thoroughly splendid Burt Kwouk, OBE. Bloody well done, sir.

What I can’t be doing with is the sort of response that Dame Harriet Walter gave: “I have reservations about some parts of the honours system. I fear it’s not very fair and I think there are lots of people not recognised who should be,” she said, before claiming that she accepted her promotion because it would allow her to speak up in defence of theatre. It’s beyond me why she feels a daft title gives her this right more than, say, the fact that she once simulated acrobatic rudeness with Bill Nighy. If you turn an honour down, it’s up to you whether you make the fact public; if you accept the gong, you implicitly accept the whole idiocy that goes with it. The only exception is people who accept peerages, who really do have the opportunity to boot down the edifices from the inside. Not that many take it, mind you.

Anyway, I’ve just received a text message from some poncy sunglasses shop, advising me of an “Aggressive new year sale”, so I’m rather concerned that 2011 will arrive wielding a sock full of snooker balls. I trust that all my lovely readers have a less traumatic transition to the new twelvemonth, even those of you who haven’t been awarded anything. And to play you out, here’s something from someone else who’ll be ambling to the palace in the next few months:


Rog said...

Richard Thompson! Yay!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

'Aggressive new year sale?' That sounds way to scary to respond to.

Re the honours system, it is a joke, though I do not begrudge Harriet Walter hers.

However I do think the likes of Lord Archer should be stripped of his. Likewise any other peer publicly shamed by his/her behaviour. I also completely disagree with people receiving one who have done nothing to merit it.

Tim F said...

Indeed, Rog. I’d always had him marked down as a refusenik, though.

I don’t begrudge Dame Harriet either, PL, I just think she’s trying to have her anachronistic quasi-imperialist cake and eat it.