Honours Quotas: Why All Mustn’t Have Prizes

Including more “X” means less “Y”

I have just come back from my daughter’s school sports day – one of those old fashioned affairs where winners are allowed to win and losers to lose – and the delight on the children’s faces as they competed viciously, desperately and passionately with one another in everything from the tug of war to the three-legged race was a joy to behold.

But are we sure he's African/Chinese/female or disabled enough?

But are we sure he’s African/Chinese/female or disabled enough?

Winning matters. Politically correct games where everyone wins in order to spare the losers the pain of losing are no fun at all. Children instinctively understand this, even if “Progressive” adults do not. If Girl was at one of those ghastly schools with one of those right-on head teachers who bans competitive sports in the name of “fairness”, I think I should be inclined to complain to the governors for permitting such wanton cruelty. Not only does it discriminate against all the athletically-gifted kids by denying them the chance to shine. But it also instills in children the ludicrous idea that life is fair, and non-competitive, and feeling-nurturing, and loser-friendly, thus setting them up nicely to be eaten alive when they encounter the real world.

But just when one or two brave state schools – such as my daughter’s splendid Church of England Primary – have started to take a stand against this nonsense, it seems that our increasingly risible government is determined to spread its ludicrous all-shall-have-prizes ethos still further across our poisoned realm.

According to yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph:

“The Cabinet Office, which oversees the honours process, has told Whitehall departments submitting nominations to ensure that their lists include more female and non-white candidates.”

“The instruction was disclosed in a letter seen by The Sunday Telegraph in which Hayley Harris, the Deputy Honours Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government, demanded that more than half of all local government candidates put forward for next year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours must be women.”

Let’s pause just a moment, shall we, to have a quick vomit that there actually exists in the Government a position called “Deputy Honours Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government”, that she has power and that, through our taxes, we are paying for her utterly pointless work. Right, now let us carry on. The story continues:

“In her letter, sent to John Ransford, the chief executive of the Local Government Association, Mrs Harris also made clear that there should be more candidates from two specific ethnic groups, “Black African” and “Chinese”, which had allegedly been “under represented” in the past.

“The continuing disproportionate shortfall in the number of female candidates is a matter of serious concern,” she wrote on June 18.

“It is not acceptable that the number of women put forward for honours from all sources is so far below the proportion in society as a whole.”

“This is a matter which we are expected to address this round and in future rounds by ensuring that 55 per cent of our candidates put forward to the Cabinet Office are women.”

Presumably the Government will now be remedying this appalling imbalance by sending out Honours staff – perhaps even Mrs Harris herself – to hang out at ethnically-favoured areas such as Brixton market with bags of OBEs, knighthoods and such like. Perhaps they could even open a stall.

“Honours! Honours! Come and get your honours. No talent necessary. How about you sir. Yes, sir – no not you with the dreadlocks and red gold and green woollie hat, you’re the wrong kind of black – you sir, with the fetching tribal scars, are you from Africa, by any chance?”

As a white, middle-class male – about the most-discriminated-against group in Britain – I naturally resent this policy quite a bit. But not nearly as much as I’d resent it were I a female and/or black African and/or Chinese person who’d been given an honour in the last few years.

There these people were  imagining that they’d been given their awards for some signal and exemplary service to the nation. And now, suddenly, in the name of “equality” and “fairness”, they are effectively being told by the State – “Sorry, but we consider you slightly, manky second-rate citizens who aren’t really capable of winning prizes on your own merit. So we’ve decided to make you feel better about your inadequacies by skewing the system in your favour.”

If I were in these people’s shoes, I think I’d be inclined to hand back my MBE or CBE or whatever in protest. If a prize is worth winning, it’s worth winning on merit and merit alone. Which is why I have absolutely no hesitation in awarding this week’s coveted Prize Prat Award to – yes let’s pass that sickbag one more time – the Deputy Honours Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government.

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