Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year

Well, that was 2012! Four months of very tough election campaigning, but with the right result, followed by four months of Olympics fever, then four months of recovery.

2013 promises to be just as tough, with a very difficult budget settlement and changes to Fire and Police services to be unveiled in the coming weeks. At least there won't be an election this year, assuming the coalition holds together...

And congratulations to colleagues recognised in the New Year Honours:

Hornchurch & Upminster MP Angela Watkinson has been knighted. I first met Angela on the night of my selection for Havering & Redbridge in 1999 and helped her to win the seat in 2001. She is a fine ambassador for politics and the Conservative Party.

Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy has also been knighted. Peter and I have crossed swords many times over the years, but even his greatest critics couldn't fault his organisation of London's transport for The Games.

Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon is awarded an MBE. From 2008 to 2012 the three strong Liberal Democrat Group punched well above its weight although their reduction to just two members and the loss of Mike Tuffrey and Dee Doocey has left them struggling since May.

And best wishes to all my readers for 2013!


Anonymous said...

If someone is well paid for doing a job, why should they receive honours as well? I have to agree with Livingstone on this one - he was doing his job in lobbying for the London Olympics and his salary was his reward: CBE unnecessary. Honours should be reserved for volunteers, not politicians.

Morris Hickey said...

Congratulations Anonymous. Yours is not the first comment to be made on this post, but it is the first to be published.

Hendy was awarded a CBE in 2006 under Livingstone and Bliar for keeping public transport running during the 7/7 atrocities. He has now been knighted - the next level up under the honours system.

In general terms I agree with your view about use of the honours system.