Honour Lists – Honourable Members
How many professions are there where you get a knighthood merely for “industry and longevity”? Well, MPs do. It’s not as if it’s not a well paid and comfortable job. What is so special about “political service” that you get knighthoods awarded? 20 Years as a lollipop lady and you get a BEM.
Anyone done an analysis of which professions stand the greatest chance of being honoured and at what level?
Starter for 10 looking at levels:
|BEM||Lollipop ladies and School dinner ladies (yes I know)|
|MBE||Sportsmen and women who after years get a bit of personal success,
|OBE||Sportsmen and women who have succeeded and done a bit more (captaincy, charity work)
Top Teachers and Medics,
Really Popular Celebrities
Minor Businessmen and women (for them to get an MBE is a bit infra-dig)
|CBE||More senior businessmen,
Very senior Educationalists, Medics and Scientists
OBEs who have done a bit more (charity work, profession leaders)
|Knights & Dames||Politicians,
|Peerages||The Great and Good – which includes a lot of superannuated politicians|
The 2015 New Years Honours List gives the following data about rates:
|Honour||Total Awarded||Active Politicians
|CH (Companions Of Honour)||4||Lord Ashdown
|Knights (Bachelor)||21||David Amess
|GCB, KCB, DCB (Order of Bath – knighthood ranks – reserved for civil service and military)||1||n/a|
|GCMG, KCMG, DCMG (Order of St Michael and St George – knighthood ranks – reserved for diplomats)||0||n/a|
|GBE, KBE, DBE (Order of British Empire – knighthood ranks)||16||Anne McGuire¹|
|CBE (Order of British Empire – Commander)||107||nil|
|OBE (Order of British Empire – Officer)||243||Charles Walker
(& 1 ex-MEP)²
|MBE (Order of British Empire – Member)||473||nil|
|BEM (British Empire Medal)||292||nil|
If you want to get one of the higher honours, it looks as if your chances are significantly better if you are a politician. Looking at the chances, it’s not that 3 out 650 MPs got Knighthoods (or Damehoods); the chances are much greater because of those 650 a large number are already Knights or Dames, and then some will have refused (or would refuse) such honours on principle. So it may be that there are only around 400 MPs able and willing to be so honoured; 3 out of 400 is pretty good odds.
Why don’t estate agents, journalists and bankers get honoured at similar rates and levels?