Scoff all you like, but I feel deeply grateful to have
been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. Throughout
my long life I have been unwavering in my wish for peace, and the Nobel Committee’s
recognition of the fact, belated though it may be, is one that I greatly
The fact that I have to share my award with 600
million other residents of the European Union takes some of the gilt off the
gingerbread, but this in no way diminishes the pride I feel in accepting my
first honour since 1954, when I received a scout badge for – I can’t recall
exactly what: gathering firewood, or putting moss on some poor sod’s gangrenous
leg, or something like that.
Yes, I am aware, as I write, that Greeks are tossing
Molotov cocktails at riot police in Athens, and
that many millions of other European citizens would like to tell those useless,
interfering, self-serving monkeys in Brussels
to take a long walk off a short pier. But
what family doesn’t have its little squabbles from time to time?
And, sure, some naysayers will accuse the Germans of
trying to achieve by economic means what they failed to obtain through military
action a few years back, but bear in mind that Germany has long relinquished all
territorial claims. People in the Sudetenland and Alsace-Lorraine now sleep soundly in
their beds at night secure in the knowledge that they will not be rudely
awakened by the rumble of tanks. That
alone is surely worth some kind of gong.
The British, as usual, are prominent among the
cynics. How can those silly old men in Oslo, they splutter,
award a single prize to hundreds of millions of people? Why haven’t they made a point of exempting
terrorists, rioters, criminals and other undesirables? The obvious answer is that you can’t be
selective when you’re rewarding a ‘union’ just because of a few bad eggs.
I might point out one other fact: it was Britain that started this kind of thing, back in
the bad old days of war, by awarding the George Cross to the entire population
of Malta. Does that mean every Maltese was a hero? I’m pretty confident in saying that for every
Maltese who stood bravely in the street shaking his fist at the Luftwaffe
bomber pilots, ten wasted no time scuttling off to the safety of a cellar.
Having disposed of these absurd objections, my one
remaining concern is what I put on my business card. There is, after all, a protocol in such
Can I put NPW, for Nobel Prize Winner, after my name? The Nobel Committee has issued no
advice. Perhaps I should write to
them. Or perhaps they will mail out some
kind of guidance in a pamphlet.
I must dash off to check the post.