System 'would have to be reinvented'
Friday 05 March 1993
Sir Michael said the notion that people automatically received medals was exaggerated. 'You don't get recognition until your late forties or early fifties. The numbers are very small compared with the total size of the service.'
He said he received his knighthood at the relatively early age of 49 for his role in the negotiations for Britain's entry into the Common Market, but emphasised that this was an exception.
'You can say that the honours system is appealing to the wrong side of human nature, but I dont think that's true. People are pleased to see other people doing well.'
Sir Patrick Nairne, a former permanent secretary at the then department of health and social security, said he saw no need for an egalitarian system that would give him and his doorman the same title.
He told BBC Radio 4: 'One can see some point in a man or a woman at the top receiving something called an honour. He is unquestionably in a position of far greater personal responsibility than the doorman, even though the quality of the public service may be comparable.
'There is an angle relating to the authority and responsibility of a post which fits with retaining a long-standing honours system, including knighthoods.'
- 1 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 4 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...