One name in the New Year’s Honours List was that of Heron International CEO Gerald Ronson, 72, who received a CBE for his considerable work and support for charity.

The honour sparked criticism due to Ronson’s part in a share scam in 1990, for which he was fined £5 million and served six months in prison.

The credibility of the honours system has recently been called into question after a knighthood ill-advisedly awarded to RBS banker Fred Goodwin, on the recommendation of former PM Gordon Brown for services to banking was taken away by the Queen following the damage done by him to the bank, the economy and all the taxpayers who picked up the bill for his mistakes. Goodwin was also ill-advisedly awarded an Honorary Degree from St Andrews University, for what it’s worth.

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