Once again and with some bitter disappointment you and I have studied the New year's Honours list from knighthood to MBE and even QPM only to discover that once again we* have been ignored.
Tirelessly we* have grafted to raise funds, through taxation for the NHS, armed forces, local services fire brigade police education etc in addition we give money to the local authority towards subsidising cultural activities such as the Turner contemporary, keeping the M&S building in Margate derelict, TDC's Pulp Fiction Thanet Matters magazine, gifting money to holiday companies to fly to the obscure town of Norfolk Virginia, as well as employing consultants who otherwise might have to work for a living.
Anyway I suggested you take a good gander, at the list which is available on the BBC website, one thing that strikes me is that many of the recipients of these honours seem to be rewarded for just doing their jobs and since many are in the public sector and will receive very generous pensions unavailable to anyone in the private sector they are doubly rewarded. Obviously many awards are for exceptional people but loads are part of political patronage.
Still I am sure that many awards are deserved just take a look at poor Rod Stewart, at the age of 61 probably struggling to keep in the Sunday Times rich list, his CBE must come as a welcome boost in an otherwise quiet life and Zara Phillips (11th in a line to the throne) has managed to overcome her family background to triumph as BBC's Sports personality of the year this unexpected award of an MBE must be the icing on the cake.
It would seem to me that much of the rewards and honours system is tainted, you only have to look at the current interest concerning rewards from political parties, perhaps now would be a time for the public to consider whether we need the current honours system maybe it could be revised slightly so that those of us who have never worked for government or local government agencies automatically get an honour the GBE (Grafter for the British Empire) at the age of 50 for services to funding social security and government.
In fact why wait for the Queen to give you an honour, it will probably never happened, so award yourself the GBE now, why not? Did Gordon Brown even bother to send a Christmas card this year not bloody likely!
Tony Flaig (GBE)
* when I refer to we, I mean the those of us who work outside of the local and government sectors ( I'm not suggesting that people in the public sector don't work hard or even receive low pay but most do receive a handsome pension, so please no whingeing teachers etc)