The honours system and your friends

have any of your friends got honours and do you think any of them will in time?

I'm a nil return on this! 

Not close m8s, no, I don't exactly move in those circles.

Professional acquaintances: yes several. 

Both my parents. None of my friends or immediate family currently qualifies.

Oh I'm m8s with sons of peers and that sort of thing, obvs. I thought you meant all the meritocratic stuff.

TBF the the meritocratic recipients are only a subset of the New Years/Brenda's B'day honours lists

Maffew OBE, of course.

Although I don't usually like to tell people we're m9s.



a couple but they are both very modest about it (and tbf they are low ranking at the mo).


My mum always said that the letters before your name are far more important than the ones that come after it.

Linkedin just reminded me about saying hello to my former colleague, Mary Bloggs AM.

She and her husband both got one, as a two-for-the-price-of-one type thing.  Great people, philanthropists (quite wealthy but even more generous with their time than their money, which says a lot).  Funny, one of their sons served as an enlisted soldier in Afghanistan, and then joined the police in a remote area.  He was up for a bravery decoration himself (might still happen) after saving the lives of a few clueless tourists after stripping down to his Bonds jocks in crocodile infested floodwaters.  Doesn't get any more clicheed than that. 

My mum always said that the letters before your name are far more important than the ones that come after it.

Very ahead of her time on the spectrum of gender pronouns?

“I thought no one would ever find me and I was going to die. I had been walking and swimming for maybe an hour and then I heard someone calling out my name,” she said.

“It was the policeman, the one who came and saved me. I did not know then he was a policeman, he wasn’t wearing a uniform. He did not have any clothes on at all. I just saw a man right across the other side of the river. He was yelling out my name to me. I screamed out to him for help.”




actually no, he was wearing Bonds jocks - as all the newspapers gleefully reported.

My father had two.

One of my m8s is a senior army officer and has a string of the usual medals but also a CBE which was a surprise to all concerned. I think it must have something to do with the work he has done in Afghanistan when on the outside of his Apache helicopter and not blowing things to bits but helping to develop democracy, the rule of law and a trained and effective military and police force in the country. Either that or he has slept with a minor royal.

The armed forces pretty much take it in turns to nominate.  Same with civil service.  

There are a few amongst my parents' friends.  Suspect one or two of my friends will end up with something along the way.

Or, mutters - he got to the level where it was expected...

if we're moving beyond contemporaries - my old man turned down one and sort of turned down another (in as much as he turned down a new-fangled aussie one in favour of a - nominally lower-ranking - Imperial gallantry award).

Have a couple of friends with inherited titles, or titles that will pass to them on their fathers passing.

Surely inherited titles are very embarrassing in this day and age. Don’t people just renounce them quietly? 

it's a prize way of telling who's a complete khunt badger.  when people have their honours either (a) in their signature block; (b) in their linkedin title; or (c) in their email name (FFS!?!?  what)

not thinking of anybody in particular. oh no not at all

oops. just realised somebody around here does one of the above.  that WASN'T who I had in mind. OBVIOUSLY


Putting in your email signature is surely mandatory? Why on earth wouldn't you? Unless you're so terribly humble, in which case you should decline.

Former colleague of mine got MBE a few years back (definitely deserved).  

Otherwise I'm of the view that UK honours are ridiculous pantomime baubles.

it's like the people who put their degree and their [cilex] qualifications in there.




I hardly think you can compare

John Smith, CBE


John Smith, BA (Keele)

there is a close correlation between the two in my experience.



Clubbers, don't worry - it's not as tragic as dealing with a German lawyer:


Kind regards


Dr Fritz Schickelgruber, LLM (Otago)


Of course, I'm now getting to an age where an honour no longer seems absurdly pompous, but rather a just reward for a lifetime of public service..


[to paraphrase John Simpson in his autobiography]. 

My kind old uncle had one of the Civil Service ones.

tbh - azure lizard - I'd be very keen to read John Simpson's book.  I reckon he'd have some interesting things to say.



Rufus BA (Bombay) (failed).

I once dated a girl who was a producer for BBC News. She said JS loved himself even more than Paxo.  

Blue Iguana

BSc (Bronze Swimming Certificate)

Chap I was at university with now has an OBE.  I assume he didn't get it for once joyriding in a JCB which is the only thing I can remember about him.

He very well might.  But fck me he's done some cool things. 

Evacuated from HK as a nipper on the flying boats just before the war, with a overnight or three in Alexandria on the way through.  Interesting times.

The only highlight of my otherwise too regular travel on BA was to read his column in their inflight mag.

I've read most of JS's books and they are indeed very interesting.  I particularly liked the story of Mohamed Aideed's son being sent to Somalia as a reservist by USMC in order to, er, help track down his own father!

talking of swimming, I think I did bronze survival but silver challenge


maybe I need to update my sig block

diceman, I've got a bronze medallion (Royal Life Saving Society).  Does that count?


Was googlestalking my m9 from uni today - he appeared in the paper writing an obituary for the recently deposed ex-president of a particularly obscure South Pacific republic.  As a lawyer he has done lots of very interesting things in interesting places.  Seems they gave him a couple of medals (not decorations) for working in Afghanistan.

Although given that they hand them out these days in wheaties packets (almost like the americans do) that probably doesn't mean much.

I read a story by a life peer's son once, his name was Kenneth Young and he was entitled to call himself 'The Honourable". He lived in the US and thought this title would help get him laid, so he applied for a credit card as "The Honourable Kenneth Young".  Of course there was not room for this on the card itself which came back as "Hon Ken Young".  He could never use this card without explaining why he did not look Korean...

Kaul, I didn't  know you could renounce inherited titles? Thankfully they don't ever use them in email signatures, or indeed anything as far as I am aware.


Is it naff do you reckon do have Dr( of the academic kind), on business cards, cheque books, credit/debit cards/email signatures, etc. I say it depends, but mostly not.

ebitda15 May 19 16:32

Reply | 


Kaul, I didn't  know you could renounce inherited titles? Thankfully they don't ever use them in email signatures, or indeed anything as far as I am aware.


I remember a family friend (son of a peer) tore the "Hon" off his placecard at a wedding one time, as he was rather embarrassed by it.  Does that count as renunciation? 

Mother and step father

Im at that age where my contemporaries could start to distinguish themselves, if they’re going to. One appears to be dreaming of a K although he’s got a fair way to go yet.

Various rellies, m8s and m7s and one sibling out of four.  

None of my contemporaries do (AFAIK).  The couple of friends from uni who are now bazzas/politicos will probably get something and the husband of a good friend is a fairly senior foreign office type so he will no doubt get something in time.

A family friend is a life peer. I suspect my mum will get an MBE for long term community do gooding when she retires.


I know a couple of people with hereditary titles but no lifetime ones / honours

My former sidekick assoc was The Hon.  A fact of which I was unaware until he showed me his mum's obit in The Times.  Very understated, very nice chap.

I have a couple of baronesses, a DCB, a DBE, a couple of CBEs, a number of OBEs (one got his yesterday), a number of MBEs and an LVO amongst my friends.  A couple of knighthoods expecting in the coming years.


Once shagged an Hon. but that was a ONS.

Got my Honours years ago tbh. LLB m8. You guys really need to get with the system.

When I was a student I worked in a gentlemen's outfitters at Christmas to make a few bob.  I once served someone who had PC at the end of his name on his credit card.  Took me a moment to work out what that was and it wasn't until after he'd walked out of the shop that I realised I'd just served the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland!