New Year honours, Newsnet Scotland’s alternative honours and a wee look back


By G.A.Ponsonby

It’s that time of year again.  The time when the old, the deserving and the privileged get to add a few letters after their name – or before if they are really lucky.

The old year’s almost gone and New Year gongs and baubles have been dispersed to people we haven’t heard of for doing stuff we didn’t see and in some cases merely doing their job.

By G.A.Ponsonby

It’s that time of year again.  The time when the old, the deserving and the privileged get to add a few letters after their name – or before if they are really lucky.

The old year’s almost gone and New Year gongs and baubles have been dispersed to people we haven’t heard of for doing stuff we didn’t see and in some cases merely doing their job.

Ronnie Corbett gets a CBE to go along with his OBE – a TRT (Two Ronnies Title) would allow him to place an anagram of his own surname after his own surname.

Scottish rugby favourite Chris Paterson received an MBE, he was good enough to become a member of the British Empire but sadly not the British Lions when at the height of his career.

A hairdresser in Edinburgh has received an award for services to hairdressing, Charlie Miller OBE now cuts hair ‘by appointment’ only.

But there’s one glaring omission in this age old system of recognition and patronage, it doesn’t have an honour that acknowledges non achievement and ineptitude.

What we need is an award that recognises the bumbling oaferry and general ineptitude that is all too prevalent in today’s establishment and society.  An award that celebrates hypocrisy and wafflemongery is surely a must in today’s Scotland.

The name of that honour ?  The Order of the Newsnet Oxter – ONO.

The first recipient of the ONO, is of course Iain Gray.

ONO – it’s Iain Gray
Mr Gray had a dreadful year that was epitomised when he was caught on camera fleeing a small group of protestors by running into a Subway sandwich bar.  The moment symbolised Labour’s election campaign and the humiliation suffered by the party led to Mr Gray tendering his resignation.

However, as luck would have it, he was forced to endure another seven months of humiliation as the campaign to replace him dragged on like toothache until Johann Lamont was declared the ‘winner’.

ONO – it’s BBC Scotland News
A collective gong to the heads and some of the reporters of News and Current Affairs at Pacific Quay in Glasgow.  Before we bestow the honour, it is worth mentioning that some BBC Scotland reporters have not in fact contributed to this honour due to their professionalism, objectivity and adherence to journalistic ethics.

Amongst those NOT included in the ONO are: Derek Bateman, Isabel Fraser, Kenneth MacDonald, Reevel Alderson, Gordon Brewer, Bill Whiteford, David Miller, Stuart Cosgrove and Hayley Millar.

Those who have definitely contributed to the award include: Brian Taylor, Glenn Campbell, Gary Robertson, Mhairi (pronounced Vahri) Stuart, Sarah Paterson, Jackie Bird, Kaye Adams, Shereen Nanjiani, Seonag MacKinnon and Catriona Renton.

The reasons for the award are numerous, but the news blackout when Iain Gray caused a diplomatic row with Montenegro was one of the worst examples of censorship ever seen at BBC Scotland.  Similarly, the refusal to acknowledge new Labour leader Johann Lamont’s use of a completely false rape trial in order to attack the SNP was symptomatic of the shield the BBC erects around stories that could damage the Labour party in Scotland.

We will wait to see if any BBC Scotland reporter will take Ms Lamont to task over this or even question her on her views on the Trident weapons system in 2012.  May’s council elections make it a sure bet that these matters will not be raised any time soon.

ONO – It’s Alan Cochrane
Cochrane writes a column on the Tory leaning Daily Telegraph.  His uncompromising Unionism has turned him into both a figure of fun and loathing amongst independence supporters.

However, for me Mr Cochrane is the symbolic head of those newspaper journalists oft found offering what is presented as objective punditry and polemic on our TVs and radios – usually, but not exclusively, on the BBC.

Mr Cochrane is a good example of this broadcasting fraud and only yesterday was allowed air time on BBC Radio Scotland in order to launch a series of attacks on the SNP under the guise of reviewing the political year.

Cochrane claimed that the word “independence” was not mentioned during the Scottish election campaign, that the SNP runs a “Stalinist operation” and that Alex Salmond has “arrogantly” decided he will decide everything to do with the referendum including running it in place of the electoral commission.  He also has a fondness for spitting the word ‘nats’ out as though uttering a profanity – objective he is not.

ONO – It’s Team GB Football
Team GB, the very phrase is annoying.  I remember watching the Olympics in the days of Wells, Coe and Ovett and cheered at every medal and groaned at every loss.

What the fools in charge of London 2012 have managed to do is to politicise an event that ought to have been a celebration of sport on this island we share.

They have created a situation where thousands of Scots will now be turning their backs on a decades long tradition of wishing well all the young people from Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales who for this brief period will compete under a neutral sporting banner.

Like the British and Irish Lions, the Ryder Cup, the Davis Cup and even rugby’s Barbarians, the people of the constituent parts of the UK have put their sporting rivalries to one side to cheer on these collective representatives of their nations.  The difference of course is that these traditional sporting co-operatives do not, and never will, undermine or erode the participants own national team in their sport.

Olympic football however is different.  A team from the four home nations of the UK will set a very dangerous precedent.

It is well documented that there are members of world governing body FIFA who would like nothing more than to see the teams of Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales forced to compete for one place at internationsl football tournaments.

This ill thought out venture of ‘team GB’ hands them the very ammunition they have been looking for.  For that reason ‘team GB’ gets the ONO award, and any player considering playing for it might like to reflect on the implications for their own international careers.

ONO – It’s annoying people
OK, time to indulge myself here.  This special flippant ONO award goes to the people who I find especially irritating.

Escalator Paralysis
People who on stepping onto a slow moving escalator develop a kind of paralysis that prevents them from walking.  No, not frail people or people with bags, I mean people who are perfectly fit but decide that the moment they get on the escalator they will stop dead in their tracks.

Ticket Fumblers
People who walk towards the automatic ticket barriers then, just as they arrive, start fumbling around looking for their ticket thus creating a queue of people behind.

Happy New Year … when it arrives
I hate this.  Happy New Year when it arrives?  Well then, happy everything when it arrives.  What’s the point?  Why not pick up the damned phone and wish the person happy new year … WHEN IT ACTUALLY ARRIVES!!

Football Pundits
I cannot stand the constant mind numbing banalities they utter.  Why is Alan Hanson paid so much money to spout what most of the time is the bleedin obvious.  They are all over Radio Scotland – it’s like a home for retired footballers, all arguing with one another over some minor aspect from a (usually) old firm game.

Royal Events
The big event this year was apparently the wedding of William and Kate.  Well, not for me it wasn’t and I suspect a great many other Scots.  There was also another ‘mini me’ Royal wedding in Edinburgh where an England rugby player married Princes Anne’s daughter.  Good luck to both couples (especially Zara) but these events have had their day, in 21st century Scotland this nonsense has about as much relevance as the Henley Regatta.

No end of year show is complete without a wee look back at the year that is about to, or depending on when you are reading this, has just ended.

Being a politically minded news site the big event to us was of course the Scottish elections in May.

A wee set up here; Four weeks before polling day the SNP took a narrow lead over Labour.  Until then anyone who was anybody in the media had confidently predicted Labour were a shoe in.  This poll was different and BBC Scotland’s Political Editor Brian Taylor partly dismissed its importance  by reminding everyone that the only poll that counted was the one on polling day.

Interestingly the same BBC reporter heralded a poll one week later that showed Labour with the most popular manifesto policy.  The poll had been commissioned by the BBC and had been carried out after the manifesto launches of Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems.  The Greens and the SNP had not yet launched their manifestos.

History will show that despite this clear attempt by BBC Scotland to influence the election, it had little effect.  Thus, we end this piece with our own wee snapshot of the historic events that started to unfold in the early hours of May 6th 2011.

The only poll that counts …

Indeed it was Brian, indeed it was …

Gasps at Shettleston …

Kerr loses in East Kilbride …

And a round up of the whole evening …

All the best from the Newsnet Scotland team.  As ever, if you found this article interesting then please consider donating a small amount to help maintain the site.  Click Here.