Monday, 17 June 2013

A Great Honour?

So Baldrick, played by the rarely funny, often morosely left-wing Tony Robinson, whose only other notable TV outings were in Who Dares Wins in the mid-eighties and Time Team – Sunday teatime telly - gets knighted. Meanwhile Rowan Atkinson, whose face would be instantly recognised by millions across the planet, only gets a CBE. If Blackadder ever makes a comeback the erstwhile serpent-noir should appear in a tee-shirt bearing the words, “My servant went to Buckingham Palace and all I got was this lousy medallion”.

So why the knighthood for Robinson? Certainly not for services to comedy. Charity work? Yes, if you call banging the drum for Labour charity, although it could hardly be said to be charitable towards the country. Or the Queen for that matter; fucking Tony Blair sold off her beloved yacht, remember? You’d think there’d have been a royal moratorium on awards for lefty luvvies after that.

Every honours round is a joke. Twenty-five year old Adele gets something to mark her brief spot in the limelight while it takes others decades to be recognised, often just before they die. Many athletes were honoured after the Olympics but, dedicated though they were, they were still doing something they loved and in many cases will earn a great deal of money from. Maybe they were gonged-up in anticipation of their future work for charitable causes? It’s probably as good an excuse as any.

I absolutely ‘get’ the awarding of honours to those who have faced grave danger, scaled great heights, defended their country and rescued kittens. I am entirely happy also, for those who have worked for their country at home for many years to have their dedication recognised. I’m even okay with awarding honours to senior politicians and civil servants who, after all, are probably the closest modern equivalent to serving as knights of old. (Thinks: Court Jester, maybe that explains Baldrick… but then surely they’d pick somebody actually witty, like Phil Jupitus or Danny Baker… loads to choose from.)

There is always of course, a token smattering of unknowns, usually getting minor medals for simple things. You know, like spending sixty years volunteering at the local hospital, or running a shelter for various outcasts from society for half their life; sacrificing personal gain to help those less fortunate – easy, boring shit like that. It’s nowhere near as gruelling as say, running for Parliament, gaining a seat then stuffing your pockets with other people’s cash for a dozen years before donning ermine and getting £300 a day just for turning up, along with a bunch of absentee directorships. 

I'm ready for my close up now Mr Cameron!

Of course, not all politicos get knighted and some would turn down the honour, eh, Baron Prescott? To get a seat on the red leather you have to have at least held an important post in government. What would Baldrick do? If I was Ed Miliband I’d make a start on the juggling before it’s too late.


  1. I have medals but they are the type that are only awarded once in history..not twice a year, but for some reason don't carry the same admiration from those in power.

    1. Sad but stop true. Melanie Phillips has written about it in the Daily Mail over the weekend.

  2. Rowan Atkinson mercilessly and relentlessly took the piss outta the monarchy in the Blackadder series. HM would be well within her rights not to give him a Knighthood. All right, give him a gong for Mr Bean and have done with it.