Davos Newbies Home

New Year treat 

I’d missed Daniel Davies’s original post on Globollocks, but his scoring of Johan Norberg is a delight to read.

Honours and dishonours 

The biannual folly of honours (Arise, Sir Tim!) is upon us. One of the elements of seasonal cheer this year has been the exposure of the triviality that reigns in the award of honours, as well as the publication of a true list of honour: those that have over the years refused honours for whatever reason.

One of the arguments that is frequently aired in support of the honours system is that every country has something of the sort. Wrong. Ireland apparently has no honours of any kind. The US is often cited for the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal (as happened on Radio 5 Live this morning). But these strike me as something totally different, not least in that I think any American would be hard pressed to name any recipient of either of these medals. And I don’t think Wes Clark appends PMF to his name as a reminder of his award.

What really is the point of this nonsense?

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