I had a nice compliment given to me the other day; an old friend of my parents stopped and said she had read about the government reintroducing the British Empire Medal for people who help others. She suggested that I deserve one for all I have done for the Town, I was extremely touched whether others agree with her is another matter. I said someone who is as vocal as me with my views do not get awards I had offended to many people especially the people who recommend you for these awards. It was a nice thought though and I said the only thing I would get was the CDM (Cadbury Diary Milk)
This made me think what are the honours awards? Lets be honest most are not for ordinary people no matter how hard they work for the Community or for there various organisation, yes I know they are thrown the odd morsel like an MBE or OBE etc but the real awards go to the upper crust or people with money. Knighthoods are practically guaranteed to top Civil Servants who are paid extremely well to do a job of work and receive a good pension, well if staying in one job all your life is criteria for a Knighthood what about all those who work for one company all their working life? Money is the easy way to buy an honour you gives a massive donation to any political party and you get your knighthood etc recently a multi millionaire tried to donate money to the Conservative Party they refused so he approached the Labour party and they accepted, so the politics did not matter just the getting the gong did. Alternatively you get some Pop star being awarded gong who private life style is a disgrace, surely a gong is something that people respect or is just another out dated medieval tradition?
For some time I have realised we do not really live in a Democracy where the people of this country decide their future we have to rely on Representative Democracy where we select a person to represent our views and opinions. Yet once selected they can and most often do ignore our wishes, the recent vote in parliament proved that. If we want a true democracy we must have referendums on all major subjects which affect us the people and maybe a vote on who gets a gong
Yet I have an idea why not make an award called the British Volunteers Medal this can awarded to anyone who has spent a least 30 consecutive years in the Voluntary sector or can be awarded for exceptional service and I mean exceptional . It need not be an expensive medal but the award would be a method of appreciation for all the years of dedication they have put into their chosen path
Martin Clarke Sittingbourne