The New Year always brings, amongst other things, the New Years Honours List. Most of these are great - amazing figures in local communities doing amazing things, or long-suffering civil servants and high-flying diplomats being rewarded for something about 'British interests'.
But inevitably, Christmas ends, and that bit of gravy left in the fridge for a week begins to look more and more shifty. Which is weirdly like the New Years Honours List. As such, we rounded up ten of the most dubious offerings from Her Majesty at this time of year. Here goes.
10) Christopher Thomas Perkins - Formerly Landing Site Officer The Queen's Helicopter Flight.
I mean....he probably does a great job making sure the Queen's helicopter lands safely. Good for him. But how many other people in the UK do something similar? I suppose working for the Queen herself might just increase the odds of receiving an honour from Her Majesty. Not that we're being cynical or anything.
This is the Queen's helicopter. Probably.
9) Mrs Sally Ann Smith - Honorary secretary, Conservative Agents Benevolent Fund. For political service.
"The Conservative Agents' Benevolent Association is the Conservative Party Charity for serving and retired agents and their dependents." A party charity for retired party 'agents'? Do the Tories have a their own secret service? That being said, the website's last "News" post was in October. Mrs Smith has obviously been incredibly busy.
Cameron's agents are watching you.
8) David John Ward - Route managing director South East, Network Rail. For services to the Rail Industry.
An honour to the person that oversaw the recent Christmas period train chaos? Obviously! Severe disruption including the cancellation of all trains out of King's Cross on Boxing Day, left thousands stranded - and very, very miffed. Ward said a few days beforehand that Network Rail could "keep lines open while our people work safely alongside, causing much less disruption than would otherwise be the case." Right....
This is a train. It is going faster than many of the trains did on Boxing Day.
7) Mark David Simmons - A Director of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. For services to the financial services industry.
All we know is that he's a Director of one of the most infamous banking groups, responsible for a corporation that has previously made over £24bn in losses, and received rather a lot of public bailout money.
Those arrows still haunt our dreams.
6) Prof John Joseph Scarisbrick - Founder of Baby Hospice and the Life FertilityCare programme, for services to vulnerable people.
Three years after the Tories' choice to include LIFE, Scarisbrick's pet anti-abortion outfit, in the Sexual Health Forum, suddenly he's coincidentally popped up in the Honours List. Geriatric straight white male catholic pro-life campaigner? No controversy there. No sir. Nope.
This baby realistically has very little to do with the abortion debate but even he can point out the obvious controversy on the New Years Honours List.
5) James Harra - Director general Business Tax, HM Revenue and Customs, London. For services to Tax Administration.
Aside from the fact that this is perhaps the sexiest reason for receiving an honour in the history of ever, let's just think about this. This is the guy whose job it is to make sure that businesses are paying their fare share of tax. Thinking of recent headlines, it totally sounds like he's doing that job really well. It's not like anyone's heard of any tax-evading multinationals lately, is it? Nah.
Cool buildings. Shame about the tax evasion.
4) James Kimberly Corden - Actor. For services to Drama.
I mean, totally. Those scenes of his in The Boat That Rocked. Awesome. Hilarious. And Gavin & Stacey. Yeah. Totally. So funny. So dramatically ground-breaking. 'Services to Drama' to the max.
Getting a bit emotional, James?
3) Mrs Catherine Fiona Woolf - Formerly Lord Mayor of London. For services to the Legal Profession, Diversity and the City of London.
Remember that whole furore about the Establishment and 'independent' inquiries into historic cases of child sex abuse with 'independent' judges? That one where the appointed chair was pretty good friends with one of the main people being inquired? Yeah. Her. CBE. Commander of the British Establishment.
What, me? The Establishment? No way.
2) Stuart Polak - Director Conservative Friends of Israel. For political service.
Just in case you were worried that Government policy was shifting towards a conciliatory approach to Israel-Palestine with a possibility of recognising a Palestinian State, here's this guy. Let's CBE him.
So friends. Very Israel. Such Conservative. Wow.
1) Mrs Elizabeth Alice Longhurst. - Chair, Tring Squash Rackets Club. For services to Squash in Tring.
I mean. Come on. 'Services to Squash in Tring'. Really? No.
I hear the new series is due to be set in Tring.
This blog post was written with Colm Murphy, and originally published in The Cambridge Student.