The neverending farce of Honours Lists
Big respect goes to American singer and actress Ariana Grande who has politely turned down a damehood offered to her in the New Year's Honours List. The gong would've been in recognition of her response to the bombing at her Manchester Arena concert. She organised a charity gig and visited victims in hospital. While both of these were noble, generous and helpful gestures, they hardly warrant such a prestigious award. Some people give a lifetime of service to good causes before they are considered for recognition.
I have no beef against Grande, it's the system that is a farce. True, a broader range of people from all walks of life are now honoured for their fantastic achievements but there are still far too many celebrities who are rewarded for simply doing something they enjoy and being paid handsomely for it. Harry Kane received an MBE for kicking a ball several times a week while Twiggy picked up a damehood, presumably for having had a big modelling career 50 years ago. Meanwhile, Michael Palin has been knighted for enjoying lots of free holidays in exotic locations around the world.
This customary honouring of famous folk is utterly pointless a sentiment that was beautifully expressed by Nigella Lawson almost 20 years ago when she turned down the offer of an OBE. She said: “I'm not saving lives, and I'm not doing anything other than something I absolutely love.” Quite. works display to send a message that London remains open to Europeans. The London Eye was lit up in the colours of the EU flag and as the fireworks soared into the night sky the words 'London is open' was blasted from loudspeakers in several European languages.
While the majority of Londoners wisely voted to remain, it was a mistake to use the annual bash to send a political message. The country is divided on Brexit and will be for years whatever happens, and it does no good to stoke up resentment on a night that should be full of nothing but fun. It’s a slippery slope if our politicians start getting ideas that they can hijack politically neutral events to get their messages across.