Let's make Lord Coe King of the Jungle

The man who delivered London's Olympics is fast running out of titles to acquire

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The Independent Online

Doesn’t it prove how ridiculous 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 and was probably constitutionally entitled to grope the Foreign Secretary whenever he fancied, 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 prey, is Sebastian Coe. Even the gorilla retreats before him, rather than raise a critical point about ticket allocations for the swimming finals in the Olympics.”

Some people do object to the honours he’s granted, questioning his financial arrangements or recalling his time as a Conservative MP. But these issues are irrelevant. Because what really makes you sick is 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?”

So it’s 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. Someone needs to tell the people who give them out, there’s no point in being a Commander or a Knight of the British Empire as it ended several decades ago. They might as well have made Bruce Forsyth a centurion in the Roman army, or declared 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 Supreme Conqueror of Teletubbyland or awarding Mo Farah an imaginary talking sunflower to keep him company while he’s running.

Maybe some of those who received awards will cause embarrassment by believing that 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. This is why the real disappointment with each honours list is that people who 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 from now on always be addressed as Mo Farah RTG. Instead of an OBE, Andy Murray should be made a Ludicrously Unappreciated Marvel. 

When people receive awards for work in the community, 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 made Archbishop of Atlantis.