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Let's remove honours by X-Factor

By Paul Goodman
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ConservativeHome readers will have spotted the fatal flaw in the decision to strip Mr Fred Goodwin, as he now is, of his knighthood.  It is that it was made by the Honours Forfeiture Committee.

Why should this drab huddle of grey suits decide who is to be disgraced at the whim of the mob?  David Cameron has admittedly made a good start by not standing up for Stephen Hester's bonus and by encouraging the removal of Goodwin's knighthood.

But he could be far more radical and innovative.  (After all, we're all in this together.)  Let's punish each week's victim by putting him through ordeal by X-Factor.

Obviously, it wouldn't do for politicians to be included.  That problem can be dealt with in the same way that the Government is dealing with the recall of MPs.  In other words, a special Parliamentary committee should be in charge of nominations.

Once the banker or financier in question has been duly named, he should be put up before a panel chaired by Simon Cowell or Len Goodman.

He would then have to justify why he should keep his knighthood or peerage or OBE or what have you.  The public could then vote.  In special cases, they could even decide to re-award honours that they had previously removed.

All this would be a bit confusing for the nominees - but, as the Prime Minister will see, this is terrific politics.  Maybe the favoured Minister-of-the-week could publicly strip the offender of their gong.

Finally, there must be revenue-raising opportunities here for the Treasury - advertising or sponsorship or whatever.  Steve Hilton is certain to think of something.  Do it, Dave, before Miliband gets there first!  (Or, even worse, Nick Clegg.)


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