Pay up £571M or lose your knighthood
The above headline (from the Daily Mirror 25 July 2016) reflects the exasperation that many feel at the behaviour of Sir Philip Green – former boss of BHS.
But surely this is muddled thinking?
If Sir Philip has behaved so badly that many feel he should lose his knighthood, how does him “paying up” purge his guilt and allow him to keep his knighthood? It’s almost as if he is being told that he has been so bad that he is going to lose his knighthood – but that he can buy it back for £571M.
Knighthoods should not be for sale.
Allowing a company that you control to run up such a huge pension deficit that the fund has to be rescued to ensure that pensioners get 90% of what is due to them must be wrong. Sir Philip seemed to either not care about the deficit or not be bothered about how the scheme was being funded. But he took the rewards and the honours.
The London Gazette, Publication date: 17 June 2006, Supplement: 58014, Page: 1
When considering whether someone should hold on to their knighthood surely two factors need to be taken into account:
- Have the grounds for which the honour was awarded since been found to be in some way invalid? or,
- Has the recipient been found guilty of an offence which leads to the forfeiture of honours?
I don’t see how, under public pressure, coughing up £571M can alter either of those two factors.