In Saturday's Viewpoint Ray Fleming points out the illogicality of four “sacked” minor ministers being consoled/bribed with knighthoods. As he says all of them were probably not up to their jobs and asks why they were given this high honour for failure. He blames it on PM Cameron's weakness. I disagree, for me he used the system as intended.

Mr Fleming may have missed the Local Comment of Gerry Mulligan a day earlier – Curtailment of the Lesser Royals? Although Mr Mulligan appears in favour of the UK honours his article underlines its corrupt and arbitrary nature shown just this week with the latest payoff to Cameron's now ex colleagues. He notes the different treatment shown by the Queen towards the husband of Princess Margaret (Earldom) as opposed to the husband of Princess Ann (zilch). The issue of our likely next King has his sons Princes, his brother Andrew's daughters are likewise Princesses but Prince Edward only has a Lady and a Viscount while Princess Ann's have nothing.

What the Lord giveth the Lord taketh away also applies to the honours system as Fred Goodwin and Sarah Ferguson could attest. His claim that the Queen has always been astute and totally aware of public opinion might not have had universal agreement at the time of the death of Lady Di. Prior to her demotion she had a plethora of titles heaped on her - Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Chester and Baroness of Renfrew rather like the multitude of Military Medals her ex displays without having fired a shot in conflict.

For some reason being the husband of our own Iron Lady was sufficient to became a very rare hereditary peer such that his son Mark (famed for getting lost in the Sahara and financing a failed Coup d'état further south in Equatorial Guinea – 3 million Rand fine plus 4 years jail suspended) has become the Honourable Sir Mark Thatcher Baronet.

As Gerry Mulligan comments the whole system of titles is confusing. Confusing is not the word I would use! Mike Lillico
Playa de Palma

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