I expect a lot of you have figured out that the New Year’s Honours largely displeased me. As usual, for parties of whatever political persuasion, most of the people getting recognised and punted into the Lords are cronies of the government, and who can be expected to help things through the House.
You’ll always have a token smattering of people who actually deserve recognition. The 80 year old lollipop lady, the UK’s oldest charity worker, that sort of thing, but they don’t get elevated into positions of power, they get fobbed off with an MBE. If you want to really make the grade £10M in the Toffs’ coffers will do nicely.
Alternatively you could be knighted for being Lynton Crosby, an Aussie with a face I want to punch only slightly less than that smug bastard Iain Duncan Smith. Lynton had a failed attempt at Tory strategy in 2005, when the Tories got soundly thrashed in the General Election, got Boris Johnson elected twice as Mayor of London, then was the campaign manager that got CallMe Dave and his toadies elected in last year’s general election.
Let’s face it, as campaign manager he’s part policy wonk and part spin doctor. For this he got a knighthood for ‘political service.’ Why? Presumably he did his job, and got paid for it, and his elevation to the peerage is therefore quite clearly a bung. Worse still, The Spectator, a magazine with political views a bit to the right of Attila the Hun, reckons he deserves a hereditary peerage for being paid handsomely to be economical with the truth. Hard to see the reasoning here. On the upside, if CMD comes good on his promise to curb the power of the Lords, his accomplice in crime Lynton Crosby won’t be able to do him much good.
We also saw Barbara Windsor being made a dame. Those of you who are unfamiliar with her career should be told she’s a not particularly talented actress. She’s always thought of as the face of the Carry On films, though in fact she only appeared in 12 of them. For many years, as Peggy Mitchell she ran the mythical pub in Eastenders, where her biggest responsibilities were yelling ‘Gerrarda maa pab, you slayg!’ at Pat Butcher, and slapping around her thuggish sons Phil and Grant. She’d had a lot of experience with thugs, because she was married for many years to the known gangster Ronnie Knight, who was jailed in 1995.
Services to entertainment? You need to stretch the definition of entertainment to breaking point.