Magazine article Management Today

How Even Are Those Honours?

Magazine article Management Today

How Even Are Those Honours?

Article excerpt

The justification for Britain's honours system -- sometimes dismissed as an an anachronistic absurdity -- is that it's a remarkably cost-effective way of rewarding those who give outstanding service to the nation. But publication fot eh Honours List is also an occasion for people with sharp noses to detect a faint whiff of injustice. It happened again this summer when, as reported in the press, a study by the union-funded Labour Research Department revealed that, our of a total of 147 industrialists knighted during Margaret Thatcher's years as prime minister, 68 were connected to companies giving financial support to the Conservative Party and its allies. That was shortly before the 1991 Birthday Honours -- the first of the MajorGovernment -- which created seven private sector industrial knights, including three chiefs of companies which support the Tories. But what about the other 55% or so? Doesn't it smack of sharp practice that these men should have got their k's without having to put their hands in their corporate coffers? However, you can stand the argument on its head. What about the 500 and more companies which the Labour Research Department has on computer as Tory subscribers, but which have little or nothing to show for it? …

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