Knight of the 'Net

Frank Shute frank at
Sun Jan 4 00:20:18 GMT 2004

On Sat, Jan 03, 2004 at 02:10:32PM +0000, Peter McGarvey wrote:
> * Frank Shute <frank at> [2004-01-02 22:25:10 GMT]:
> > On Fri, Jan 02, 2004 at 01:58:24PM +0000, Paul Robinson wrote:
> > > Peter McGarvey wrote:
> > > >Have a look at the list of them that have rejected honours...  A much
> > > >more rarefied stratum of society.
> > > >
> > > Now, I'm not a big fan of the honours system as it stands, however I 
> > > think the people who have rejected honours are being churlish and are 
> > > only doing so to curry favour with the media. 
> > 
> > Well, doesn't accepting an honour also curry favour with the media?
> IIRC, the list of them that refused honours was leaked.  And surely to
> curry favour with the media, the media has to actually know?  Admittedly
> I do regard them that get the honour and then send it back are little
> more than self-publicists.  

I think the original brouhaha started with Benjamin Zephaniah
announcing that he'd been offered an OBE. I don't think that announcing
it had anything to do with self-publicity, he was rightly alarmed that
somebody who had written poetry saying what a lot of Imperial nonsense
the honours system is was put up for an honour which he despised. He
couldn't work out how the hell they picked people for honours and
however they did it they didn't make a very good job of it.

> Although 99% of the media are self-publicists with an over inflated
> opinions of their own worth (and far to much say in the way the
> country is run).  So it's all basically a closed-shop of
> self-publicising arseholes. 


> > > Plus, how can you criticise a system that gives Fred Dibnah an MBE? Who 
> > > doesn't want to see him accepting that wearing a flat cap?
> > 
> > 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. 
> Nah, Fred Dibnah is a star.  He's fascinating to watch, and he actually
> does stuff.  So he deserves an award.  Although to get it he'll have to
> become something he's not.  Which is a true shame.  I'd much rather see
> him turn up at the Palace in his beatup old Land-Rover, and demolish the
> place...  :-)

...and if he could stop by on his way and blow up parliament with the
MPs sitting.....

> Now to Fred that would be an honour.

I'd be happy to pin it to his chest myself :)

> > 
> > > 
> > > Although, the same system has honoured Alastair Campbell (knighthood?) 
> > > for "service to parliament" which kind of suggests the outcome of the 
> > > Kelly enquiry is going to make him look like a lovely bloke, really.
> > 
> > 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. 
> Well, I'm too lazy to leave the country.  But I'm giving serious
> consideration to writing to my MP demanding the right to be officialy
> disenfranchised.

I know what you mean about feeling disenfranchised & it's why I want
to leave the UK. I've spent an increasing amount of time in Finland
over the past few years and the president and ministers can walk the
streets over there. If Tony Blair walked the streets here he'd be
beaten to a bloody pulp before he got to the end of Downing St. Their
healthcare, public transport and general infrastructure makes us look
third world. In fact I went to Trinidad a couple of years ago and they
put us to shame too.

It's not until you live abroad that you realise what a wretched state
this country is in. If we had half decent weather I wouldn't mind so

> > 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...
> I'm of the opinion that the Lottery should be used for picking the
> monarch, every five years or so.  

I think I'd prefer a president without all the ridiculous trappings &

> I'd also make voting compulsory (fined
> a day's wages if you don't), make polling day a public holiday, and add
> a box at the bottom of the ballot paper saying "NO VOTE" for them that
> don't wish to participate.

Sounds good to me. They should also roll back the deposit for standing
at an election to what it was previously to get more independents to
stand. I wouldn't mind standing in my constituency but I can't afford



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