Honours system is just rotten to the core
Last week’s column was written by Clare Haughey MSP and not Margaret Ferrier MP as stated. We are happy to set the record straight and apologise for any confusion.
This week, thousands of young people will have received their exam results. This is a stressful time for many, and whilst some will have received the results they wanted, others will have been disappointed.
If you, or someone you know is in this position, then there are a large number of things to consider, and support available.
Skills Development Scotland are operating a free helpline offering advice, information and support for young people and their parents. It will be open from 8am to 8pm on 10 August and from 9am to 5pm until 17 August. The number to call is 0808 100 8000. I would encourage anyone with concerns or anxieties to take advantage of the service.
Despite Parliament being in recess, there’s been no shortage of scandal. David Cameron’s resignation honours list has made plenty of headlines – and rightfully so. The full list, published last Thursday, revealed that the former Prime Minister awarded 62 former aides, Conservative donors and senior Remain campaigners peerages, knighthoods and other titles.
The list includes a peerage for Laura Wyld, the head of Prime Minister’s Appointments, whose job at Downing Street involved helping nominate individuals for the honours list.
These honours were dished out as a form of personal patronage and they bring disrepute to the office of the Prime Minister and to the entire system.
It really is no surprise that public outrage over the honours list has continued to grow.
It has been exposed as a system that is rotten to the core, and the Tories have overstepped the mark of acceptability with these awards.
It is now time to take a fundamental look at the system so we can have a civil honours procedure that recognises service to the community and outstanding performance in a particular field – neither of which applies to this list.
Theresa May has failed an early test of her leadership by being caught out - she said it wouldn’t be appropriate to intervene in the matter, only for it to be revealed she accepted a donation from Ian Taylor who was, until recently, also on the list.
A few weeks ago the Prime Minister told us her leadership would be “driven not by the interests of the privileged few” but the mask is already slipping. Despite their rhetoric the Tories continue to reward their friends and cronies.
The honours list includes 16 new peers to join the House of Lords, despite the Government continuing to press ahead with plans to cut to number of MPs by 50. When the UK leaves the EU, almost 60% of our legislators will be unelected. This is no way to operate a democratic system.
The Tories need to back down on the Westminster boundary review, and the cut to the number of MPs, and instead turn their sights on the House of Lords.
It is well past its sell-by date – it must be scrapped and replaced with a fully elected second chamber.
The Tories have overstepped the mark of acceptability with these awards
List Lino Carbosiero, David Cameron’s hairdresser, was among the 62 former aides, Conservative donors and senior Remain campaigners included in the honours list