Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Trouble with Honours

Apparently the chaps who made Salman Rushdie a Sir had not taken into consideration the touchiness of the Islamic world, an oversight that has been a spark to primed and paraffin-soaked sensibilities. Therewith speak up the sons of these shores who believe our duty is to dampen our words and deeds so as not to set off so volatile a material.
Sir: Did the genius who recommended Salman Rushdie for a knighthood not realise the offence it would cause to the Muslim world after the Satanic Verses debacle? And exactly why did he get a knighthood, as he has done nothing for Britain other than cost the taxpayer a fortune in police protection for writing a book the majority never read? [1]
Should the British Establishment seek the approval of Pakistan or Iran for the honours it bestows? I think not; for it is the business of that Establishment to decide without consideration of foreign threat or favour who is worthy of its honours; and what a business it is! A man may be deemed worthy to be a Knight of the Realm for all manner of services: from selling vast quantities of tat (Sir Alan Sugar) to singing and playing the piano like a music-hall queen (Sir Elton John). Tsk.

[1] P. Cresswell, Letter to The Independent, 20th June 2007.

4 comments:

Phil O. Vance said...

Violence is a primal language, understood by all. Its commands must be obeyed.

dearieme said...

But the Great and Good plonkers who made the decision were not stout yeomen who decided to brave the dervish hordes. They shortsightedly offered the knighthood in hopes of placating fashionable friends and then discovered that there are others who demand to be placated. Chumps.

Paul Davies said...

Mr Presswell probably caught sight of a picture of the lovely Lakshmi, or Mrs Rushdie, and is just bitter that a man whose face tends towards the image of a follically- and ocularly-challenged gargoyle with a beard even a Lib Dem MP would be embarrassed by managed to snap her up.

As for his puerile point about the amount of people that have, or rather haven't, read Mr Rushdie's books - it is one of the more curious arguments I've heard against bestowing an honour upon an individual. Pray Dan Brown isn't on Mr Presswell's list of more deserving writers.

Basil Westwick said...

There are three responses to threats of violence: (1.) surrender; (2.) counter-violence; (3.) guile or cunning. Ignoring the threat, as Rushdie is doing, doesn't seem to be a viable response.