Dear Sir,

The New Years Honours are with us again (Daily B 31st Dec). Essentially there are 3 types of honoured - show biz, charity and the establishment.
This year in category 1 we had Majorca's new Knight Doug Ellis of Aston Villa fame and equally well known stars of screen (Helena Bonham Carter) and TV (Ronnie Corbett).

Together with genuine do gooders, long serving lollypop ladies and the like they make up just a fraction of the 1000 honoured.
Like an iceberg that only shows its top 10% it is what is “hidden” beneath the surface that counts as the passengers of the Titanic were to discover.
90 % of the list is made up from the establishment Judges, MPs, Armed Force Officers, Police Superintendents, Senior Civil Servants, top Bankers, Chairmen of FTSE companies, Archbishops etc.

They all receive honours as a matter of course – in some respect just for doing what they have been paid for. Even for the Queen's birthday honours list the nominees are not selected by the monarch but yet another board/committee drawn from the same Establishment that have all been honoured themselves.

The honours system forms the foundation for our Monarchy and Aristocracy. At any one time the top 50'000 movers and shakers in the UK have received honours and are highly unlikely to want to relinquish their gongs as likely as Turkeys voting for Christmas.

Even hardened Trade Union Shop Stewards like Gorbals Mick took the Queen's Shilling to become Baron Martin as did Lord John Prescott forsaking his rebid anti-monarchism for ermine.

Labour PM Tony Blair's People's Peers was to rectify everything but was a joke. Among the first of his Lords was John Browne (Kings School, Ely & St. Johns, Cambridge) then CEO of BP with a People's Pay of £5.7 million.

It is however terrific value for money getting people to give weeks of their time in charity work. Rich people contributing millions in hope of 3 letters behind their name or even better 3 in front. And how about all the medals?

Our Royal Family gives them to some ex-King of Macedonia then later he gives one back to Prince Charles so he gets to wear so many he resembles a white Idi Amin or Mohammed Gaddafi. But this pageantry does attract more tourists to the UK than any other European Royal Family.

The system is either super clever or super toxic depending on your politics.
Mike Lillico

Playa de Palma

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