New Years Honours, Lib Dems and what a good honours system should look like

I’ve spotted two Liberal Democrats in the New Years Honours list. The first is Zuffar Haq – who, in addition to his Lib Dem activity has an impressive record of other good works, such as running a medical charity. Congratulations on your MBE, Zuffar.

I can say that quite genuinely not only because he’s a lovely chap I’ve had the good fortune to meet a few times but also because of the breadth of his good works outside politics.

Likewise, congratulations to town councillor Molly Rennie from Dorchester, recognised for her work raising awareness of domestic abuse. As she told her local paper:

It’s not about me, it’s about all the people that we have been able to help through the support we give and raising awareness for domestic abuse.

When I first got involved there was nothing but now there are so many people and places willing to help.

The whole community wrapped themselves around this service from the beginning, we have got so many people out there wanting to make a difference.

What I do, though, find increasingly hard is to congratulate those in other years – or in other parties this year – who get an honour simply for having been a politician (or civil servant, one of those other favoured professions) for many years and getting to a fairly senior level, at least briefly.

For me, honours should be about acknowledging and thanking the truly remarkable or the otherwise largely unrecognised. Doing a relatively safe job pretty well for a few decades shouldn’t be enough. Brilliance, bravery or selfless dedication is what I’d like to see recognised far more.


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