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Friday, 27 January 2012

Honours and L S Lowry

I don't believe in Honours, whether they are awarded by Elizabeth II, Kim III or even an elected President. They are almost inevitably part of a corrupt system, even if some of them have to go to "deserving individuals" to disguise the fact. Every dedicated doctor is twinned with a dodgy dealer.

I have always made a mental exception for awards for bravery, though I realise that this is not as simple a category as it seems. In his recent book, Losing Small Wars, Frank Letwidge points out that British soldiers never get medals for "courageous restraint" - never get honoured for resisting provocation in order to uphold their role or reputation. Medals are given for going in guns blazing and killing some Natives.

Yesterday, the Cabinet Office was forced to release the names of those, now dead, who have refused honours from Queen Elizabeth II, something they really did not want to do in a year when our Ruling Family will be celebrating itself (again). Freedom of Information legislation had to be used to drag out the names.

Some good ones too. L S Lowry refused every honour he was offered - and they kept trying, increasing the temptation all the way up to Companion of Honour.

Also refusing that award, I found Philip Noel-Baker (the peace-maker), "L S Woolf" who I guess is Leonard Woolf (well done, Bloomsbury!), Robert Graves and "B Nicholson" who I guess is Benedict Nicholson.

The list of refuseniks isn't that long but it is Honourable. You can honour them by reading the list of names (published yesterday by The Daily Telegraph)

1 comment:

  1. The list of refuseniks isn't as honourable as you suggest. Some (very illustrious names) were simply holding out for a better honour.