Monday, 14 June 2010


The Queen's birthday honours list have just been revealed and once again Bruce Forsyth has been overlooked. Campaigns have started this morning from GMTV (who else?) to gain public support for Brucie to receive a knighthood. Words like 'national treasure', '60 years in showbiz', and 'he DESERVES to become a Sir' have been voiced by members of the general public interviewed by GMTV. 
Mmmm.. let me see.... should Brucie become a Sir? Here's my view on the way we honour our British citizens. The Queen quite rightly honours those who do a stirling job for Britain. For me, that should mean people who selflessly give their all for services to make life in some way better for others. I'm thinking nurses and doctors who work tirelessly in this country for the NHS and then volunteer to work in areas of famine, national disaster, or war to help those in dire need. I'm thinking of the volunteers who work in deprived urban inner city areas to start youth centres and try to give hope and education to a subculture of young people whose only options in life are crime and drugs. I'm thinking of the mothers of victims of knife crime who campaign for changes in the law, for the workers in refuges who work fearsomely for the victims of domestic violence, arranged marriages and rape. For the volunteers and workers in drug, alcohol, homeless and mental health charities who work for the least funded of society. And then there's the inspirational teachers, Britain's servicemen and women, firefighters and police officers. 
Yes, these people are sometimes honoured with MBE's and sometimes an OBE. But what really gets my goat is the showbiz and business fraternity who are given knighthoods, CBE's and OBE's in return for 'charity work' and services to Britain. Charity work for me is rolling up your sleeves and getting you hands dirty. It means a bit more than turning up with Ronnie Corbett and Jimmy Tarbuck at golf tournaments or being a UNICEF ambassador and visiting Uganda once a year with a film crew of 28. Sorry Brucie, you have had a charmed life in showbiz and have been greatly rewarded for your talent of being an entertainer and for developing catchphrases. Not for you a life of mortgages, 9 to 5 working, making ends meet, or making a REAL change to people's lives. 
And this one is for GMTV - if you're going to campaign for people to receive rewards for their endeavours, try campaigning or Sara Payne who after the murder of her daughter has worked tirelessly for the right to a change in the law to a controlled access to the sex offenders register or 'Sarah's Law'.  Or how about Helen Newlove who works for the victims of gang violence following the murder of her husband by alcohol-fuelled youths. Or the people instrumental in sustaining peace from terrorism in Northern Ireland. The list is endless.
But, unfortunately, we will continue to see the likes of Brucie, captains of industry and sports people getting honoured. And then there's Catherine Zeta Jones. That's right, CZJ this week received a CBE for 'charity work' despite the fact she has chosen to live outside this country for 10 years and therefore presumably does not actually pay any tax into the UK. Oooh, didn't she do well? Nice to see you, to see you nice. 

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