The honours system has been irredeemably befouled and corrupted by undeserved honours given to politicians and civil servants. The public seem to support the recognition of sportspersons, artists of all kinds, the talented, the selfless, the gifted and armed services personnel - but their proper achievements are being beshitten by risibly unwarranted 'honours' to loathed and unworthy political failures and civil service time-servers. Why the hell should the goon in charge of procurement at the MoD, the idiot that's wasted billions of our tax money on the poorly managed buying of stuff that doesn't work, get anything other than a clock from his chums and a curt 'goodbye'? Why should hysterical little fools such as Andrew Adonis, with no real world experience and no achievement whatseover, enjoy the same status as distinguished scholars and academics of international repute?
Of course we should recognise the few worthy political recipients such as Patrick Cormack (he of "Country, constituency, party. In that order") but perhaps there should be a new honour created - say an order with a membership limited to fifty, with no seat in the Lords, and only ex-elected politicians eligible. But we must cull all the politicians and the civil servants from the British Empire orders, the Bath and Michael and George. Or they will be lost to those who really deserve them.
With each year, twice a year, the public clamour against political honours grows. Let's hope the establishment hears those voices.
Democracy at risk
With Labour still blocking any reform of our deeply corrupt constituency boundaries, the UK remains shamed by an Electoral Quotient (EQ) below third world standards. We're not even close to the +/-5% of the second world, let alone the +/-3% of advanced democracies such as New Zealand.
We're not well served by the current Electoral Commissioners, fat and complacent placemen unmoved by indignation at Electoral inequality and mired in a stasis that prohibits action. A clear-out of the Commission in 2018 is well overdue.
The young are also far less defensive of our democratic absolutes - such as universal suffrage and the secret ballot- than those of older age cohorts, and a Remainian elite still smarting from the Brexit result are pushing all sorts of alternatives to the majority vote to seek to re-establish their political dominance. I was joking in June 2016 when I parodied little Owen Jones as complaining "The wrong people are using democracy" - but this is now a joke becoming true. Many of them actually believe it.
The Electoral Commission also needs to get its collective head around non-member issue-based campaigners such as this blog and Twitter account, with no discernible spend. Online it's not about parties and financial structures but millions of ordinary people manning their keyboards. The utterly trivial impact of Russian postings during the referendum campaign was due to the utterly massive scale of engagement of the rest of us. I'm not sure that many of the existing Commissioners have ever actually used a computer, let alone know what facebook is.