So, Andy Murray has become the first Scot to win the men’s singles title at Wimbledon since 1896 when the title was gained by playboy Harold Segerson Mahony, born in Edinburgh on 13th February 1867. A remarkable achievement by Murray after 117 years of waiting. But does it deserve a knighthood?

David Cameron Cheers On Andy Murray At Wimbledon

David Cameron is of the opinion that it does: “Honours are decided independently but, frankly, I can’t think of anyone who deserves one more.” Andy Murray is of the opinion that it doesn’t: “It’s a nice thing to have or be offered. I think just because everyone’s waited for such a long time for this, that’s probably why it will be suggested but I don’t know if it merits that. I don’t know.” He continued that all he had done was win a game of tennis which was his job.

An honours system is a handy social construct, even the most republican of countries have them. The USA seems to hand out a bewildering array of medals and awards willy nilly. The French have varying degrees of the Legion of Honour, Denmark has amongst others the Order of the Elephant. Perhaps most romantically of all Finland has the Order of the White Rose, whilst most suspiciously Slovakia has the Order of the White Double Cross. Some means of recognising genuine achievement or a bauble to give to visiting dignitaries is clearly useful.

What is shocking is that the Prime Minister of Great Britain cannot think of anyone in the entire country more deserving of one of the higher state trinkets.

The habit of doling out the most recognisable of honours to entertainers, sports personalities, civil servants just doing their jobs, rapacious businessmen prepared to purchase one and military personnel where it comes automatically with certain ranks is merely the establishment’s equivalent of a pop society’s celebrity culture.

Either Cameron is, like any politician, saying what he thinks the public want to hear, in which case he is just another poltroon; or he genuinely believes that the victory of a professional sportsman is more deserving of one of the nation’s highest honours than someone who has spent a career trying to find a cure for cancer, sacrificed their life to caring for the weak and disadvantaged or created enterprises providing jobs for hundreds or thousands of people, in which case he is seriously lacking in judgement.

Andy Murray

The only person who comes out of this well is Andy Murray who has come across as a polite, reasonable and sensible if slightly dull, young man with his feet firmly on the ground. Long criticised in certain tabloidesque quarters for his seeming surliness, as though there was anything wrong with being dour, Murray has shown a level of dignity our political leaders would do well to imitate.


3 thoughts on “ARISE SIR ANDY?

  1. Your Scottishness shines forth in this piece, Mr Campbell. So much such so that I cannot help wondering whether, when your insomnia gets you out of bed of a night, unscheduled, to see what might be in the fridge on which to nibble pending a return of drowsiness, and finding naught, you have ever muttered to yourself, “Hoots man, I could murder a McDonalds right now.”

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