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Is the New Years Honours List Outdated?

The New Year Honours is a part of the British honours system, with New Year’s Day, 1 January, being marked by naming new members of orders of chivalry and recipients of other official honours. 

Honours have been awarded at New Year since at least 1890, in which year a list of Queen Victoria’s awards was published by the London Gazette on 2 January.

A total of 1,197 people have been recognised for their achievements in the New Year Honours list. The majority are unknown to the wider public and have undertaken outstanding work in their communities which is being applauded.

Some of our best loved and most highly acclaimed sportsmen and women are to be given honours including soon to be Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Andy Murray, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Sir Mo Farah. Likewise many famous actresses and actors receive honours such as Sir Ken Dodd who has been given a Knighthood at 89 for services to arts, entertainment and charities.

However there is growing discontent about the amount of honours given by politicians. Theresa May has been accused of rewarding failure after Mark Lowcock the permanent secretary at the Department for International Development which oversaw the largest investment in an overseas territory, the airport at St Helena, which is too windy and dangerous to use.

Paul Flynn, a Labour member of the public administration and constitutional affairs committee has said a change is needed. “It is time to scrap the system and start again” he said. John Mann the Labour MP for Bassetlaw, said it was “the old boys network at its very worse”

What are your views about the New Years Honours List? Should it continue or be overhauled? Is it open to abuse by politicians. Should we even have these types of honours in modern day Britain or are they outdated?

Is the New Years Honours List Outdated?

318 people have already voted, what's your opinion? We should keep the New Years Honours The Honours should be overhauled

What are your views?

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gr8nutcase
14th Feb 2017
0
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Commercial and Political awards should be scrutinised, its rewards for your friends, David Cameron did this brilliantly, even his wife's hairdresser got an award and as for Philip Greene that leaves me speechless. It was disgusting that Sir Bruce Forsyth had to wait so long, obviously not popular with the Government!!
One of my requests would be for J. K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame to be a Dame, she deserves it much more than many others.
BillyH
10th Feb 2017
0
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Hit wrong answer, Yes, definitely the system MUST be overhauled, a much better and fairer way of ensuring awards are submitted and scrutinised with merit being the main criteria, not who's given the most money to a party or the PM's cronies etc. I'd like the honour BEM scrapped altogether, with MBE being the lowest. Alos personally think the Monarch should have the final say in all the senior honours.
nagonthenet
31st Jan 2017
0
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When the likes of Sir Philip Green and Jimmy Savile are taken into account the answer has got to be scrap it!
Jenninora
20th Jan 2017
2
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The Honours List needs tweaking for the reason to a fairer judgement on those that it was set up for. Nowadays, it is showing some that receive these honours judged by personal public opinion through the glare of a see all know all media. If the Honours list was meant for all who are deserving then so I am happy with that, but the camera should only benefit for the reason the honour was given. Exposure seems to be main game nowadays. A bit too much.
olPete
14th Jan 2017
1
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As a reward for outstanding lifetime service to the community I have no problem, but commercial and political rewards should be banned totally.
Knowing that whatever service or occupation has been followed and executed to the very best of one abilities should be reward enough for anyone.
Lionel
16th Jan 2017
1
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ginntonic
14th Jan 2017
3
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I just don't understand who people such as Victoria Beckham can get an OBE but others such as Dambuster hero George Johnson age 95 has been snubbed yet again. This man should have a Knight hood by now. Lets hope he does at the Queens birthdays honours this year, before it's too late.
redfive
13th Jan 2017
3
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We need a new start and a good time would be once we become independent again. So lets drain the swamp and have a fresh start.
honeymaya
9th Jan 2017
5
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I fail to see the 'honour' in being a TV/Film personality or Sports person. I can see validity in 'honouring' people who work tirelessly and selflessly as volunteers, who undertake acts of selfless bravery, or members of the military.
Jetroll
5th Jan 2017
0
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I think the New Years Honors are a great way of recognising achievements by normal working people who dedicate their working & private time to do things that make a difference to their communities, with many years experience. Possibly putting this before time with their families etc. Rather than some who have only done something for a few years.
cliffwilly
5th Jan 2017
4
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It seems that a donation to the tory party guarantees a knighthood and it seems £25.000 is a certainty.
Shemadee
5th Jan 2017
3
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Blair/Brown quite cynically loaded the House of Lords with their cronies. Cameron promised to reduce the numbers then proceeded to pile even more unworthies in to the system. I've got no time for any of these self serving sycophants. I used to watch Secret Millionaire and on each programme there would be 3/4 groups or organisations set up by joe public who give up their own time, and often money, to help people in desperate need of support. If the TV production team can find these people then it shouldn't be beyond the government to do the same and any honours should go to them. Not to greedy politicians or business men or to "celebs" who often demand huge sums to support charities then expect honours as a right.
axholmewanderer
5th Jan 2017
4
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Far far too much emphasis given to so called celebrities. They are extremely well paid some might say overpaid for what they do and all for their own benefit.
After all, they are simply doing their job. I worked every day until retirement and never got an honour simply for going to work ! nor should I.
Honours should be for people who genuinely add to our country, whose efforts really make a difference.
Hollysgranny
5th Jan 2017
6
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When Steven Webb gets a knighthood for stealing the rightfully earned pensions of thousands of 1950s women, it has to be time to re-assess the honours system. He got this honour for doing his job - BADLY. Continue to honour people who work tirelessly for their community, do charitable works or achieve things thought to be unachievable, but stop giving honours to cronies of the in-power government of the day.
Yodama
4th Jan 2017
4
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I ask this question, do the quiet people who silently serve to make things better for humanity really want a reward, for some it is an embarrassment when people thank them profusely.

The need to help others is innate in these people. A thank you, a touch of the hand or a cup of tea shared is reward enough.

The biblical reference to "The good Samaritan" comes to mind.
Baxi
3rd Jan 2017
3
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I think it's great to reward people who genuinely help others. It's a sign of recognition. I don't think it's right for public servants who have made a career decision to serve the public to receive honours - it's their job!
Jo Kingham
3rd Jan 2017
4
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I agree with the majority of the comments below. What is interesting is when you read the list of people who have turned down an honour over the years, such as Danny Boyle, David Bowie, Jon Snow, Roald Dahl, French and Saunders, to name but a few. Often the reasons are because they felt uncomfortable being given honours when they were paid lots of money to do things they love and they felt honours should be reserved for those who help others. Says it all really!
JohnHerb
2nd Jan 2017
0
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The New Years Honours list has been going for years and has also been criticised for years. I think its fine the way it is. Many top civil servants get knighthoods plus a smattering of people who are famous and have done a lot of charity like Andy Murray and Ken Dodd. I don't understand why others like Bruce Forsythe don't get one as he is one of our top entertainers.Also some of the very professional people on TV like the newsreaders-Fiona Bruce for example. She does a Stirling job. Maybe we should have some new awards for the normal folk who work tirelessly to help us all like NHS staff-doctors, nurses. We have friends whose daughter is a nurse and she is working about 14 hour days!!! No complaints just getting on with it. She should get an award
Lionel
2nd Jan 2017
1
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Johnherb, it good to hear from you.

I find it difficult to agree with self seeking people who have made their name and fortunes getting further public honours. But I do most certainly agree with your view so many who are beneath the media radar, not seeking acclaim or accolades, be honoured. They just follow their good hearts.

As in the example known to me, cited below; this lady just did what her kindly heart lead her to do, and that for fifty years. Few, if any, ever thanked her. But that day in Buckingham Palace, meeting the Queen and Prince Philip, well, she was so uplifted afterward. That was a singualr moment in her life.

But how does one give a footballer on countless millions a year, an actor always in the public eye, or a back room political adviser such a day? Do they deserve it? What effect will it have on them? I think a gong, or an invite to a Garden Party would be jst another recognition of a talent dubious and obscure, yet another award to line up with their trophies.

In short, selling decent people short and propelling the wastrels yet further into the limelight.
Hattie
2nd Jan 2017
6
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Really!!! V.B. on Honours list for making frocks for rich and famous. Surely they can find the lots of of people going out into the world helping the needy.
Her frocks won't feed the hungry. All it will fed is her ego.
Lionel
2nd Jan 2017
1
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Amen! Well said Hattie. You're so right.

Let's hear more from you on here, we need you.
Hattie
3rd Jan 2017
1
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🙂 Thanks Lionel. Silversurfers great! if you need to vent frustration at stuff you can't change.
Lionel
3rd Jan 2017
1
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Hello Hattie. Yes, Silver Surfers is so good for that, and it is surprising just how many in our age group will agree with a reasonable statement, even if it goes against the grain of current trends. Some of my ideas are rather off the wall, and some don't agree with me, but they are kind hearted enough to give me their reasoning which sometimes changes my mid, just a little.

We're reasonable people on SS, so you have a natural home.
grandmalb
2nd Jan 2017
4
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People should only be honoured for going the extra mile and not because it is buggins turn.
Lionel
2nd Jan 2017
1
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Quite right! Couldn't better that comment.
atr
2nd Jan 2017
4
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Honours should be given to recognise outstanding achievement and dedication to the country in which they live, not given like sweets to anyone famous and rich enough to make their names known. As it is these honours become worthless. Far too many given each year. Surely the Queen has some say in who gets them.
Wilf
2nd Jan 2017
4
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I think thats the problem here atr the Queen does not have a say its her Government which is why its a fiasco in many ways. I think if it was left to the Queen and a few sensible independent advisers we would have a much more balanced honours list. She is a very sensible lady and has seen loads of governments come and go with many of the clowns in them
Lionel
2nd Jan 2017
4
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I couldn't agree more! Handing out gongs to all and sundry from sport, showbiz and politics, all of whom have made their own name and money, is a travesty. It de-values the smaller awards handed to people whose service and dedication to a cause, a charity or to a purpose has meant that they won't make their name or fortune (most don't do it for that purpose), but an award from the State, bestowed by the Crown, is worth so much more than fame or fortune.

So well said, atr, and thank you for saying that.
Lionel
1st Jan 2017
6
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I may only go with the flow here because the entire honours systems is now over-hyped and bloated; even to the point in the Mail Online yesterdays some callow youth who claims to be some sort of writer is screaming foul play because he didn't get an honour!!

I know Jeanmark has already commented here, but Jeanmark, you must know of so many nurses, doctors etc., who well deserve an honour but will not get one. Similarly, we have soldiers who have gone far beyond the call of duty in the face of battle and ... nothing.

Surely, if we are to give State honours to people then those honours must be of value in rewarding bravery, dedication and endurance in everyday, otherwise unrecognised, fields.

To give State honours to footballers, sports people and entertainers - I use the word entertainers looslely because so many don't entertain - doesn't place lasting value on the honour, no, it just devalues it. To give honours to politicians is entirely repugnant to me, but then, for the most part, politicians are repugnant to me.

Everything around us is becoming devalued, even human life. Could we not make a start in re-balancing matters by rewarding truly deserving people with a State honour? Little people, as we're now described, who have been a good example to others, perhaps others who've given a selfless dedication to a noble cause.

My wife was in local government the latter years of her working life. She was instrumental in securing a place in a Buckingham Palace Garden Party for a lady who had laboured tirelessly for the community in which she lived. And that for almost fifty years. At the event she met the Queen and Prince Philip, She was in the company of others who were deserving of being made to feel special if only on just one day. She's quite old and infirm now, but she will never forget that so valued moment of recognition for all her endeavours. A thank you for a job well done.

Surely that is what the honours must be.
PollyAnnXXXX
2nd Jan 2017
3
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Well said! I totally agree with everything you have said here Lionel.
Lionel
2nd Jan 2017
3
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Thank you PollyAnn, I share just my personal opinions, which, it seems, are the opinions of many.

Keep on posting, PollyAnn, you have much of value to say, and I look forward to hearing it.
Wilf
2nd Jan 2017
5
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As usual Lionel you have hit the nail on the head. "Normal" people who work hard should get a gong...like your example. But I think the majority agree that the whole system is out of hand. Even Mrs May is blaming Cameron on the front page of the times for handing out gongs like confetti to all his sycophants. I thought quite highly of Cameron until I saw that some months ago and now think he was just a bit of a joke. Shame really that even so called intelligent people like him are shown to be brainless and stupid quite often.
Lionel
2nd Jan 2017
4
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I too had high hopes for Cameron. In spite of engaging in much political debate on SS, I am not a political animal. If you asked my political colour I'd say mud brown, a mixture of most; pick and mix, if you like, and never quite satisfied. But I did have hope.

During Cameron's tenure of office that hope dwindled. It ended with the resignation honours. That was a political pantomine with Cameron as the grande dame. (perhap's we'd better not nominate the ugly sisters - maybe there are too many candidates!).

Wilf, my case here is this: such State honours were intended for the 'little people,' as well, people of unsung dedication and devotion. People who have laboured in a love to make a change for the better. It's the aggregate of these small changes which make this country a better place for all. Little of lasting change for the better comes from the top, no, it's mostly from ordinary people doing extraordinary things for a very long time who make that difference.

I recall quite a few years back now, a chap who had laboured for fifty five years in Boy's Clubs in South East London. An ordinary, otherwise quite unremarkable family man, he worked with a passion to make these wayward kids better men. He was knocked out so many times in the boxing ring, beaten up in the street by gangs, his children villified. At times he was the most locally hated man. Yet he persisted.

He got an award from the Queen and in a press interview afterward he said something like this: 'I can't think now what all this fuss is about. I just did what 'yer have to do.'

Wilf, surely he was more deserving of recognition than a footballer, actor or politician? He made no name for himself, nor any money, no, he just followed his heart. A man worthy of publ;ic recognition indeed.
Wilf
2nd Jan 2017
2
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For some years I did think Cameron was a good PM. he made a few huge mistakes though. One was miscommunication over Brexit. I wanted to stay in. he should have been a lot lot tougher with the bureaucrats in Brussels who have got about 1 brain cell of common sense between them. He also gave away the gongs like confetti as I mentioned in my previous post. What a joke . he lost all respect after that but hey he will be on the gravy train now earning a fortune like Mr Blair!
Lionel
2nd Jan 2017
1
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Well, Wilf, we would disagree on the EU but not I think by much. Although my mind was made up, were there any lingering doubts Cameron and his cronies dispelled them with their Remain campaign. It was utterly shameful, and I want no part of a country governed, or should that be ruled, by them. Such grande dames are they all.

For some years I've had an interest in the pre-War and War years. Not for any nostaligic or macabre reason, no, more seeking an answer, how and why? It's come to my attention recently the discord, rows and arguments between Nazi leaders toward the end of the War stultified any agression. As I look at the EU through the eyes of the British press, and other media, it is well down the same road. No harmony, just discord. No common purpose, just self seeking.

But, I'm not here opening a debate about the EU again, unless you want to. More to the point of this thread. Those deserving of recognition don't get it, and often only get a bare State pension, whilst the liars and charlatans in government do very well indeed. And that at our expense!
Yodama
31st Dec 2016
6
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True honour is seldom rewarded or awarded, those quiet heroes and heroines who are truly honourable do not speak of their deeds or puff themselves up, they quietly go about their business. unrecognized.

Most awards today ( excluding the deserving) are in my opinion nothing more than expensive confetti.
Wilf
1st Jan 2017
4
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Agreed Little MInx. It seems to me most of the people who get them in Government etc are getting paid to do a job they should be getting on with anyway. Cameron was giving out gongs galore last year even to secretaries etc. Madness and makes the average person in the street cring and want to change the system even more
Yodama
1st Jan 2017
2
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There should be strict criteria for the receipt of any honour, all greedy, grasping, power hungry MPs luvvies, who bribe their way into positions of favour should not be considered .
Yes Wilf, Cameron's dishing out of gongs was hard for the average person to take, a bit like The Emperor's new clothes story, so as old as the story is, it was happening even then. The Elite, not so Elite.
Wilf
2nd Jan 2017
3
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The problem is as well as they dish out the gongs like confetti it totally devalues them. Soon everyone will have an MBE, OBE or whatever. the joke is we lost the empire 70 years ago??. Its like Russia giving out "Hero of the Soviet Union" medals now. It would be seen as a total joke....need I say more???
Yodama
2nd Jan 2017
3
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As you say, Empire is gone, the whole of the Royal bestowing of Knighthoods and ancient rules which apply to Royalty should be dusted off. Look at the behaviour of some of the Sir's, Jimmy Savile for one.
I had an OBE once, when in labour, my baby would not face the world, so the doc said " give her an OBE in the morning"
They brought me a glass of castor oil to drink, hot bath and enema. Oil, Bath and Enema.
I would love to dish some of those out instead.
Munsterlander
31st Dec 2016
6
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I can think of many worthy recipients of honours down the ages, Sir Francis Drake the hero of the defeat of the Spanish Amanda, Sir Winston Churchill who lead Britain through our darkest days. Sir Ken Dodd and this chap Mark Lowcock who is being well paid as a civil servant and has cocked up this airport do not seem to be in the same league. If we want to give out honours lets do it but for goodness sake keep the decision making away from politicians and also don't hand out so many. By making them "rarer they become more valued as an honour.
jeanmark
31st Dec 2016
3
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I so agree Munsterlander, the people I know who have received them certainly deserved the Honour and continue to do good work without expectation of reward.

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