THE KNIGHTHOOD controversially awarded by the Government to Sir Lynton Crosby, the Tory election strategist, threatens to make a mockery of an honours system which was intended to recognise and reward those public-spirited individuals who made a genuine difference to their local communities.
It is even more incongruous when set in the context of a Westminster select committee which concluded three years ago that no one should be honoured for simply ‘doing the day job’ and David Cameron’s complacent response to the floods.
Sir Lynton’s job was simple – it was to win the 2015 election so the Tories could return to power. He was very well remunerated to do so and his focus was so narrow that issues like flood defences did not even enter his calculations. If only they did.
Of courses, Tories are not the only political party guilty of bringing the honours system into disrepute. Labour has been equally culpable in the past and, of course, it was Harold Wilson who introduced stardust in 1965 when all four members of the Beatles received MBEs.
The disappointment is rows about cronyism, and an inherent bias towards privately educated individuals, now overshadow every honours list and the deserved accolades awarded to the famous, whether it be Sir AP McCoy or Dame Barbara Windsor in this instance, and the awards given to those extraordinary community stalwarts from across Yorkshire who are this county’s heartbeat.
The great pity is nothing will change before the Queen’s Birthday Honours next June which will, even now, be dominated by the political great and good rather than the volunteers and others whose willpower spared Yorkshire from an even greater flooding catastrophe. All heroes, they’re the people deserving of recognition because their response has already extended beyond the call of duty.