A TENNIS-PLAYER CALLED ANDY MURRAY will apparently soon be made a knight by the Queen of England because he won a few games of tennis resulting in a few million people feeling “awesome” about it. But he won’t be a *real* knight, for he cannot measure up to what it takes for that. The entire “honours” system in the UK is a stitch-up involving nepotism, toadyism and outright bribery. It is a complete farce. In a speech to the Churchill Society in 1998, John Lidstone said: “Every stone I have looked under in the history of our present honours system is a history of bribery and corruption”. Going right back to prime minister Lloyd-George (who, between 1917 and 1922, made a personal fortune of £1.5 million from the sale of honours) through Harold Macmillan, Harold Wilson, Margaret Thatcher to Tony Blair, he showed how honours in the UK have been bought by and sold to party donors, friends in high places, “luvvies” in the entertainment world and other undeserving characters. I agree with Lidstone when he wrote in an article (29/12/2005) in The Independent: “Honours should be awarded to two categories of people only — those who have done signal deeds beyond their job and duty, and those who perform acts of heroism in civil or military life — and to no one else”. That would rule out Andy Murray, as he was merely doing his job and that is not a worthy justification for a knighthood. A knight is a hero who exceptionally steps outside ordinary human behaviour in the service of others — self-sacrificially, courageously, without a thought for self-preservation. With the occasional exception, the honours list in the UK takes no account of that whatsoever. It is as redundant and corrupt as the now propagandist Nobel Peace Prize awards, whose recipients include war criminals and people (or organisations) who have done nothing of any value whatsoever. (Nobel’s original idea was that the awards should go to those who were actively engaged in dismantling militarisation and the system of war). One thing one learns in this life is that those things which are most valued and lauded by governments, the media, the film, music, literary and other arts industries are generally of little or no lasting value; while the real heroes and achievers of this world work on in obscurity, going beyond the call of duty and fulfilling the call to selfless greatness.