Knight of the 'Net

Paul Robinson paul at
Sat Jan 3 00:08:39 GMT 2004

Frank Shute wrote:

>Well, doesn't accepting an honour also curry favour with the media?
Depends. If you're somebody like Mick Jagger or Paul McCartney and spent 
a lot of time in your youth talking about how crap the establishment is, 
you're likely to come under a bit of heat. The type of celebrity that 
gets honoured is the type the modern media like to fawn over anyway. 
When was the last time you saw a genuinely bad piece in a newspaper 
about Sir Cliff Richards?

>Aswell as swelling one's income ie. mysteriously start sitting on
>boards of companies to give the company a bit of cred. I've got far
>more respect for those that tell HM (Blair's proxy) to shove the gong
>where the sun don't shine; they're taking a financial hit if nothing

As Nicholas Parsons pointed out (it's rare I agree with the likes of 
him) yesterday, it is a gift and to refuse it is, in my opinion, pompous 
and small-minded. The problem is how the honours are awarded, not the 
fact that they exist. So, the correct thing to do is to accept and then 
use your new-found influence to help adjust the way future honours are 

>But he wont. He'll wear a morning suit & his head will swell so much
>that he can't fit his flat cap on ;) Anyway, he's another worthless
>bloody celebrity. 
Blasphemy! Dibnah is a genuine Northern hero! He's the perfect candidate 
for an honour:

1. Aspirational working class
2. Loves the subject he specialises in which makes virtually no money 
but is important for british heritage
3. Does large amounts of charity work he keeps schtum about
4. Is unlikely to embarass the honour at a later date (e.g. become a 
member of the Nazi party, get found in a public toilet with a sixth 
former, etc.)

>Next year I predict a Big Brother contestant will
>win a gong - probably the ghastly fat one if she gets as far as
>screwing Prince Charles. BTW, anybody know how well Charles' boyfriend
>has done in the honour stakes over the years?

1. No Big Brother contestant will get an honour unless they do something 
bloody remarkable in the future
2. Charles does not have a boyfriend. It is however traditional for 
well-behaved workers of the Royal Household who give a life's service 
for virtually no money, to receive in their later years an award of some 
form. There are quite a few senior civil servants who benefit too, but 
then they do run the entire country...

>You really got me worried there until you corrected yourself.
>Inevitably he will get a gong & it's honouring filth like him that
>makes me want to leave the country. Even I can do better than
>downloading a thesis off the 'net to bolster some (bogus) arguments.

I'll bet you even money you can't. Without wanting to drag *that* 
argument up again, it was always going to be bordering on impossible to 
put together a decent dossier. Their mistake was thinking that 2 years 
before a General Election a Prime Minister has to justify his decision 
to anybody. If they'd just followed tradition and got on with it, they 
would not have had the problems they had later on. Kelly would still be 
alive and they'd have two years to turn the public around. The whole 
problem with Campbell is that he thinks the Govt needs to be "On 
Message" when in fact people stopped listening a long time ago. For all 
the rhetoric people spit out in pubs, the majority of the country 
couldn't give a damn about the UK having gone to war in March. I have 
even seen polling data proving it...

>The fact that the occasional person worthy of receiving an honour like
>Berners-Lee receives one doesn't mean that the whole system shouldn't
>be scrapped. Although perversely, I'm all for keeping hereditary peers
>- accident of birth is a far more democratic way of electing people
>rather than cronyism & political patronage, although people are always
>telling me otherwise.
Right, so you think Berners-Lee deserves it, people who were born into a 
feudalistic position of power deserve it, but Fred Dibnah and people 
considered popular don't? I think you've just lost all political 
credibility on that one there. :-)

Now, back to FreeBSD...

I'll stop ranting now too.

Paul Robinson

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