British Gazette readers will not be surprised that our beloved leader has done another of his famous U turns on the issue. Five months ago he sought to indicate that more restraint would be shown towards honouring athletes and other celebrities. Now, in the wakes of calls from various sources for Team GBs gold medalists to be honoured, it seems that Cameron has indicated that all medal winners will be in line for something.
Of course, there is a political theory that it supposed to explain the system of government: it goes like this:
To do away with the random capricious nature of absolute monarchs such as the Stuarts, the nation instituted representative democracy. Honours gradually ceased to become the awarded by the monarch on their own but became the preserve of politicians making recommendations. This was supposed to make the system more representative. For a long time the system worked but entered a decline following the Wilson governments of the 1960s and 1970s. Tony Blair made things worse by awarding knighthoods to individuals who should have received a lower honour. Please note; this is not a criticism of the individuals concerned.
Cameron’s back tracking will be the result of the wish for those in power to see three personalities in particular honoured. These are heptathlete Jessica Ennis, female boxer Nicola Adams and runner Mo Farah.
Jessica became “the poster girl” for Team GB and has huge public recognition – outside as well as inside the West Riding of Yorkshire.
Whilst Jessica was the most well known of the current female athletes, boxer Nicola Adams could however be said to have been the most influential. Before Nicola’s appearance, the “powers that be” a the BBC had aired discussion and debate on the desirability of boxing as a sport and invited medical researchers and doctors to pronounce that boxing was a dangerous activity that generally resulted in its participants suffering a greater or lesser degree of brain damage. Of course the appearance of a young black woman has resulted in the BBC reversing its policy: after Miss Adams becoming an Olympic gold medal boxer it is now the accepted wisdom that sensible parents will of course encourage their daughters to take up the noble sport – whilst encouraging their sons to take up needle-work or embroidery?
Of course the greatest challenge Cameron faces is how to sufficiently reward double Olympic distance runner Mo Farah. This is because Mr Farah it seems is genuinely a jolly good chap. Not only is he a world class athlete, it appears he is a very generous and public spirited man as before he “came to fame” so to speak, he had set up a charity to help underprivileged children in Africa. This is a man who has achieved success and wants to give something back to those less fortunate than he. Mr Cameron will also find other aspects about Mr Farah particularly appealing. No only is Mr Farah black – he is patriotic, telling an African journalist that he was proud to run under Team GB’s colours. Not only is Mr Farah black and patriotic, he is a Muslim of a type that finds particular favour with the politically correct: he “wears his Islam lightly” – just the way the British establishment like it. Thus readers can be assured that Cameron, London Mayor Boris Johnson and Lord Coe very much want to reward these three very fine individuals. However, along with these, there are those such as Laura Trott, Jason Kenny (already an MBE) and Charlotte Dujardin who have each won two gold medals. Because Laura, Jason and Charlotte have like Mo, two gold medals they will have to be honoured.
This in and of itself is a problem of the politicians own making. In the past they have bestowed significant honours on athletes who should indeed have been received an award for their achievements but who have received honours higher than what was appropriate. This of course presents the present politicians with a the problem of reversing established precedent as athletes not awarded as generously as earlier recipients would fell themselves to have been ill-used. These high expectations are not only confined to the athletes themselves but have become established in the minds of many of the general public. There were those in the huge welcoming crowd to greet Jessica Ennis in Sheffield who were of the opinion that she should become “Dame Jessica.” This of course is way “over the top.”
In their obsession with social class the politicians greatly messed things up by suspending the award of the Medal of the Order of the British Empire, commonly known as the British Empire Medal or BEM. This award does not bestow membership of the actual order but is nonetheless a recognition for acts of public service other meritorious acts. The BEM has now been “de-suspended” and awards are being made. This of course would be and would have been a suitable award for many sportsmen and sports women.
Of the young people we have mentioned, the British Gazette feels that special mention should be made of Miss Laura Trott. The “powers that be” have coined the phrase, “inspire a generation.” Well, Miss Trott is a most exceptional young lady. Most Olympic athletes have been blessed with strong bodies and good health. True, hard work and dedication have brought forth results which would otherwise not have come, but Miss Trott had much more of a struggle to achieve what she has achieved. It seems that Miss Trott was born one month premature and with a collapsed lung. She has also suffered from asthma and has other problems to contend with. Her rise to Olympic athlete level therefore is a tale of remarkable perseverance, courage and strength. In addition to this it appears she is a very pleasant self effacing young lady.
You may of course ask: what matters it? The fact is though that traditionally the Order of the British Empire has been used to honour those with distinguished service records over many years in our armed forces. Senior military officers with years of experience are awarded the CBE. What our craven politicians are doing is to make a mockery of the honours system in their desire to be seen as promoting such as the diversity agenda. But then they have made a mockery of the country so should we be so surprised?