Arise Dame Margaret

29th December, 2012 10:35 am

Congratulations to Margaret Beckett who has been made a Dame in today’s New Year Honours List.

Dame Margaret has served under four Prime Ministers, led the party in the wake on the death of John Smith and was Britain’s first female Foreign Secretary.

Congratulations to Margaret

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  • We should congratulate the likes of Danny Boyle who turned down these horrible obscene honours which has seen the likes of Sants get a knighthood for total failure.

  • NT86

    Sighs, they’ll hand out honours to just about anyone. Margaret Beckett…really? We haven’t heard much from her since the expenses row and that subsequent heckling she received on Question Time in 2009. What an inspiration.

  • I thought Labour was about quality. I suppose there is no reason why people shouldn’t some sort of recognition for service genuinely rendered to the country, or to a community, and so the lower honours are acceptable (except in their continued use of the word “empire” which I find offensive), but to offer people gongs that change their name, and separate them from other people by class, is a fingers up to all that Labour used to stand for. As for Beckett, she has certainly done many things in her career, most of them ending in failure, as far as I can see. But all that she did she got handsomely paid for (at least when compared to the people in her constituency) and she appears to have helped herself to expenses for things which had no bearing upon her ability to do her job.

    Good old Britain. Corrupt and class ridden as ever.

    • Explain properly how rewarding people through public service leads to or promotes inequality?

    • leslie48

      What an objectionable load of **** on this site for a long serving M.P. who has worked hard for the Labour party. Comments like this bring this web site down. Why would anyone want to dedicate years and years to the service of the Labour party only to receive this warped rubbish. I expect if this commenter went to Derby South he would find plenty of constituents who would explain how she helped them – this not a fly by night opportunist but a very long term serving MP.

      • Daniel Speight

        Mind you Leslie I bet that extra 72 thousand helped her put up with sh**s like us.

      • 2stcenturytruth

        So what? She got paid didn’t she? What has she actually created for British society. Arguably zilch. Just another hand in the till mediocre politician.

        • leslie48

          This dreadful comment looks like something from Mail on-line. It manifests sheer bloody ignorance. Apart from her years and years of work for her Derby South constituency there’s three Labour governments which she participated in – for example they delivered the minimum wage for the low paid, tax credits for the less well off , pension credits and fuel allowance , subsidised bus travel, better spending on hospitals, nurses and medics and more education ( including University expansion for working class kids ) , Sure start for inner city kids, lower crime rates, shorter hospital queues for cancer treatment, larger numbers of kids getting GCEs and A Levels, more opportunities for women, improved spending on technology and infra-structure, low inflation, low unemployment , low interest rates , improved spending in the regions especially Wales and Scotland….and so on. Crawl back to your Tory Tabloid!

  • nkn_uk

    The most amaing thing that Beckett did was managing to claim £72,537 between 2004 and 2008 on a house in her constituency despite having no outstanding mortgage or rent on it and living in a grace and favour flat (at our expense) and renting out her London flat. Her bauble from the British empire is truly deserved for services to feathering her own nest and filling her boots, if for nothing else.

  • AlanGiles

    I suppose it is appropriate, in it’s way, that this news should come in the No Mans Land between Xmas and New Year. it’s the season for pantomime – pantomime dames (though I notice that Lord Snooty of Sedgefield still hasn’t been honoured though his wife has).

    But Tessa and Maggie BOTH dames?. If it was the Cross-Party Am Dram Group’s production of Cinderella they should have been the ugly sisters (with Boris Johnson as Buttons)

    • aracataca

      No queen = no honours system.

      • AlanGiles

        But a Presedential system would ensure mates of the President would still get special favours. The honours system, apart from being laughable, is inconsistent and arbitary. For example I have no axe to grind for either man, but why should (for example) Bradley Wiggins be honoured and not Andy Murray, the first man to win Wimbledon since 1936?.

        However, when you think of some of the “Sirs” (Jimmy Saville, Cliff Richard, Bruce Forsyth et al) it makes you think of the Groucho Marx line about not wanting to belong to a club who would have me as a member.

        • Daniel Speight

          Maybe because Andy Murray didn’t win Wimbledon Alan. On top of that Wiggins is a mod long after that fashion died out. He deserves his medal for that alone;-) Happy New Year Alan.

          • AlanGiles

            Good morning Daniel. That was a damned silly mistake on my part!. Of course it was the Olympics where Andy M triumphed. Apart from Snooker, I am a bit out of touch with sport these days (I was disappointed that we didn’t see W.G. Grace at Lords this summer!)

            If we are going to give awards for games though, I doubt that we will ever see Sir Mark Selby, one of the real ambassadors for Snooker, who, unlike some of his colleagues is unfailingly pleasant and courteous, and shows a maturity which belies his age or Sir Ali Carter (the latter overcoming a debilitating illness and Mark a lot of muscular trauma).

            I hear in today’s press review we might expect “Sir David Beckham” within the next 12 months.

            I could never take the honours system seriously after “Sir Cliff Richard” though – a title AND an extension of Copyright of 20 years, just for lending your holiday home to a dodgy ex-PM!

            All the best for 2013, to you Daniel, and everyone else.

  • Also CBE for Michael Cashman MEP

    OBE for Norma Stephenson (Unison, former NEC Chair)

    MBE for John Burton (Sedgefield CLP agent during Blair’s years as MP)

    MBE for Cllr Gerald McElroy (North Lanarkshire),Cllr Linda Green (Gateshead)
    OBE to Cllr Melvyn Nott (Bridgend), Cllr Sharon Taylor (Stevenage), former Bradford Council Leader Ian Greenwood.

  • Also CBE for Michael Cashman MEP

    OBE for Norma Stephenson (Unison, former NEC Chair)

    MBE for John Burton (Sedgefield CLP agent during Blair’s years as MP)

    MBE for Cllr Gerald McElroy (North Lanarkshire),Cllr Linda Green (Gateshead)
    OBE to Cllr Melvyn Nott (Bridgend), Cllr Sharon Taylor (Stevenage), former Bradford Council Leader Ian Greenwood.

  • Daniel Speight

    I guess a ‘well done’ to Ken for turning down a CBE.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      And an even more “well done” to Londoners for turning down a Ken.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      And an even more “well done” to Londoners for turning down a Ken. They have wisdom that reject socialism.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      And an even more “well done” to Londoners for turning down a Ken. They have wisdom that reject socialism.

      • Daniel Speight

        Ah those evil godless socialists are still around. Do we have a football ground big enough to hold them on a short term basis. Maybe that new Olympic Park will do. Still have this malodorous whiff of the generals on LL I see. (That is of course if you could see a whiff rather than smell it.)

      • Brumanuensis

        They did give Labour a larger majority in the London Assembly though. Not quite a full-throated rejection of socialism.

        (Happy New Year)

        • jaime taurosangastre candelas

          Happy New Year to you as well Brum.

          We may differ on interpretation. It seems to me that the vote was anti-Ken lunatic socialism (and his little adventures into supporting racism, and supporting murderous semi-dictators), and pro-“normal” Labour for the Assembly. The electorate is surprisingly wise.

          • Brumanuensis

            I suppose I was principally thinking of Val Shawcross.

      • What are you still doing wasting time posting here if you’re still a right wing free market neo liberal?

        • jaime taurosangastre candelas

          Hello Mike,

          you still don’t understand other people’s motivations, and can only categorise them by the prism, or indeed prison, of your own thinking. I know that we have had this debate before, but just once more:

          1. I find the liberal / authoritarian axis far more defines my thinking of politics, not the economic left / right wing axis. It is authoritarianism I dislike more than left wing economics (there is nothing to dislike about that so much, except it just does not work, and the same is true for the ultra-free market). And yet you keep calling me right wing free marketeer. If that pleases you, so be the case, but it does not make your view true.

          2. And while we are at it, you have also in the past accused me of siding with the UKIP. The UKIP want Britain to leave the EU. I want Britain to stay in the EU, but for the EU itself to be constrained back to a purely trading alliance. Even you must be able to understand the difference (well, possibly not, but other people will be able to).

          And as for the substance of your comment, I have no intention at all of feeling brow-beaten by the like of yourself, displaying yet again your authoritarian tendency that would make Stalin proud (and which you declare to be Croslandite, a travesty of the truth). It is only the editor of LL whose opinion on the continuation of my posting that I will respect.

          So, perhaps it is no longer worth you making these points? Or perhaps call me more accurately a socially liberal anti-authoritarian. And there are some elements of the Labour Party that can adopt that position.

  • The imperialist and class-based nature of the honours, not the act of being honoured.

  • As Alex says below it is the nature of the honour and
    not the honour which does a disservice to equality. Having now to refer to Mrs
    Beckett as ‘Dame Margaret’ separates her from the common
    herd. You will note that my second sentence states that I am not opposed to
    recognition of services given to the community, except in the continued use of
    the word “Empire” in the MBE,OBE, CBE, BEM series of awards. (This is
    silly in that there is no such thing, unless one counts the Isle of Man).

    One finds, as a rule that people who have given a
    life time of service in say, youth work, or looking after elderly will get the
    very lowest of these honours, whereas someone who is famous and spent a lifetime
    practising their sport will receive a knighthood. In some cases people receive
    these honours for simply doing their jobs… Mick Jagger or Julie Andrews come
    to mind, or for being politicians, again their job: Margaret Beckett, George
    ffoulkes. They always seem to manage the top honours, while the wee woman who
    did all her elderly neighbours’ shopping and helped them with officialdom, or
    the guy who ran the local youth football team in his spare time will get an

    That is what spoils an otherwise reasonable way of the
    Queen thanking people for their service to the community.

    It is particularly galling that donors to the Tory
    party (or Labour Party in the past) will receive a seat in the house of lords.

  • telemachus

    Splendid achievement

  • leslie48

    Margaret has been a bed rock to the Labour Party – working consistently hard including holding the reins for the Labour party during some difficult times. She has served her Derby constituents well and ensured that Labour has been repeatedly returned in that city many, many times. She has not dominated the silly London centric media limelight and that’s probably why she has earned the respect of her East Midlands constituents and supporters.

  • I would also liked to congratulate Ken Livingstone for turning these venal hounours. Shame to see intelligent socialist adults like Margerat Beckett taking these absurd imperialist baubles that even right wing American Republicans find utterly ridiculous.


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