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Put an end to the heroes of empire

There must have been millions like me who groaned and laughed at the same time at another long list of the many anonymous and few famous people who were recently given something to do with a non-existent empire - for services to I know not what.

The honours system should now be obsolete. It is divisive, archaic and embarrassing, and some of the recipients should know better than to accept them.

People such as David Bowie et al should be commended for their courage to say no to this relic of the past.

In his memoirs, the former Tory prime minister John Major said he spent more time taking calls from people who wanted a gong than he did dealing with matters of state. The Prime Minister talks about getting rid of the word "empire" but allows the system to be used for tokenism, nepotism, appeasement, and for employers to say goodbye to employees who have overstayed their welcome.

A large and growing number of us in the Labour party are persistently pressing Tony Blair to scrap this system in the name of socialism and common sense.

It is to be hoped that Labour's representation committee will pursue this with some vigour in its future work.

Robert Miller

Springfield Green Essex

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