Bongs not gongs

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The Independent Culture
IN THE past, The Independent has suggested that honours should be awarded by public ballot. Now this Government, driven by opinion polls and a populist approach to media management, has achieved virtually the same result. Most of today's honours are to popular figures, who would have been chosen by vote. And, although there are still too many awards for Establishment Bugginses, there are also many for the ordinary heroes of small places. Step forward Phyllis Wells, who maintained war graves in Barry Town for 50 years, and Pamela Wilkinson, cleaner at Wirksworth Infants School, Matlock.

And finally, Sir Trevor McDonald must be pleased with his gong. But he would probably prefer to have News at Ten back. So would the rest of us.