Mark Steel: Next year, let's make Lord Coe an Archbishop

Doesn't it prove how ridiculous the New Year's honours are, that they have to give another one to Sebastian bloody Coe? He was already a knight and a peer and a baron, but they had to give him something else, so now they've made him a Timelord or whatever it is. Next year they'll make him King of the Jungle, replacing the lion, and by law all wildlife programmes will have to go: "But striding above all other creatures, prowling with magisterial magnificence as it surveys its domain, is Sebastian Coe. Even the gorilla retreats before him, rather than raise a critical point about ticket allocations for the swimming finals at the Olympics."

What really makes you sick is that he's the world champion smarmy neat and tidy goody-goody, and every time he gets an award it's like the state saying to the rest of us, "Why can't you be more like Sebastian? They're all twats, aren't they Sebastian?"

It's actually fitting that he's honoured every year, because New Year's honours don't really honour people at all, as they're based on farcical feudal titles.

There's no point in being a Commander or a Knight of the British Empire, as the empire ended several decades ago. They might as well have made Bruce Forsyth a centurion in the Roman army, or Judi Dench a chieftain priest in a neolithic village. The honours are for a land that doesn't exist. It makes as much sense as making Stella McCartney the Supreme Conqueror of Teletubbyland.

Maybe some of those who received awards will cause embarrassment by believing they mean something. Tracey Emin will rearrange the Punjab into an art installation, claiming it's her right to command the British Empire, and Jessica Ennis will cause a diplomatic incident by turning Burma into a hurdles track.

The real disappointment with each honours list is that people who do deserve an award get such a pointless title. Mo Farah shouldn't have been given a CBE, he should be made a Right Top Geezer, and henceforth should be addressed as Mo Farah RTG.

When people receive awards for work in the community, at the moment they get a British Empire Medal. What an insult. They might as well be told, "Well done for being a lollipop lady for 85 years. Here's an old ashtray we found lying around in the loft." They should be made Bloody Diamonds and allowed to be head of state for 20 minutes, while Sebastian Coe makes do with being Archbishop of Atlantis.

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