Hon­ours sys­tem is just rot­ten to the core

Rutherglen Reformer - - News fron the Pews - Mar­garet Fer­rier

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

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