The honour of MEPs, a Eurocrat, and a Brussels wonk

This year's honours list includes a Tory, a Labour, even a Lib Dem, a Eurocrat, and a Brussels wonk. Who possibly has been missed out?

Who made this honour's list this year?
Alexandra Swann
On 2 January 2013 17:05

The more they talked of their honour, the faster we counted our spoons (Emerson, Ralph Waldo)

The release of this year’s honours list contains, as it always does, a series of sport and cultural heroes, a great mass of the dull and dutiful, some standout individuals, a chap who has given services to the game of bridge, and three MEPs.

Who are these honourable chaps?

Michael Cashman CBE , Malcolm Harbour CBE, and Fiona Hall OBE.

A good argument can be made for Cashman’s honours; the West Midlands Labour MEP has been honoured for his decades of work towards homosexual equality. Formerly as an actor, and latterly from his perch in Brussels, he has worked long and hard on the issue (though rather blotted his copybook when after leading the Parliamentary crusade against Rocco Buttiglione, the Italian nominee for Home affairs European commissioner in 2004 whose catholic viewpoint repelled Cashman and the Euro left, he then failed to complain when Ruth Kelly, a member of Opus Dei, was made Communities Secretary: One rule for centre right Catholics, another for socialist Catholics). The Buttiglione affair aside, Michael Cashman’s award is reasonable, fair, and deserved.

Fiona Hall MEP. Who is she? She is the leader of the Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament, so of course exceptionally worthy and important. The grant of an OBE to her is truly on the traditional end of the scale, Other Buggers’ Efforts. After all, her predecessor in the job is that great republican, who is now wallowing under the grant of Sir Graham Watson.

Her work speaks for itself; despite being the leader of her group in the European Parliament she has made just two public statements in the last two months. An award well deserved no doubt.

Malcolm Harbour MEP, Tory MEP for the West Midlands has been awarded for, it says, services to the economy!

First it must be mentioned that Harbour voted in favour of the EU’s massive proposed budget increase of 6.8 percent, the only Conservative to do so. For this alone he should be ashamed and rather than lauded for his services to the economy he should be lambasted, disgraced, forced to resign, and re-join as a Liberal Democrat. He changed his vote later under pressure but the deed had been done.

Malcolm Harbour is remarkably committed to the “single market”, which is little more than a customs union. He is also the Chairman of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee which under his watch has argued for a budget increase for the 2014-2020 Consumer Programme, apparently €197 million is not enough; they have campaigned for greener motorbikes; and they have argued at great length about labelling within the textiles industry. Actions which have done little but aid the EU’s failing economy in its downward spiral while costing businesses and Britain.

Services to the economy indeed; the only service performed here is the speeding up of the inevitable breakdown of the EU and return to national sovereignty for its members.

A special hat must be doffed to Robert Cooper, now Robert Cooper, KCMG, chief advisor to Cathy Ashton, and to Charles Grant CMG, ubiquitous talking head and boss of the uber Europhile think tank in Brussels, the Centre for European Reform.

All these honours set me thinking, who has been missed out in the broadcast of honours. There’s a Tory, a Labour, even a Lib Dem, a Eurocrat, and a Brussels wonk. Who possibly has been missed out?

UKIP? No, perish the thought. 

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