Noble sport of gong fishing
Her Majesty's less worthy subjects (or "citizens", as the Government inaccurately insists on calling us when it wants us to feel part of things) may find their chances improve if they have actually been recommended by someone who thinks they deserve it.
Of course, there is the option of asking the prime minister directly for an honour. John Major reportedly had a particular distaste for this kind of grovelling when he was in office, although where Tony Blair stands I don't know.
But, even if you don't have the prime minister's ear, you might still be in with a chance if you work in FE.
The Department for Education and Skills is seeking nominations for the 2005 New Year's honours and the Association of Colleges is urging people to recommend those who have contributed something special to FE.
Colleges are brimming with people who deserve that invitation to Buckingham Palace - regardless of whether they choose to accept it.
The citation form, available from the AoC, is one piece of bureaucracy which should be completed by everybody in FE.