Some tabloids are furious (as far as they can fake it) about gongs that will not go to Olympians but to civil servants. What will they do when they find out who else is grabbing the gongs. News item below and EDM I put down in May. Our Select Committee report will be published on the 28th of August.
At last, a tabloid has noticed the ridiculous new plan to shower gongs on MPs. Andrew Pierce of the Mail writes;
When David Cameron and Nick Clegg stood shoulder to shoulder in the Downing Street rose garden at the birth of the Coalition, they pledged a ‘new era of politics’ with an end to the backroom deals and back-scratching that had characterised past administrations.
So how does this modern approach to party politics fit in with the recent formation of a new committee whose remit is to hand out gongs to . . . politicians?
The pompous-sounding Parliamentary and Political Service Honours Committee will, we are told, reward ‘people in politics who demonstrate selfless commitment for the good of the nation’. These ‘people’ are, of course, MPs.
Cameron, Clegg and Ed Miliband have put aside their differences to back this new wheeze, chaired by the Conservative peer and former MP Lord Spicer.
Chief whips of the three main parties serve on the committee to ensure their respective lickspittles and teachers’ pets get their due reward. Labour MP Paul Flynn is not impressed. ‘When I first came to Parliament in 1987, no Labour MP would accept an honour,’ he said.
He would continue that tradition, though with one exception: ‘I want a nomination that I can turn down,’ he explained. ‘Then I could use the title HRH: Has Refused Honour.’
That this House believes that the highest honour attainable by a democrat in this country is achieving the office of Member of Parliament; is surprised that without the knowledge or consent of parliament a committee has been set up to give four knighthoods and 21 minor honours to Hon members and other political staff; believes that this act of self-aggrandisement will be regarded with contempt by the public; andasserts that the committee’s dominant membership of chief whips and other establishment figures brands it as an unwelcome instrument of patronage that will expose recipients of awards to ridicule.