Thought for the Month - February 2012
Shredding the Fred
Oh dear. They took his knighthood away. Poor Fred Shred. No longer Sir Fred Shred.
I believe this is the very first instance of responsible use of the "honours" list.
Who but the servile English could still be lingering longingly on with such trappings? Who else, in the 21st century, would preoccupy themselves so much with what an outdated monarch might or might not bestow? Who but privately educated tosspots could possibly care? And who but the super rich could summon the cash reserves to get on the waiting list?
Up to now it has largely been the preserve of bankers and corporate "leaders" who can make significant donations to political parties. And once in there, they've always been unassailable. But now, with the raised profile of the newly sexy "Forfeiture Committee" (what other committee could you possibly want to be on?), who knows what beknighted heads will roll. Sir Victor Blank of Lloyds TSB, the overseer of a £17billion bailout, and Sir Callum McCarthy of the Financial Services Authority (who moved to the Treasury just before the poop he failed to notice hit the fan) are next on the block.
Surely there are loads of others. Please feel free to convey your suggestions to me and I will assure that they reach the prime minister and his queen.
Interestingly, the Forfeiture Committee has previously only regarded the "honorary knighthoods" of foreign despots as targets for their work. Robert Mugabe and Nicolai Ceausescu were apparently stripped. Who knew that they, on our behalf by the queen, had been given them?
Who serves on this sexy committee? Apparently:
- Head of the Home Civil Service (Chair)
- Cabinet Secretary
- Permanent Secretary, Home Office
- Permanent Secretary, Scottish Executive
- Treasury Solicitor and HM Procurator General and
- Head of Honours and Appointments Secretariat, Cabinet Office (Secretary).
Their recommendations are "submitted to the queen through the prime minister". Very democratic. It is comforting to know that "subjects discussed by the Committee remain confidential", and that their decisions are "published in the London Gazette". How very private school english.
But the terrible news today is that there is an "exodus" of "top civil servants" from public service. As much as 30% of the top rats are abandoning the sinking ship before their bonuses are hit by public outcry. And they're all heading for the private sector where bonuses and consultancy fees will remunerate them beyond their wildest cloistered dreams.
So, with the average household debt now standing at £8k (excluding what we owe through government borrowing), the crisis, for the rest of us, staggers on.
I bet you're regretting that your cash-strapped parents didn't grab that private education for you. It clearly helps in these troubled times.
© 2012 Deacon Martin