New Year's honours - Arbitrary and unfair ?

So the New Year's honours list has been published. I guess Rod Stewart deserves one for his success and it's amusing to think that Zara Phillips will get an award too. However, something irks me about the people's awards.

Don't get me wrong, I think they are a good idea in principle, but they do seem somewhat arbitrary. I remember the clerk to Horsford Parish Council in Horsford serving as clerk for seventy years. Every year they parish council put his name forward as a tribute to his unswerving work for the community over decades, yet he never got an award and died three years ago. I thought this was a shame as seventy years of service doing the same job is so very rare. Yet I know of people who have got them for simply doing their job, be it being a dinner lady, a man collecting car park money or a head teacher.

Again, I am not wanting to demean those worthwhile jobs. Indeed, we'd be lost without them, but I want to see honours going to people who have done something extra-ordinary. Won medals, saved lives, made history, won awards, basically, I don't expect one myself for teaching, so am a little concerned when I see headteachers and getting them.

It is perhaps a measure of the society we live in that everyone has to have an award. The problem is for me, I want to see awards based on the extra-ordinary. I want to see people rewarded for doing something that I couldn't do and not getting one arbitrarily, subjectively on the basis of "well, he tries hard" !

1 comment:

Paul Walter said...

Agree with you, Nicholas. Rod Stewart has just done his job - being a singer - very well (I am a Rod Stewart fan - he could pick up the New York telephone directory, sing it and make it sound like the song of an angel) and been richly rewarded beyond most people's wildest dreams of avarice. So why get an award for doing your job - shouldn't everyone get an award for doing their job or, indeed, for putting up with being unemployed? The whole thing should be scrapped and I raise a glass again to those who turned down honours - eg. David Bowie, French and Saunders, Lowry etc etc.

Happy New Year!