Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Year Honours and all that nonsense

I have never been a fan of the honours system. It is the establishment's way of keeping us in order by the potential dispensation of patronage. Frankly the system stinks.

One example of the absurdities of this year's honours is the absence of any recognition given to Andy Murray's Olympic Gold and Silver medals, the US Open and winning Wimbledon. These are no mean achievements. We are told that it is because he already has an OBE awarded only recently. Well we are not actually told anything. That is simply the explanation accepted by the media. Throw a man a penny in order to deny him a shilling!

Perhaps Andy Murray should have adopted the same logic. 'I won't bother to win Wimbledon this year because I only recently won the US Open'.

I suppose I shouldn't get too angry about it. It is the 'great and the good' rewarding the 'great and the good'. But does it matter? I wish I could say it doesn't, but it does.

It seems that in Medicine the best way to get knighthood is to 'deliver' a royal baby. Was it really such a remarkable medical exploit that it should be rewarded with a Knighthood? Apparently so!

My new year's honours go to all those who have worked tirelessly to help those affected by the injustices of Ian Duncan Smith's welfare reforms. Well done all and Happy New Year to you.




Monday, 30 December 2013

Posthumous pardon of Alan Turing

It has been a while since I published an article. For that I apologise. I have been unwell. But as we enter 2014 I hope to once again give the world the benefit of my observations, for whatever they are worth!

I am struck by the diversity of views about the posthumous pardon of Alan Turing. Some have said it is wrong because it does nothing for others who suffered the same injustice under the same laws against homosexuality. No, that does not make the pardon of Alan Turing wrong. It highlights the injustice not just to Alan Turing but to all convicted under the same obnoxious laws. It is right that Turing should be pardoned. It is wrong that all others so convicted have not been pardoned.

The pardon has been given to Turing because he was an exceptional man. It should have been said that it was given because the law was wrong and unfairly persecuted those who we now recognise should not have been criminalised because of their sexuality. The simple thing to do now is to apologise and pardon all those so convicted.