Tuesday, January 02, 2007

No mention of Archer or Speechley in honours list of shame...

What have these people in common...Francis Bacon, Sir Roger Casement, Kim Philby, Lester Piggott...

They're all in The Guardian's list of people who have had honours removed...

The list was published today as part of The Guardian's coverage of the removal of boxing chump Prince Naseem's Hamed's MBE following his jailing for driving offences.

There's no mention in the Guardian list of former Tory Leader of Lincolnshire County Council Jim Speechley who, as I mentioned yesterday, had his CBE removed after he served a jail sentence for abuse of public office.

And there's no place either in the Guardian "Hall of Shame" of former Tory Party deputy chairman Jeffrey Archer who was also jailed for wrong-doing - and who served most of his sentence here in Lincolnshire, where he'd also once also served as one of the youngest ever MPs.

But Archer still has the honour of a life peerage. He still manages to bring the system into disrepute by officially remaining Lord Archer of Weston-super-Mare: technically there's nothing to stop jailbird Archer sitting in Parliament as a law-maker, rather than a law-breaker.

Following the withdrawal of Prince Naseem's honour yesterday, a spokeswoman for the Cabinet Office told the Guardian that withdrawal of an honour was "extremely rare".

She said:
Forfeiture will be considered if evidence comes to light that someone has done something which shows they shouldn't have received an honour.
Er, such as perjury and perverting the course of justice, perhaps, the crime that Archer was convicted of, resulting in his four-year-jail sentence.

Hamed was convicted after the McLaren Mercedes sports car he was driving at 90mph on the wrong side of the road smashed into another vehicle.

Witnesses said Hamed had been driving "like a maniac".

The other driver's vehicle was stopped and pushed backwards in the collision which left Anthony Burgin with every major bone in his body broken and injuries to his brain. Rescuers said his physical state was "like soup".

His "fantastic life" was destroyed.

For the record, here's the Guardian's list of shame of those whose honours have been removed:

*** In 1621 the philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon was charged with taking bribes, stripped of his title and fined.

*** Sir Roger Casement, the Irish nationalist hero, lost his title before being hanged for treason in 1916.

*** Kim Philby lost his OBE and Sir Anthony Blunt was stripped of his title of Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order when it was revealed they had been spies for the Soviet Union.

*** Former champion jockey Lester Piggott was stripped of his OBE in 1988 after being jailed for a £3m tax fraud.

*** Jack Lyons lost his knighthood after his conviction for fraud in the Guinness trial.

*** World darts champion Phil Taylor was relieved of his MBE last year after being convicted of assaulting two female fans.

*** Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was stripped of his honorary Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath the day before his execution on Christmas day 1989.

A motley crew indeed...

Thought: Wonder if Jeffrey's comeback could be speeded up if he took a leaf out of the boxer's book and called himself "Prince Jeffrey Archer"...


Anonymous said...

A Matter of Honours?

fairdealphil said...


Happy New Year. And to the ever suffering Morag too...she deserves an Honour for up wsith you putting...!

Anonymous said...

If it says anything I agree that Archer should be stripped ofd his title too.

fairdealphil said...


it does say something: we may be on different sides of the political spectrum, but we can agree that the Archers and Speechleys of this world - and those in the Labour Party (Doncaster comes to mind...) or any other party who break the law, damage all of us.

the public tend not to make a distinction - when they read of wrong-doing, they think we've all got our snouts in the trough and cast a plague on all our houses...

Charles McCarthy said...

I must commcnd you, you managed to write a fair assesment of your postion in the Archer matter without stooping to personal attacks as so many or the Newspapers in your country seem to. I read Archers' prion diary and it occured to me that Archer would not be able to continue claiming he is the wronged party if the newspaper stopped their vicious persoanl attacks. Perhaps they should do the one thing that woulds really hurt him, ignore him!

Chuck McCarthy
Boxford, Massachusetts, USA