There has been further criticism of the British honours system after a lump of dog excrement was awarded a knighthood in order to make ‘Sir’ John Redwood more deserving. However, observers commented on how nice the ceremony was, and how well the monarch negotiated the delicate task of knighting the turd which she certainly seemed to find much more gracious than some of the other candidates. These included some drunken vomit, courtesy of one of the subsidised House of Commons bars, and ‘Brexit means Brexit’ was awarded a CBE for helping the Prime Minister to make about as much sense as a quacking duck which was all she felt the public were entitled to expect from her.
The depreciation in value of a knighthood means that a standard blue and white Blue Peter badge now has greater recognition as an award for achievements or service to the country than a Knighthood awarded by Her Majesty the Queen. Theresa May had announced in 2017 that the honours list should ‘commands genuine public confidence’ and ‘rewards genuine public service’, but nobody could think of any occasion when Redwood wasn’t self-serving, dispassionate or inept. At first, there was some confusion when rumours circulated that Redwood was awarded his Knighthood for promoting the Welsh language when he was Welsh Secretary, but video evidence from the time show that Redwood’s rendition of the Welsh national anthem consisted only of lateral head-nodding and the vague mumbling of random sounds, completely out of time with the music.
The Knighthood has taken some knocks before when, over several years, it was awarded to Sir Anthony Blunt, Sir James Savile, Sir Robert Mugabe, Sir Fred Goodwin and Sir Philip Green. Each time, the Blue Peter Badge increased in value against the ‘gold standard’ Knighthood. However, this is the first time the CBBC award has ranked higher than the Royal accolade.
Sir Michael Palin, who was also awarded a Knighthood for services to travel, culture and geography following his successful second career as a travel writer and television presenter, said “I initially thought the award was a career highlight, but on hearing about the sudden depreciation in the value of the Knighthood, I consoled myself that I already had a Blue Peter badge that I was given in October 1998, when I appeared on the show”. Palin said he was reminded of a Monty Python sketch he wrote about a fictional ‘Silly Party’, whose central economic policy was to make the economy poorer. “Thank goodness that couldn’t really happen!” laughed Palin.
Candide & Mother