From The Indy
Without detracting from the achievements of those attracting honours in the New Year’s List, I have become increasingly sceptical about the message given to the nation, particularly its young members, by the media coverage. As usual, the selection making the headlines included those from entertainment and, in the year of the Olympics, from sport. Admittedly a few with worthy, down-to-earth achievements and lesser awards came in for mention, but the emphasis was as usual on those who are regularly on the TV or in the news. I looked and listened in vain for mention of achievers from science, medicine, industry and commerce – people who make real differences to the way we live and to our wealth and health. There were none.
It turned my thinking to what message this might give about what passes for success and what this might mean for the nation’s future trajectory. Indeed, it made me ask if this is a factor that leads many young people to reply, when asked about their life ambitions, that they simply “want to be famous”.
Ian Reid, Kilnwick
I, too, rather wished that Andy Murray, whom I admire enormously, had not been given a knighthood. The entire Honours system is anachronistic, much abused and deeply discredited. But it was inevitable that he would be “damned if he did, damned if he didn’t” accept the (dubious) honour. He is criticised in for accepting, but had he not, I’m sure the criticism would have been even more strident.
The best option, which seems to be the one he is taking, is to graciously accept the honour but never use the title. (He has already requested that it is not to be used by the Wimbledon organisers.) That way he won’t offend the Establishment, but will retain his dignity as a very private person.
Top and tailing 2016, David Cameron awarded a knighthood to Tory election campaign manager, Lynton Crosby and Theresa May awarded honours to Tory donors. Cynicism? Surely not.
Mike Bor, London