Public concern regarding a lack of diversity in the Honours Lists has received a wave of media attention since the 2004 review of the Honours system by Sir Hayden Philips.
Although women received more honours then men for the first time in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List, a huge number of people north of the Watford gap, in the highlands, valleys and elsewhere, do not receive recognition to match the scale of their achievements.
While we know the percentages of honours going to education, health, business and the like, the Cabinet Office doesn’t publish any statistics that clearly show the geographical distribution of honours such as MBE, OBE, CBE and knighhood. So we decided to do a bit of digging and make a few brief calculations of our own.
The results are shocking. Looking down the Prime Minister’s New Year 2014 list alone, which accounts for at least 80% of honours given, over 20% (221) reside in the capital – not exactly in proportion to the size of London’s population, which stands at roughly 13%.
The Cabinet Office would likely contend that they do not receive enough nominations from outside London and South East. Indeed, pretty much those exact words where uttered by Sir Bob Kerslake, who heads up the honours process, in the run up to latest New Year Honours List.
The message is that people outside of London and the South East really should nominate more people. At the risk of sounding cliché – they have to be in it to win it.
If you know someone who is doing great things in their work or community, make sure they receive the recognition they deserve by putting them forward. To qualify they must still be active in the area for which they are being nominated, so don’t delay or it may be too late.
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