Azara Blog: The BBC obsesses about the New Year Honours list

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Date published: 2007/12/29

The UK has a ridiculous system of handing out government honours. So this time of year we have the "Queen's New Year Honours" list. Of course the Queen has nothing to do with it, the Prime Minister decides it all with some helpful suggestions from the other political parties. The fact that the ruling elite cannot even be honest about the name tells you everything you need to know. But the British do obsess about this. The BBC website splits the news into various sections, and this evening, five of the seven non-geographical sections ("Business", "Health", "Education", "Entertainment" and "Technology") had the top story being the honours list and the other two sections ("Politics" and "Science") had this as story number two or three. Well it is a slow-news day but this is ridiculous. The real point of the honours system seems to be to reward politicians and civil servants (as if their big, fat pension is not enough), but they throw in other famous people in some "it's my turn" sort of way (for academics, the more government committees you sit on the better the odds). And of course they always have to honour some random "ordinary" person (this year some bus driver) to prove that this is really all above board, and that it's not just the ruling elite patting each other on the back (which of course it is).

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