|"Fear will keep the Scotch in line," Moff Tarkin OBE, advisor to Better Together|
“Although widely popular in many quarters as a part of British "pomp and circumstance" and as a method of rewarding distinguished service, some aspects of the honours system are highly controversial.In the past, the honours system has been abused for corrupt purposes. One Maundy Gregory, allegedly encouraged by David Lloyd George, openly sold honours in the 1920s - resulting in the convicted fraudster Sir Joseph Robinson receiving a peerage in 1922 in exchange for £30,000.Naked corruption of this sort no longer exists, but it is nonetheless the case that donors to political parties are frequently rewarded with honours. Furthermore, the prime minister is able to use honours for leverage: many of the victims of Harold MacMillan's "night of the long knives" were mollified with peerages; more recently it was alleged in some quarters that Tony Blair convinced a number of ageing Labour MPs to retire in 2001 to make way for young New Labour high-fliers, by promising them peerages.” (http://www.politics.co.uk/reference/honours-system)
“I woke up on the morning of November 13 wondering how the government could be overthrown and what could replace it, and then I noticed a letter from the prime minister's office. It said: "The prime minister has asked me to inform you, in strict confidence, that he has in mind, on the occasion of the forthcoming list of New Year's honours to submit your name to the Queen with a recommendation that Her Majesty may be graciously pleased to approve that you be appointed an officer of the Order of the British Empire."
Me? I thought, OBE me? Up yours, I thought. I get angry when I hear that word "empire"; it reminds me of slavery, it reminds of thousands of years of brutality, it reminds me of how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised. It is because of this concept of empire that my British education led me to believe that the history of black people started with slavery and that we were born slaves, and should therefore be grateful that we were given freedom by our caring white masters. It is because of this idea of empire that black people like myself don't even know our true names or our true historical culture. I am not one of those who are obsessed with their roots, and I'm certainly not suffering from a crisis of identity; my obsession is about the future and the political rights of all people. Benjamin Zephaniah OBE - no way Mr Blair, no way Mrs Queen. I am profoundly anti-empire.” (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/nov/27/poetry.monarchy)
|"We need to look after our priorities," joint Tory, Labour and Liberal Statement|