Gransnet forums



(39 Posts)
annsixty Wed 31-Dec-14 09:06:39

AIBU to think that in the 21st Century the Honours list is an anachronism.

absent Wed 31-Dec-14 09:15:09


Gagagran Wed 31-Dec-14 09:18:04

No you are not BU annsixty. I find it ridiculous that people are given these awards simply for doing their job. They get paid for that. It also seems to be expected that doing something for a long time results in an award and what has "British Empire" got to do with it - we haven't got one!

The only awards I would like to see are for bravery.

Ariadne Wed 31-Dec-14 09:30:33

Probably not being unreasonable - I would have felt the same until a few years ago when, out of the blue, DH was given an award, for "services to young people". He is the most modest of men, and as I watched his lovely reaction to the letter, all my republican tendencies flew out of the window. (Temporarily!)

I'm just telling you this, which was an personal and emotional response to seeing his work (above and beyond the actual job) having recognition. I could easily quantify awards given to some, but that is another story.

ninathenana Wed 31-Dec-14 10:11:23

Ariadne well done to your DH and all the other Joe Bloggs who have deservedly won awards for going "above and beyond" but I don't agree with actors etc. receiving awards.

Mishap Wed 31-Dec-14 10:15:42

I think it should be the Joe Bloggs of this world who get the awards; definitely not politicians (which seems to happen when they retire as a matter of course) or "celebs" (unless they have done something exceptional outside of their main role).

I have just written a recommendation for someone I know to get an award and he really does deserve to have his work recognised.

Teetime Wed 31-Dec-14 10:30:17

Love what the OBE is called in this house!

vampirequeen Wed 31-Dec-14 10:32:25

I don't see why actors should get them just for doing their job and getting well paid for it. What has Joan Collins ever done to deserve an award?

I can understand Esther Rantzen because of her work with Childline but there must be plenty of other people who are less famous who have worked just as hard.

My dad got an MBE and I was horrified at the ceremony to see how many knighthoods went to men who had put in their years in the upper echelons of the civil service so were collecting their perks.

The truly important people were much further down the pecking order. People who had given their time for years to charities and youth groups. People who had done things to make their communities better/safer places. In other words people who had done something over and above what was expected of them.

What disgusted me the most though was the last recipient. He was a serving soldier who was being awarded a medal for bravery. Although they couldn't tell us much we were told that he was responsible for saving the lives of several of his colleagues at great risk to himself. This was the man who should have collected his award first not last.

merlotgran Wed 31-Dec-14 10:37:04

My grandfather was a Joe Bloggs who was awarded the BEM. We had an empire in those days!

I never did find out exactly what he got it for but he was in the Merchant Navy during the war so it was probably something to do with that. It was presented by some local dignitary but a framed letter from the Queen hung over the mantlepiece.

When he died, there was a bit of family squabbling over who should inherit it but it went to my cousin which was exactly right as it was his mother who moved in to care for both grandparents until they died.

Lona Wed 31-Dec-14 10:40:57

No, you're not being unreasonable, it's a disgusting system.
Esther Rantzen I can understand, sort of, but Joan Collins? Never!

Jane10 Wed 31-Dec-14 10:46:33

Absolutely JOAN COLLINS??? famous for what? services to the make up industry??

sunseeker Wed 31-Dec-14 11:14:31

I agree these awards should go to people who make a difference in their local community.

Why senior civil servants get them just for doing their job for a number of years I have never understood. I also feel the same about entertainers being honoured merely because they have lasted a long time.

I think the whole process has become devalued because of the awards given to those who haven't really earned them.

GillT57 Wed 31-Dec-14 11:47:51

Joan Collins received hers for services to charity, but for heavens sake, how hard can it be to lend your famed name to a charity of your choice and then attend a few dinners? Compare this to the thousands of people beavering away for nothing at kids clubs, soup kitchens or whatever, and we have to conclude that the entire system, as it exists, is an anachronism. Just to make it even more insulting, the tabloid press publish patronising articles about lollipop ladies getting their CBE. The final straw as far as I am concerned is when that woman, Fiona what's-her-name, who was removed from the child abuse enquiry due to her friendship with Leon Britten; she has got recognition for her sterling work done as Lord Mayor of London, yet another plum position! Congratulations to those who received their honours for work in their community, or for achievements in areas that benefit society as a whole, but I for one, will not be doffing my cap to senior civil servants who get their award for doing what they are paid for.

KatyK Wed 31-Dec-14 11:54:20

We were watching the news this morning when they were reading out the honours. DH said to me 'It doesn't take much these days to get an honour does it?' I agree.

Greyduster Wed 31-Dec-14 12:14:48

My DH was awarded a BEM whilst in the military, for his work in Northern Ireland. He had a private award ceremony in the Military Secretary's office with myself and our son, who was then 11 and quite overawed by the whole thing, and DH's best friend who was working in London at the time and was very kindly invited. They gave us a nice buffet lunch to boot! If he had been one rank higher at the time he was recommended for it, he would have got an MBE, and a bit later they did away with the BEM, but have just brought it back. He is very proud of it, but more so of the letter signed by the Queen. So, even though, if I'm honest, I think honours do seem to be dished out willy nilly, it would be quite hypocritical of me to say so!

Riverwalk Wed 31-Dec-14 12:43:51

Gill lollipop ladies rarely get such an exalted award as a CBE! More likely the humbler MBE.

As for Joan Collins - I found her damehood the most surprising honour - have always thought of her as a little 'tacky' - hardly an acclaimed actress.

vampirequeen Wed 31-Dec-14 12:58:15

Greyduster, your DH obviously did something to earn his reward just like the young soldier who got his medal when my dad got his MBE.

My dad was proud to get his MBE but was horrified that the soldier who was left until last.

Greyduster Wed 31-Dec-14 13:11:51

If that was the case then it does seem that he deserved to be further up the pecking order, but I don't know how the pecking order works on these occasions. I think it may have something to do with civilian divisions and military divisions, but perhaps someone on here knows more about it. At that time, in the normal course if events, a BEM would not merit a visit to the Palace; only MBEs upwards.

POGS Wed 31-Dec-14 13:41:32


Was the soldier receiving an MBE like your father?

If as you say he was getting a medal for 'saving lives' I wonder if there is a protocol that meant he was last or even receiving another form of medal.

I think there is a place for 'awards' which do take various forms let's not forget. However I do think they are well past their sell by date when given to certain categories such as celebrity, sportsmen/women etc. Having said that 'some of them' perhaps do work that we don't know about and totally deserve to be included with Joe Blogs it could be quite wrong to deny them the opportunity just because of their celebrity status.

It's a case of the system destroying itself and the good intentions behind it by being so flippant in it's decision making and the lack of common sense as to why/who deserves to be awarded .

Ariadne Wed 31-Dec-14 13:49:45

teetime my DH has an OBE.

durhamjen Wed 31-Dec-14 14:08:18

I think this is the worst honour bestowed this year.

Andrew Lansley getting a humanitarian award?
I know it's not the same, but it was in the gift of the PM, and the British nominee has always had the job before.

My father-in-law was given an OBE by the Duke of Northumberland in Alnwick Castle, for his charity work.

harrigran Wed 31-Dec-14 14:19:44

DH has an OBE, some are more deserved than others.

annsixty Wed 31-Dec-14 15:06:51

Ok, I was the OP and I think we agree that some Honours are more deserved than others but I stick to my (personal) opinion that the List is past it's sell by date.

vampirequeen Wed 31-Dec-14 18:21:01

If my memory serves me correctly it was the Military Medal although I might be wrong.

The honours are given out in an hierarchical order with the highest i.e. the knighthood first followed by the others in descending order. As far as I'm concerned the act of bravery should have been awarded first followed by people who had done something over and above their jobs. A man being given a knighthood just because he's been a civil servant for 20 years shouldn't take priority.

Ariadne Wed 31-Dec-14 18:29:42

And I agree with you there, Vq. But, as harrigran says, some honours are truly deserved.