After some initial euphoria with news of well-deserved New Year gongs for the likes of Ray Davies, Andy Murray, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill, normality quickly came back when it was also revealed that scores of well-paid civil servants were also awarded honours for “doing the jobs they were paid to do.” And awards to the likes of Tory donor David Ord, knighted for giving a million quid to the Tory Party. Just when you thought the honours system might at last become fairer and more sensible, it turns back into jobs for the boys. Luckily, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn stands up for the little man and woman.
The Tories were, he added “making a mockery” of the honours system with “crony appointments”. Hear, hear, Jez, as his cult following refer to him. Bloody crony appointments indeed. You’d never get a Labour leader doing that, would you? Oh wait a minute. Shami Chakrabarti’s peerage. I’d forgotten that one. That was when Corbyn was forced to address anti-Semitism in the Labour Party but instead installed a crony, Ms Chakrabarti, to produce a whitewash of a report, exonerating Labour from any suggestion of anti-Semitism in its ranks. “Thanks so much, Shami. Here’s that peerage I promised you!”
It’s not just the incompetence of Corbyn, it’s the sheer hypocrisy of the man. As well as criticising cronyism but also indulging in it, in the next breath he poses as the opponent of the establishment which he has been “fighting for over 40 years”. Eh? Privately educated, as his son was, the same son who is now employed by John McDonnell, Corbyn’s right hand man, himself a former grammar school pupil. I’m guessing he also fights against the establishment alongside former grammar schoolgirl Diane Abbott, who then sent her own son to one of the most expensive private schools in the land, as well as his chief spin doctor Seumas Milne, a privately educated multimillionaire who also sent his children to top grammar schools. It is not just the Tory Party which does not have the first idea how ordinary people live their lives, it’s the chattering classes of Islington, the Stalinists and Trotskyists of the affluent middle class who know what’s best for the plebs. Or so they think.
Patronage and cronyism exists everywhere. The nudge, nudge, wink, wink, it’s not what you know Britain still exists and it’s not confined to just the Tory Party. Have a look at any trade union and you will see it stuffed with like-minded comrades, appointed on the basis of their politics rather than ability. We are as far today from a genuine meritocracy as we have ever been and both the latest honours and Corbyn’s hypocrisy merely serve to remind us.