As an Irish citizen, and one who is not fit to polish a pair of Armani shades, I am nonetheless proud to live in a country where titles of nobility are outlawed by the constitution (Article 40.2, check it out). So it's always a disappointment when one of my compatriots takes the symbolic equivalent of the Queen's Shilling.
Some you'd expect nothing more from, such as rugby playing multinational capitalists and South County Dublin pop singers who once claimed to be punks and who'd do anything to stay in the media eye (including marrying Paula Yates). But what have we now but arise Sir Paul (and I don't mean McCartney). And despite what he says on the U2 website, there can't conceivably be any doors that an honorary knighthood will open up for the short-arsed sunglasses devotee that weren't open already. I for one intend to return my CDs in protest!
Meanwhile across the Irish Sea
Having bought into the British Honours system, Sir Bono might do well to take a look at the case of boxer 'Prince' Naseem Hameed. In an extremely rare, if not unprecedented act in recent times
The Queen has directed that the appointment of Naseem Hamed to be a Member of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, dated 31 December 1998, shall be cancelled and annulled and that his name shall be erased from the Register of the said Order.
Naseem lost his gong after serving a jail sentence for a dangerous driving incident in which another driver was seriously injured. On the off-chance, I caught a phone-in show on BBC Radio 2 yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to hear the great British public in outcry about the annulment. Accusations of racism and 'What about Jeffrey Archer, then?' abounded. At least someone somewhere knows what the score is.
According to the Cabinet Office "Forfeiture will be considered if evidence comes to light that someone has done something which shows they shouldn't have received an honour." I would guess that perjury, witness tampering, and writing execrable fiction might just meet that criterion. Former prisoner FF8282 and Baron of Weston-Super-Mare, was unavailable for comment.
And finally, if that weren't enough to convince Sir Bono about the nature of the system he's bought into, long term tax exile and wannabe Scotsman Rod 'the Mod' Stewart joins the list of past their sell-by date popsters with a CBE, presumably for services to blondes (thanks to Sandra Leckie for that joke!).