His Riband, Star and a’That 53


In my diplomatic career I refused three UK honours:
LVO (Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order)
OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire)
CVO (Commander of the Royal Victorian Order)

On two occasions the Queen personally handed me presents instead. One was a silver armada dish, and one a letter rack made by Viscount Linley. I donated the latter to an auction for Julian Assange’s defence fund. The silver armada dish must be packed away somewhere. If I can dig it out, I shall auction it to raise funds for the SNP! Impeccable provenance.

I turned down the honours because I am a republican and believer in Scottish independence, and explained that to the Queen on one occasion when she asked. To be fair, she was perfectly fine with that.

I was thinking about honours in contemplating:
Lord Janner
Lord Brittan
Sir Peter Hayman
Sir Cyril Smith
Sir Jimmy Savile

That list could be expanded by a great many. I cannot help but think I made the right decision.


53 thoughts on “His Riband, Star and a’That

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  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    RobG

    “But I do think ‘Sir Craig Murray’ or ‘Lord Murray’ has a certain ring to it. I’ll start contacting the children’s care homes.”
    ___________________

    OK, Rob, just as long as you don’t try to enter any of those homes….

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “Habba, according to Wikipedia here’s a list of people who at first accepted a gong and then later renounced it (including, of course, John Lennon)…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declining_a_British_honour#Renouncing_an_honour
    ________________

    Yes, thanks for that link, close reading of which reveals that, apart from said Lennon, 5 people have returned their insignia and 4 have renounced their knighthoods (all Indians or Pakistani, the last in 1948).

    Admittedly, Wikipedia says “amoung others” but that seems rather speculative, because if they know something for a fact why not mention it?

    Therefore the original post which gave rise to my query:

    “Howabout people who accepted gongs but then later gave them back?”

    gives a slightly misleading impression and is a bit bull-shitty.

  • RobG

    Habba, from the link to those who at first accepted gongs and then later gave them back…

    Those who have returned insignia include:

    Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, journalist (returned MBE insignia in 2003 in her view of “a growing spirit of republicanism and partly in protest at the Labour government, particularly its conduct of the war in Iraq”)

    Roy Bailey, folk singer (returned MBE insignia in August 2006 in protest at the British Government’s foreign policy in Lebanon and Palestine)

    Carla Lane, television writer (appointed OBE in 1989; returned insignia in 2002 in protest at the appointment of CBE of the managing director of Huntingdon Life Sciences due to the company’s reputed animal testing)

    John Lennon, musician (returned MBE insignia in 1969; returned with letter that read, “I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam, and against ‘Cold Turkey’ slipping down the charts.”)

    Gareth Peirce, solicitor (gazetted CBE in 1999, but later she returned its insignia, blaming herself and apologizing to then Prime Minister Tony Blair for the misunderstanding)

    Susan Wighton, AIDS worker (returned MBE insignia in 2006 in protest at the British Government’s Middle East foreign policies)

    Nice to hear the sanity and kindness which is currently at the heart of the UK Establishment.

  • nevermind

    Could it be that our resident socket feels left out, is jealous of Craigs rejected accolade’s? what do you reckon all his posts are about here,Mary?

    Do we detect a slight tone of sour grapes here, chum? Did you not scratch enough backs to get any honours offered? you poor mut.

  • Goodwin

    Just a bit hypocritical Craig, taking a job with HM Diplomatic Service when you don’t actually recognise HM! Well at least it funded the birds and duty-free booze eh?

  • drag

    Luke (@ 18 Apr, 2015 – 2:11 pm)
    I appreciate that Mr Shayler does/did have psychiatric problems but that still doesn’t render everything he says untrue. Remember that he was imprisoned for breaking the Official Secrets Act and has inside knowledge of how the secret service works.

    Some people still wonder if he ever left?

    R v Shayler is a formidable obstacle in the way of arguing Article 10 (of the Official Secrets Act) in UK courts…..</i?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “12 out of 33 posts = 36%”
    ________________

    Stop boasting, Mary!

  • Mary

    That makes the troll toll 13. Unlucky for some.

    ~~~

    Can’t answer you Nevermind above @ 10.02am We are told to ignore but it is difficult when the insults fly and the blog is plastered with the innuendo and other stuff.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Well, Mary, you yourself are also a dab hand with the insults and especially the innuendos both against public figures and posters on CM whose views you disapprove of.

    But you’re losing the battle of ideas and fewer and fewer people are willing to support you on here.

    Time to retire.

  • Republicofscotland

    Well, Mary, you yourself are also a dab hand with the insults and especially the innuendos both against public figures and posters on CM whose views you disapprove of.
    _______________________

    Hmmm….

    Teapot calling kettle black,springs to mind.

  • Becky Cohen

    “In my diplomatic career I refused three UK honours:
    LVO (Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order)
    OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire)
    CVO (Commander of the Royal Victorian Order)”

    My! You must have had to frequent a lot of lap dancing clubs on us hard working British taxpayers’ money to win those ‘Jim ‘ll Fix It’ badges, Master Craig!;)

  • John

    I thought diplomats normally go the the Michael and George route i.e. CMG, KCMG, GCMG ?

  • Abe Rene

    Didn’t you have to take an oath of allegiance to Her Majesty when you became her representative in Uzbekistan?

  • Helen

    Nasty cartoon in the Guardian today on Nicola Sturgeon – wrote this and posted it – anyone else is welcome to post the same to anti-SNP websites,

    O young Nicola has come down from the North
    And laid low the leaders as she spoke forth;
    Over all the wide lecterns her rhetoric was best;
    Even South of the border none could detest;
    And her persuasiveness wowed us ‘n all
    Amongst politicians she stood straight and tall
    Cameron stayed away too frightened to act
    With her taking seats he fretted he’d be sacked
    We sat open mouthed and wished we could vote
    For Nicola Sturgeon to captain our boat.

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