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My Annual Humiliation

My Annual Humiliation is confirmed today as, yet again, I have failed to be nominated to the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

It’s not for want of trying.  I’ve appealed to every famous person I’ve ever met, some of them very famous indeed, to mention my name in the right places, wherever those are.  They’ve all been given awards themselves, so the least they could do is offer a helping hand to others. 

But they’ve all failed me, all three of them.  My suspicion is that they didn’t even bother to put my name forward, as they promised faithfully to do when I obligingly fetched their drinks at crowded cocktail parties.  

I’ve tried writing to Buckingham Palace directly, but haven’t been extended the simple courtesy of a reply.   How ill-mannered is that?

I suppose the stuffed shirts there – those wing-collared Belgravia grandees who still dress for dinner and hunt in Devon – frown upon such crude activities as lobbying.  But what’s a deserving case to do.  And it’s not as if I’m angling for a full-blown knighthood; just a common-or-garden Order of the British Empire, or George Medal would do.   They give away thousands of the bloody things every year, often to people who’ve done no more than drive trains for fifty years without crashing them.  My claim for recognition, based on tangible accomplishments in diverse fields of endeavour, is just as worthy of consideration.

I’m sure they laugh their silly old-fashioned heads off whenever my letters arrive in their Chippendale-furnished offices.  “It’s that moron in Surrey again,” I hear them chortling.  “Every year it’s the same old complaint about being overlooked.  What does he think he’s done to deserve anything?”

Well, tell me this, you plumy-voiced, chinless Edwardian dandies, what has Joan Collins ever done to advance the prestige of Britain?  I mention Miss Collins because, according to the newspapers, she is about to be awarded a Dame-hood.  The top rank in the list!  For what thespian achievement (for she is, in the broadest definition of the word, an actress) can this possibly be justified? 

The answer is nothing.  That is, unless you count her appearances in a second-rate and patently derivative American television series back in the Seventies, and then, when that was taken off the air after addling the minds of millions of American viewers, in a couple of soft-porn films that even she now claims to be embarrassed to have made.  Now, I have nothing against porn, hard or soft, but what kind of service to the Crown can possibly be deduced from The Stud and The Bitch.  They weren’t directed by Sir David Lean, I can tell you.   

She’ll be in good company: Olivier, Richardson, Redgrave and Gielgud, to name but a few.  What would they, I wonder, have thought of being associated with the name Collins in the theatrical, or even the cinematic, pantheons?  What do Caine, Jacobi, McKellen, Dench and Smith (Margaret) think?

Now, though, in my eighth decade, I’ve given up my own ambitions.  I’ve resolved to continue lobbying, but from now on to get the whole ridiculous Honours system abolished.  

We’ll see how those toffee-nosed stiffs at Buck House like them rotten apples.

Perhaps, finally, they’ll offer me something, if only to keep me quiet.  And then I’ll derive great pleasure turning it down.

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