’Tis the twice-a-year event when employees in the public sector get a few letters tagged after their name for that great achievement of just doing their job. This summer’s local winners of a gong are Thorne, Winstanley and Pilcher-Clayton, all either of or recently departed from the Research Councils and… that’s it. To quote from the Cabinet Office

As usual, this Honours List reflects and pays tribute to outstanding achievement and service right across the community and the nation as a whole.

Not much evidence of that here, just public sector nominees.

As in previous lists a key aim has been to reward those who work and serve at the sharp end – people who have really changed things, or who have given outstanding service to others in difficult situations.

There’s nought sharp about sitting in an office in Swindon.

All the names in the list (946) have been nominated by the public or expert organisations.

I can almost hear the sound of hearty backslapping from here.

As a further means of giving public recognition, the new Emblem has been introduced; already more than 3,000 have been sold.

Sounds like one of those things where those most deserving of recognition (those that have ‘helped others in difficult situations’) are most likely to be of such humility that they would not dream of wearing it. NuLabour, commercialising old British traditions. Nice.