I've just been flicking through the New Years Honours list. To be honest I think the whole thing has become completely devalued in recent years with too much emphasis on the celebrities who get a gong, to the exclusion of those who personify true excellence in their own fields. It says a lot that Norfolk Blogger felt it necessary to write a blogpost bemoaning the lack of a Knighthood for Bruce Forsyth, who, incidentally, already has a CBE. What Norfolk Blogger is saying is that Forsyth should get a K for presenting Strictly Come Dancing, because that has been the only thing of significance (if that is the right word) since he was awarded the CBE in 2006. Utterly preposterous.
I was also interested to see the excellent historian David Cannadine got a Knighthood, with his wife Linda Colley also getting a CBE for services to historical studies. It would be interesting to know under what criteria these honours were awarded. While I am in no way critical of these two awards, I would love to know on what basis David Cannadine deserves a Knighthood yet the peerless Professor Peter Hennessy hasn't even got an MBE. Could it be anything to do with the fact that the Cannadines, as well as being superb historians, are very 'in' with the Labour Party, whereas Hennessy is a thorn in their side (as he is with all parties, to be fair)? It is this sort of suspicion which brings the whole honours system into disrepute. And I am fully aware it went on under the Conservatives too.
If ever there was an historian who deserved recognition for his work on the conduct of government it is surely Peter Hennessy. He is far more deserving of a 'Knighthood campaign' than Bruce Forsyth.