Jude CollinsFORMER newspaper columnist Jude Collins has hit out at the likes of boxer Paddy Barnes for accepting his MBE from the Queen.

The north Belfast boxer was honoured today for his services to the game of boxing in Northern Ireland.

He said he was delighted to accept the honour.

But broadcaster Jude Collins, who now writes an online internet blog, says he not only hates New Year’s Eve but also the entire honours system.

Mr Collins wrote: “I’ve detested New Year’s Eve for decades now. It was OK when I was a teenager and attending local dances – there was the chance at midnight to kiss as many girls as you could get close to. But that was yesteryear.

“Now I find the fake bonhomie and yelps of delight at the start of a New Year just depress me. And then there’s the Honours List.

“Where do you start with such a thing?

“OK, briefly: the ceremony involved in becoming a knight – walking backwards in case the monarch would get insulted – is only matched by the thought that there are people who are keen to impress their superiority on others by signing themselves as Sir or Dame or whatever matches.

“Then there are the lesser baubles like MBE and OBE. Proud to be a member of the British Empire? Stop, my sides are hurting.

“For English people to accept such tokens from their non-elected Head of State, often while on their knees before her, is ludicrous enough.

“For Irish people – people who might even describe themselves as nationalists – to get all moist at the thought of getting to Buckingham Palace and actually coming within spitting distance of the monarch is beyond parody.

“I’m not saying we shouldn’t give recognition to people who have genuinely served their community.

“But heading up a university or being well paid for being a skilful sportsman or woman, or for having made hefty donations to the right British political party –  spare me.

“And yes, I know the Pope dispenses papal knighthoods. The same applies. Although at least he was elected by a college of cardinals.”

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