In an effort to be more open about the twice-yearly honours awards, the Cameron government published the criteria supposedly used in deciding which individuals get what.
Any member of the public can nominate anyone, using a form available on www.gov.uk, but the vast majority of awards – senior awards especially – are made through official and semi-official channels. In its glory days as Britain’s largest manufacturing company, Imperial Chemical Industries even had a two-man group charged with nominating suitable ICI staff – so many MBEs for plant operators, a smaller number of OBEs for higher grades, and occasional nominations for the senior awards of CBEs and above for senior staff. Most Chairmen of ICI, like most full generals, most permanent under-secretaries in the Civil Service, regius professors at Oxford and Cambridge and other senior public appointments, today end up with knighthoods, tending to fuel the suspicion that they go with the job, rather than (say) exceptional performance in the job or outside it.
These have attracted current interest because apparently a certain individual believes he should have received a knighthood, rather than just the (untitled) honour he already has.
To gain any award the published criteria are that the individual should have made a significant contribution to public life through:
- Outstanding achievement in their professional life
- Exemplary public service