Sat | Aug 18, 2018

Selecting honourees

Published:Monday | August 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM

We are grateful to Bruce Golding, the former prime minister, for his reminder that his administration, in 2007, established a committee, chaired by the late Rex Nettleford, to review the process by which national honours are determined and awarded and to rationalise the process. That committee's report was considered by a parliamentary committee in 2009 and its findings remitted to the full House.

Unfortunately, nothing much seems to have flowed from that work - either during Mr Golding's remaining time in office, towards the latter part of 2011, and in the two and a half years since the return of the Simpson Miller administration.

This, of course, implies no criticism of any specific honouree, either now, or in the past. But as we have observed several times in the past, including last week, after the publication of the latest honours list, this newspaper believes that there are far too many awardees, a point made by Professor Nettleford's committee. We feel that an annual cap should be placed on the number of inductees, especially to the higher society of honours.


This newspaper believes that the criteria for receiving national honours should be more transparent and the process of vetting honourees far more robust, so as to ensure that those who are honoured pass the test of excellence among their peers and wider society. That is how we will maintain the prestige of the national honours as things to be coveted.

Maybe it is time to dust off the Nettleford report and for a new, broader and serious discussion about the honours and what we expect of them.

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