Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Knighthoods conferred on Irish people

I'm wondering how to feel about the British conferring knighthoods on Irish people. It seems like a good compliment at face value.

I recall Bob Geldof's reaction at the time for his knighthood. Many folk thought he might refuse it, being the maverick he was. Bob was delighted to accept it - saying to one reporter "Of course I accept it. If someone offers me a cup of coffee, I accept it". What he meant was that if someone gives you an award in a spirit of generousity why should you not accept it?

Is it a problem because the honor comes from the British, our old oppressors? I know that many British in centuries gone by saw ordinary Irish folk as some kind of humanoid ape-like creatures who uttered a gibberish language. Now they are conferring some of us with knighthoods out of respect for exceptional deeds. Seems we need to put the past behind us at some point. Furthermore - if someone accepts a knighthood - what's wrong with using it? If someone gives you a gift then it is polite to use it. It seems like hypocricy or least ungratefulness otherwise.

One is only entitled to use the "Sir" title if technically a UK citizen. Furthermore it is silly to "insist" on being called Sir XYZ. Someone might put the title on display on cards and communications but it is crazy to get upset if some just decides to call you Mr. XYZ. Displaying the title is a mark of gratitude and respect by the recipient to the doner. It's entirely a matter for others if they decide to address the person with it or not.

Above are just my spontaneous views. I might be persuaded to think differently!

PS - I also recall Bob Geldof being asked what the Queen said to him at the conferring. It seems she asked him was it difficult for him to travel to get there (London and the Palace). Bob(dressed in pinstripes and tie) told her:"Not as difficult as getting into these clothes!" apparently the Queen enjoyed a knowing chuckle at this.

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