New Year Gongs...

  Quickbeam 10:11 31 Dec 2008
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I'm glad to see that Chris Hoy got the 'Top Gong' for his achievements without a raft of others to devalue it.

  bremner 10:46 31 Dec 2008

Someone who rides a bike quickly gets a Knighthood.

Someone who hearing one of the explosions on 7/7 ran into the scene and saved the lives of two people gets a minor gong.

The whole system is from a different era and should be scrapped.

  Quickbeam 10:51 31 Dec 2008

The gongs are an acknowledgment of something done in the public eye, they've never been a bravery award.

  bremner 10:58 31 Dec 2008

That seems to have changed click here

  Forum Editor 11:05 31 Dec 2008

who played Prime Minister Tony Blair in the Oscar-winning movie "The Queen" with Helen Mirren, got an OBE."

Words fail me.

As for Chris Hoy's knighthood - it's ludicrous. He rides bikes because he loves doing it, and his achievement at the Beijing Olympics was remarkable, but worth a knighthood? Not in my book, it devalues the whole system when this kind of thing happens. Every time British sports-people win something we seem to fall over ourselves in a rush to get them into the next honours list.

  Quickbeam 11:23 31 Dec 2008

Yes, it's a system that belongs to another age (The Age of Empire), it at least brings to the fore the faces of some achievers.

And at that I sense we'll all have to agree to be in great disagreement, until a better system comes along... but I won't be holding my breath.

  Forum Editor 11:59 31 Dec 2008

is that the media - notably TV - have decided to indulge in orgasms of delight whenever there's a British sporting achievement. They work to bring the viewing audience to a fever pitch of excitement that is out of all proportion to the real importance of the event. The result is that we're all expected to fawn on sports 'personalities' as though they are gods, down from the Olympian heights to mingle with us lesser mortals for a while.

Someone who drives a car around a track faster than other drivers is hailed as a super-hero, and spoken about in tones of reverence. Little thought is given to the huge team of people working behind the scenes, without whom the driver would never complete a lap.

Each year the BBC trumpets the 'Sports personality of the year' award ceremony as if it's the single biggest date in our calendar, and we are treated to a glitz fest of excruciating proportions - it's like watching paint dry as the cameras pan across the rows of smirking sports people, few of whom seem to possess much in the way of personality anyway, while we watch selected clips of their moments of triumph - clips we've probably seen a hundred times before. In an atmosphere of mounting hysteria the presenters struggle to imbue the proceedings with excitement, but I can never escape the feeling that the only real excitement is in the minds of the participants.

By all means let's applaud sporting achievement for what it is, but not to the extent that we lose all sense of value. There are hundreds of people who work hard for years making a real contribution to society, without any hope of ever being accorded public recognition - they're not famous because they don't make good telly, and that alone seems to ensure that they'll go to their graves without their contribution being recognised.

Our shallow obsession with heaping honours onto cyclists and actors for what amounts to a single achievement in their chosen field is a national disgrace.

  tullie 12:07 31 Dec 2008

Couldent agree more FE

  Quickbeam 12:08 31 Dec 2008

Think I'll go back to the Top Gear thread and slag Jeremy off some more!

  Quickbeam 17:38 31 Dec 2008

Bearing in mind that John Major wanted to end the Civil Service and business exclusivity of gongs, should we then have nothing at all, or should we give deserving citizens with a shopping voucher reward for Woolies...

  laurie53 20:04 31 Dec 2008

Agree with every word of your 11.59 post.

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