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How about all those people who sent their gongs back in protest at Lynton Crosby getting one, eh?

January 14, 2016


I really thought this might happen.  Or part of me.  And I gave it a couple of weeks.

You’ll gather that I really don’t like Lynton Crosby.  He’s made a lot of money out of the tobacco industry and subsequently he’s been a key figure in the legitimation of austeriarchies worldwide.  In terms of manufacturing mandates for the policy of blaming poor people for the greed and stupidity of rich people, reinforcing hereditary oligarchies and criminalising people who failed to exit the right sort of birth canal – Lynton Crosby is a defining character of our age.

Of course, he masterminded the Tory election win in 2015.  FPTP means that only about a quarter of the eligible electorate voted Tory last year.  But ’tis enough.  ‘Twill serve.  He it was who decided that instead of asking questions about poverty, sustainability, infrastructure, security, or what it means to be human in the twenty-first century – we should be asking far more cosmetic questions.  That election in May has already sentenced thousands to malnutrition, hypothermia and suicidal despair.

“Britain” of course is doomed.  Its kickdownist ideology has made it too hateful to cohere for very much longer though it will survive for longer than it deserves to.  Future historians will agree that Crosby was a key figure in its destruction.

Lynton Crosby is to be knighted.  Or has it happened yet?  Not that I’ll be watching the ceremony.  He is, as far as I can see, the enemy of Britain – or at least – of most of the people in Britain – which as far as I’m concerned is the same thing.

I’ve been waiting for a bunch of people to return their gongs.  In 1965, when the Beatles were given MBE’s some people sent their honours back – one memorable old Canadian saying he didn’t want to be compared to “vulgar nincompoops”.  The granting of a knighthood to Crosby indicates that in the twenty-first century – a cynical political hack should enjoy the same social and cultural prestige as The Beatles.  It occurred to me that some people might feel insulted by this comparison and return their “honours” in protest.  It really did.

Now it’s around this point that someone points out that Labour’s electoral guru Spencer (Baron) Livermore was honoured for electoral services – establishing a precedent.  But is it a good precedent?  Instead of trying “balance” the nobification of political hackery, would it not be be more instructive to argue that these people are already paid a truckload of cash in order to distort and disfigure political debate and advance a narrow and divisive agenda.  Why do Livermore or Crosby need honours?  Why can’t wealthy and horrible people just frame their bank statements?  What’s wrong with these folk that they crave this kind of irrelevant validation?

This debate is an old one.  It was pointed out back in the 1760s that the bare unadorned name of William Pitt (the Great Commoner) carried far more weight and prestige than the subsequent peer named Earl of Chatham.  And of course, the bare unadorned name of David Bowie has a cosmic resonance uncontaminated by any grubby prefix or suffix.

Exactly why people want to vandalise their own good names by acceptance of these rubbishy titles is entirely beyond me.  Though acceptance does, I suppose create the opportunity to return them in a huff later.  John Lennon returned his gong in 1969, though few have done so since.  Perhaps it’s a hard thing to do.  I wouldn’t know.  I’ll never know.  Perhaps I shouldn’t judge otherwise admirable people like Paul McCartney and Patrick Stewart for not returning their knighthoods.

But every year has become a sad time of year for me, insofar as it’s a time when you discover that people you sort of like turn out to hate themselves.  Or at least – they don’t love themselves enough to resist being “honoured” by being placed in the same category as Lynton Crosby.


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