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Honours systems

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Dave B
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Honours systems

#1 Post by Dave B » June 13th, 2010, 10:33 am

The honours for Dawkins debate raised interesting points. t least one person, a royalist it seems was agin the idea and another said that they no longer had anything to do with royalty.

Personally I like the idea of honours as rewards for service, especially service beyond that specifically required in any position - beyond the job spec.

I do think that the Order of the British Empire is now a total anachronism and implies, especially to foreigners, that Britain still wallows in past glory, well past its use by date!

So, street cleaners that do a more than is necessary, for many years, to make their pitch a better place; nurses that use their spare time to run charities; even entrepreneurs who work very hard to do something that gives society something that improves it (even if they make money as a consequence).

The knigthoods and lordships are also part of the system and cover some of these areas, but even they hark back to an older time.

The French have their Legion d'honeur with its chevaliers, but even that has links with the old systems if only through the ranking system and language. Would a more modern revamp of ours make it more acceptable?
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Gottard
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Re: Honours systems

#2 Post by Gottard » June 13th, 2010, 11:40 am

Yes, I agree and you had a very good idea. I purport that honours should only be given on retirement or for important achievements/discovery.
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Caterpillar
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Re: Honours systems

#3 Post by Caterpillar » June 13th, 2010, 1:32 pm

Anyone can be nominated for an honour: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentc ... /DG_067917

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Dave B
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Re: Honours systems

#4 Post by Dave B » June 13th, 2010, 1:56 pm

Caterpillar wrote:Anyone can be nominated for an honour: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentc ... /DG_067917
No problem there Caterpillar, I was posing the question as to whether we should have an honours system at all, what form should it take and what to call it.

Entry to the system is also important and I like the idea that there is a "local" element to this.
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Mike
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Re: Honours systems

#5 Post by Mike » June 13th, 2010, 2:24 pm

As I mistakenly (because it was sort of off topic) said on the other thread, I am all in favour of honours for ordinary folk who have done something extraordinary. A couple of years ago a good friend of ours (just an ordinary Joe) received the MBE. He throughly deserved the recognition (it was for services to charity) and it made the entire village very proud. it was a real feel good moment for the whole community and I would hate to see such things done away with for that reason. That said, I do think that the "automatic awards" to civil servants, MPs and the (senior) military should cease.

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Dave B
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Re: Honours systems

#6 Post by Dave B » June 13th, 2010, 2:45 pm

Mike wrote: I am all in favour of honours for ordinary folk who have done something extraordinary. A couple of years ago a good friend of ours (just an ordinary Joe) received the MBE. He throughly deserved the recognition (it was for services to charity) and it made the entire village very proud. it was a real feel good moment for the whole community and I would hate to see such things done away with for that reason. That said, I do think that the "automatic awards" to civil servants, MPs and the (senior) military should cease.
Nice to know that it has a beneficial effect beyond the recipient.

Perhaps there is a need for an "affiliate" or "associate" rank that can include whole groups, if a whole island (Malta) can be awarded a gallantry medal why not a whole charity an honour gong?
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Dave B
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Re: Honours systems

#7 Post by Dave B » June 13th, 2010, 2:53 pm

What about something like the learned societies, but without the "royal"? "The British Society of Honour"?
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Nick
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Re: Honours systems

#8 Post by Nick » June 13th, 2010, 11:01 pm

Mike wrote:As I mistakenly (because it was sort of off topic) said on the other thread, I am all in favour of honours for ordinary folk who have done something extraordinary.
And what would you do if an ordinary person becomes extraordinary?
That said, I do think that the "automatic awards" to civil servants, MPs and the (senior) military should cease
Hmmm... And you think that civil servants, MP's and the senior miltary have got to their exalted position just by turning up to work? Would you swap places with any of them?

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Re: Honours systems

#9 Post by Mike » June 14th, 2010, 7:57 am

And what would you do if an ordinary person becomes extraordinary?
As said above, I feel that that is who awards should be for.
Hmmm... And you think that civil servants, MP's and the senior miltary have got to their exalted position just by turning up to work? Would you swap places with any of them?
I did not say that. My objection is to "automatic" awards that are given out to such folks as a matter of course.

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Re: Honours systems

#10 Post by Marian » June 14th, 2010, 6:24 pm

Nick wrote: And what would you do if an ordinary person becomes extraordinary?
Um, have the senior military who no longer get the awards shoot them? There is a Monty Python skit in there somewhere. :D
Nick wrote: Hmmm... And you think that civil servants, MP's and the senior miltary have got to their exalted position just by turning up to work? Would you swap places with any of them?
Um, yes (I am one and lots of 'silly serpents' get their money that way) and yes, but only if my partner can get some money out of it. :wink:

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Dave B
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Re: Honours systems

#11 Post by Dave B » June 14th, 2010, 7:56 pm

I think honours should only be awarded for something that is outstanding, not for simply doing the job properly for the length of time required to qualify.

I don't know whether it is still the practice but at one time senior service officers were given a retirement promotion to boost their pensions. That's officers only, not the poor erks. Very senior officers got knighthoods for, basically, being very senior officers. Not sure that they had to be particularly good senior officers - but obviously good enough to rise to the top so, presumably, better than the rest. I hope.

I would guess a similar situation applies to senior civil service types.

If the person actually does something for which they should be honoured, then honour them. If they are just time served, well, give them a terminating bonus if they did not leave a mess behind them.
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Marian
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Re: Honours systems

#12 Post by Marian » June 15th, 2010, 6:07 pm

Dave B wrote:I think honours should only be awarded for something that is outstanding, not for simply doing the job properly for the length of time required to qualify.
Absolutely.
Dave B wrote:...Not sure that they had to be particularly good senior officers - but obviously good enough to rise to the top so, presumably, better than the rest. I hope.
That's the thing though. Rising through the ranks is not just a matter of doing a good job. It's very much about who you know and your social deportment.

Dave B wrote:If the person actually does something for which they should be honoured, then honour them. If they are just time served, well, give them a terminating bonus if they did not leave a mess behind them.
You are very generous. If their contract clearly stated they are to get a termination bonus upon leaving, ok, but not just for doing their job properly, imo. I thought a bonus was for doing over and above the standard not just tidying up.
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Dave B
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Re: Honours systems

#13 Post by Dave B » June 15th, 2010, 7:01 pm

Marian said:
You are very generous. If their contract clearly stated they are to get a termination bonus upon leaving, ok, but not just for doing their job properly, imo. I thought a bonus was for doing over and above the standard not just tidying up.
Good point. Perhaps the concept of negative bonuses for mistakes should be introduced?

In one job I was a quality control inspector at the end of an electronics assembly line. Since these units went into nuclear subs they had to be very, very good. The unions sorted out a "job on time" bonus system, but any rework time had to be added to the total. Us inspectors got an average of the line's bonus.

So, the better we did our job and the more units we sent back for re-work the smaller our bonus was.

Some-one did not have their thinking head on did they?
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Marian
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Re: Honours systems

#14 Post by Marian » June 16th, 2010, 12:22 am

Dave B wrote: In one job I was a quality control inspector at the end of an electronics assembly line. Since these units went into nuclear subs they had to be very, very good. The unions sorted out a "job on time" bonus system, but any rework time had to be added to the total. Us inspectors got an average of the line's bonus.
So, the better we did our job and the more units we sent back for re-work the smaller our bonus was.
Some-one did not have their thinking head on did they?
Oh dear! That is truly disturbing. These units went into nuclear subs?? Remind me not to get a job on those. :wink:
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Alan H
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Re: Honours systems

#15 Post by Alan H » December 30th, 2013, 11:29 pm

Now here's a Torygraph headline you might not have expected to see: New Year Honours 2014: David Cameron 'cronies' rewarded

However, the subject matter was entirely predictable.
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1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
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jaywhat
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Re: Honours systems

#16 Post by jaywhat » December 31st, 2013, 6:13 am

I am opposed to the current honours arrangements in UK. It re-enforces the class system and the role of the monarchy and privilege. I could go on but I will leave it there.

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Dave B
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Re: Honours systems

#17 Post by Dave B » December 31st, 2013, 9:12 am

So long as the volunteers and, as today, people like whistle blowers get some sort of recognition I am willing to ignore the rest.

Except for those upper level awards that go to those who, in any way, help the political parties. The rewards should be only for services to enhance the community, the arts etc., not for any partisan reason at all - no matter how many hours a day for however many years a person dedicates their energy or how much money they give in support of any party's political ambitions.
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Re: Honours systems

#18 Post by animist » January 4th, 2014, 5:18 pm

jaywhat wrote:I am opposed to the current honours arrangements in UK. It re-enforces the class system and the role of the monarchy and privilege. I could go on but I will leave it there.
I agree, and the most ludicrous aspect is when a spy or sexual abuser is retrospectively stripped of some honour. In most cases the honoured person has already gained some sort of income or kudos for whatever s/he has done, so what is the need to honour them in the name of a non-existent empire?

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Dave B
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Re: Honours systems

#19 Post by Dave B » January 4th, 2014, 6:01 pm

Perhaps the present system is anachronistic but I am still in favour of some for of civic reward system. There was once a sci-fi story where the Brits were beating the rest in innovation because of such a system.

But it was not the innovators who got the gongs and titles, it was the "patrons", the entrepreneurs and financiers who gave the inventors and developers support. The bigger and better the innovation the further they went up the ladder!

But that was written in the sixties I think, when such things were better looked upon.
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Alan H
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Re: Honours systems

#20 Post by Alan H » December 27th, 2015, 6:44 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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