[F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  /

    Missile Defense

Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI all over again?

Earliest MessagesPrevious MessagesRecent MessagesOutline (1461 previous messages)

rshowalter - 07:32pm Mar 24, 2001 EST (#1462 of 1463) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

the Sovereign as 'fountain of honour'

Today, as the 'fountain of honour' in the United Kingdom, the Sovereign has the sole right of conferring all titles of honour, including life peerages, knighthoods and gallantry awards. Anybody can make a recommendation for a British national to receive an honour; awards are made in recognition of distinguished service in any form by people from every section of the community. As The Queen confers honours on the advice of the Prime Minister, so recommendations for honours must be sent to the Prime Minister's Office.

Honours for meritorious service are usually conferred and announced twice a year - on the Sovereign's official birthday (early June) and at the New Year, or occasionally on a change of government. Awards for gallantry are published periodically on a separate list. Recipients receive their awards at an Investiture.

Honorary decorations and awards are occasionally granted to people from other countries who have made a significant contribution to relations between the United Kingdom and their own country. These awards are granted on the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

However, there are still certain honours in the United Kingdom that the Sovereign confers at his or her own discretion. The only honours for which the Sovereign personally selects recipients are: the Order of the Garter, the Order of the Thistle, the Order of Merit, the Royal Victorian Order and the Royal Victorian Chain, Royal Medals of Honour and Medals for Long Service.

These things matter, and matter intensely, in British (and also American) society. They matter all over the world. With little trouble, the Queen could contact essentially any high status person in the world, and in virtually every case would be carefully listened to.

Prime Ministers, and virtually everyone else she knows, care what she thinks of them.

When the Queen of England speaks, people listen. And they have reason to. She takes her statuatory and traditional "duty to warn" seriously.

rshowalter - 07:48pm Mar 24, 2001 EST (#1463 of 1463) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

rshowalter 3/9/01 7:13pm almarstel2001 asks a good question. . . . . . . Some of the things being done seem so ugly, in the sense of disproportionate, that I sometimes wonder if people are acting in their private interests, but against the real interests of this nation and the world. People who care about honor, definitely including the Queen and other members of the Royal Family, care about such things.

The appearance of impropriety certainly exists. Semantic usages and evasions that would be hard to explain to a school class seem well entrenched. And the amounts of money involved are amply large to produce either conscious or unconscious corruption, or both. Elder Bush in Big G.O.P. Cast Toiling for Top Equity Firm .... by By LESLIE WAYNE ..... NYT . . . . March 5, 2001

In my experience, wealthy people, especially when they are not directly interested in a particular deal, care very much about honor.

 Read Subscriptions  Subscribe  Post Message
 E-mail to Sysop  Your Preferences

 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  / Missile Defense

Enter your response, then click the POST MY MESSAGE button below.
See the
quick-edit help for more information.

Home | Site Index | Site Search | Forums | Archives | Shopping

News | Business | International | National | New York Region | NYT Front Page | Obituaries | Politics | Quick News | Sports | Science | Technology/Internet | Weather
Editorial | Op-Ed

Features | Arts | Automobiles | Books | Cartoons | Crossword | Games | Job Market | Living | Magazine | Real Estate | Travel | Week in Review

Help/Feedback | Classifieds | Services | New York Today

Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company