Back in North Yorkshire and noticeably no rain

One annual ritual about this time is the New Year’s Honours list. Its publication is often met with loathing or apathy, and a pinch of ridicule thrown in. How come Raducanu, aged just 19, can be appointed an MBE, after winning just one Grand Slam title, the US Open (and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year)?

For most awards, although it is the Queen that ostensibly makes the appointment, she takes the ‘advice‘ of the Government i.e. the Prime Minister.

However for the highest appointment, The Most Noble Order of the Garter, the Queen can use her sole discretion. Membership of this order is limited to 24 plus the Queen herself and the Prince of Wales1Wikipedia Contributors (2022). List of current Knights and Ladies of the Garter. [online] Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_Knights_and_Ladies_of_the_Garter [Accessed 2 Jan. 2022]..

The appointment of Tony Blair to the honour has caused some reaction, many branding him a “war criminal” for taking Britain into the war in Iraq. As I write a petition to “rescind” the award has reached 250,000 signatures2Beech, S. and McEwen, A. (2022). Tony Blair petition sees 250,000 people call for knighthood to be rescinded. [online] Daily Record. Available at: https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/tony-blair-petition-sees-over-25835472 [Accessed 2 Jan. 2022]..

Presumably if it is the Queen that has decided on this appointment, it is up to her and her alone to “rescind” it. Somehow I can’t see that happening.

But perhaps there is more to this than meets the eye. By appointing an ex-Labour Prime Minister to the order, maybe Her Majesty is just having a poke at our current Prime Minister. Getting her own back for being lied to in the proroguing of Parliament3Bowcott, O., Quinn, B. and Carrell, S. (2019). Johnson’s suspension of parliament unlawful, supreme court rules. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/sep/24/boris-johnsons-suspension-of-parliament-unlawful-supreme-court-rules-prorogue [Accessed 2 Jan. 2022]..

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