Alternative awards list – those who turned down an honour

The Honours List rears it ugly head again. Don’t get me started. It is a ridiculous sham. Some people, often those who have already been richly rewarded in life, are given an award for doing their job. Others, who deserve one, don’t get one.

So let us raise an end of year glass to those who have turned down an honour:

Dawn French
Jennifer Saunders
David Bowie
Benjamin Zephaniah
Alan Bennett
Albert Finney
George Melly
Geraldine McEwan
Hank Marvin
Jim Broadbent
John Cleese
John Cole
Jon Snow
Keith Richards
Kenneth Branagh
Michael Frayn
Nancy Banks-Smith
Nigella Lawson
Paul Scofield
Peter Alliss
Polly Toynbee
Michael Winner (the only time he’ll appear on a accolade list from me! And I nearly didn’t put him on this list because he actually turned down the award because it wasn’t grand enough for him!)

There is a full list here, and we ought to also raise a glass to the grandaddy of awards refusniks:

L. S. Lowry, artist (declined OBE in 1955, CBE in 1961, knighthood in 1968, and CH in 1972 and 1976; holds the record for the most honours declined)

Alternative awards list – those who turned down an honour

The Honours List rears it ugly head again. Don’t get me started. It is a ridiculous sham. Some people, often those who have already been richly rewarded in life, are given an award for doing their job. Others, who deserve one, don’t get one.

So let us raise an end of year glass to those who have turned down an honour:

Dawn French
Jennifer Saunders
David Bowie
Benjamin Zephaniah
Alan Bennett
Albert Finney
George Melly
Geraldine McEwan
Hank Marvin
Jim Broadbent
John Cleese
John Cole
Jon Snow
Keith Richards
Kenneth Branagh
Michael Frayn
Nancy Banks-Smith
Nigella Lawson
Paul Scofield
Peter Alliss
Polly Toynbee
Michael Winner (the only time he’ll appear on a accolade list from me! And I nearly didn’t put him on this list because he actually turned down the award because it wasn’t grand enough for him!)

There is a full list here, and we ought to also raise a glass to the grandaddy of awards refusniks:

L. S. Lowry, artist (declined OBE in 1955, CBE in 1961, knighthood in 1968, and CH in 1972 and 1976; holds the record for the most honours declined)

The success of the ban on hunting with hounds

Before the ban on hunting with hounds, we were told the law was illiberal because it would destroy hunts, put people out of work and take away the liberty of people to enjoy hunting.

Now we are told that the law has failed because it has not destroyed hunts, not put people out of work and has not taken away the liberty of people to enjoy hunting.

Huh?! Have I missed something?!

Could it be that the law is actually successful because it has precisely excised the one practice which was objectionable – specifically the tearing apart of foxes by hounds – while leaving untouched the unobjectionable elements such as riding out with hounds, following scents etc etc?

Doh!

So all those people who said that the campaign for a ban was a class prejudice thing, are actually left with rather a denuded argument, are they not? The social activity of hunting has been left untouched, save for the actual tearing apart of the fox by hounds.

All those who said that the ban would allow a conversion of hunts to drag or trail hunting have been proved right.

The Second World War is now over (for HM Treasury, that is)

One of the most painful experiences of the Atlee government was having to borrow loads of dosh from the US. The good news is that today we have finally paid it back!:

Gordon Brown’s officials will (today), at the push of a button, make two electronic transfers of so-called “war loan” across the Atlantic, marking the end of a chapter of British history that began under Labour chancellor Hugh Dalton in 1945. The final payments of the loans, to the United States and Canada, are not negligible – $83.25m (£42.5m) and $22.7m respectively.

…In 1945 Britain borrowed $4.34bn from the US consisting of a $3.75bn line of credit and a “lend-lease” loan facility of $586m. The following year the government agreed a $1.185bn line of credit loan from Canada.

The staggering thing is the rate of interest – 2%!

The success of the ban on hunting with hounds

Before the ban on hunting with hounds, we were told the law was illiberal because it would destroy hunts, put people out of work and take away the liberty of people to enjoy hunting.

Now we are told that the law has failed because it has not destroyed hunts, not put people out of work and has not taken away the liberty of people to enjoy hunting.

Huh?! Have I missed something?!

Could it be that the law is actually successful because it has precisely excised the one practice which was objectionable – specifically the tearing apart of foxes by hounds – while leaving untouched the unobjectionable elements such as riding out with hounds, following scents etc etc?

Doh!

So all those people who said that the campaign for a ban was a class prejudice thing, are actually left with rather a denuded argument, are they not? The social activity of hunting has been left untouched, save for the actual tearing apart of the fox by hounds.

All those who said that the ban would allow a conversion of hunts to drag or trail hunting have been proved right.

Peel’s dream of 101 Sharons

I am always a bit late reading books. I have just got round to John Peel and Sheila Ravenscroft’s “Margrave of the marshes”.

It is a wonderful book and underlines what a wonderful chap Peel was. It is a shame that John Peel only got round to writing about a third of the book. The third that he did write is absolutely fascinatingly and beautifully written. The tales of his time in the USA are priceless. His tale of his meeting with John F Kennedy would be unbelievable had it not been accompanied by two remarkable photos, taken by Peel in Dallas, of the great man.

A paragraph written by Peel’s wife, Sheila, deserves to be engraved on Peel’s tombstone. He ran a record label called Dandelion Records. I have one of the albums released on it somewhere. Sheila Ravenscroft writes:

Sadly John never raised the funds necessary to finance the 101 Sharons, his pet Dandelion project for which he planned to gather together 101 women called Sharon, lock them in a studio and refuse to release them until they’d recorded an album.