The truth about Gerald Ronson\’s CBE

Gerald Ronson, the veteran tycoon jailed for his part in one of Britain\’s best-known stock market scandals as one of the \”Guinness Four\”, is among those recognised in the from guardian.co.uk on New Year honours list\" href=\"http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/new-year-honours-list\">New Year honours list.

Ronson, who claims to have pioneered self-service petrol stations, served six months after his conviction in 1990 for involvement in a share-trading scandal. Once out of prison he embarked on a concerted campaign to clear his name, rebuilt his business empire, and devoted money and time to charity work, for which he is now awarded a CBE.

Yup, naughty boy.

Ronson\’s honour follows £30m in donations to organisations such as the NSPCC and the Prince\’s Trust as well as work with Great Ormond Street Hospital.

If it weren\’t for the conviction that C would be a K.

So it\’s not that \”Oh my, a convicted criminal has got a gong\”, it\’s that he\’s only got a CBE for what would have garnered anyone else a KBE.

17 comments on “The truth about Gerald Ronson\’s CBE

  1. It seems the Guardian will believe in rehabilitation for anyone – except those who actually show signs of being rehabilitated. As long as they are not Capitalists anyway. If you ever produced a product someone wanted, you’re tainted for life.

  2. Indeed, a potential employer is prohibited by law from treating someone with a “spent” conviction like Ronson differently from anyone else.

  3. I don’t see the ‘Guardian’ making a fuss over the OBE dished out to ex-gang member & cousin of the Damilola Taylor killers, funnily enough,…

  4. It wouldn’t have been a KBE but but an “ordinary” knighthood, making him a Knight Bachelor; KBEs are pretty rare.

    Tim adds: KBE is quite common actually (erm, common as knighthoods go that is). Jonathan Ives at Apple got one today for example.

  5. And there are Labour, standing in thier glasshouse throwing stones at this issue like the mongs they are.

    Remind me again, who gave Fred Goodwin his knighthood?

  6. Don’t really understand all this.

    Why do we have trials and punishments? Once he’s served his time isn’t he just like the rest of us?

    Because if he isn’t, then everyone who commits a crime should be banged up for life or shot.

    If someone who has transformed from a dodgy businessman to philanthropist doesn’t deserve forgiveness, does anyone?

    Still, it’s probably just the usual suspects proving that their high-minded liberalism is just a front for their petty meanness.

  7. Tim, I think FatBigot at #5 is right; they generally use Knight Bachelor rather than KBE.

    KBE is mainly used where they can’t use Knight Bachelor; for unfortunate people who aren’t subjects of Her Majesty, or for women (DBE rather than KBE there).

    Look at this year’s list; 27 Knights Bachelor (including 4 who were already CBE and a couple who were OBE, so it’s not about promotion within the order), 7 DBEs for the girls, not a single KBE in the main list.

    So why KBE for the Ive fellow?

    He’s not in the main list, but in the “Diplomatic and overseas” one, where KBE is generally used. But why’s he there?

    Has he given up his British subjecthood for a Yankee citizenship? Or are they using the overseas list, and hence the KBE, for people living abroad? The other KBE in this year’s overseas list is an art historian, also born British but seems to live in Yankeeland, so it could be that.

    It might make sense, if you’re living in a society where they don’t use knighthoods but do use post-nominals; being able to put KBE after your name might be more valuable than being Sir X.

  8. It’s a rank thing. Garter, Thistle, Bath, St Michael & St George, British Empire, Loyal Victorian Order, then Knight Bachelor.

    There are restrictions – pols tend to give themselves Knight Bachelor; the military get the Bath or BE – although the latter is normally at lower levels than K; LVO is for service directly to the Queen; OM&G for the FCO (hence the “Diplomatic and Overseas” list contains all of those .)

    The thing is that there is no “order” below Knight Bachelor, and no “Grand Cross” above it – therefore these seem to appear from nowhere. But it is the lowest ranking knighthood, despite being the oldest.

    Tim adds: Indeed, as I discuss here for septics.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2011/12/31/arise-sir-jonathan-apples-jony-ive-gets-his-knighthood/

  9. I’d also note that, within the military’s rules for these things, there is no official method for nominating somebody for a Knight Bachelor. Which is, when you consider the original purpose of the accolade, quite strange.

    Churchy types can’t be made Knights Bachelor either – because they are not allowed to receive the accolade itself. So they can be KBE or even KG, but never “Sir”. Unless they are a Baronet, of course.

  10. Whilst on the subject of obscure points of precedence, I always liked the fact that the Wikipedia entry on styles of address tells you how to address an Honorary Prelate of His Holiness who is also a Privy Counsellor.

    There has only ever been one, at least since the Reformation, and he’s now dead, and the chances of there being another one are slim. But should we ever need to know how to address one, it’s there on the web.

  11. Why not give CBE ‘s to all the rioters ?
    Or a knighthood to Ronnie Biggs ?
    Or forgive Andy Coulson for lying and give him his job back at Downing Street ?
    What is the point in giving someone a medal for giving money away to that he can more than afford?
    Do we now tell our children anf grandchildren
    “There goes that nice reformed crook Gerald Ronson. Work hard, cheat and you too will be rich”?

  12. Sorry, slightly wrong. I’m being too snarky this morning. Blame it on going back to work early.

  13. I’m intrigued by the assertion that “KBE is quite common”. This is not borne out by recent honours lists.

    Indeed it could not be true because there is a limit to the number of KBEs that can exist at any time, currently 845, whereas there is no limit to the number of Knights Bachelor and I would be somewhat surprised if there are fewer than 845 of them.

    The reason the gentleman Ives was awarded a KBE rather than an ordinary knighthood is because he is ordinarily resident overseas, Knight Bachelor is only awarded to chaps living here. Had he relinquished his British citizenship he could only have received an honorary KBE whereas he got a real one, so we know he retains his citizenship and is entitled to be known as Sir whatever his first name is.

    I am happy to scour the last decade’s honours lists to prove how few KBEs have been awarded compared to Knight Bachelordoms/ships/isms if you are determined to be proved wrong rather than to accept that KBE is not “quite common actually”.

    Tim adds: KBE is indeed limited. As is Garter. 845 KBEs, 24 Garters. KBEs are “quite common”.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>