Letter from Shawforth:An OBE deserved?

Posted: February 16, 2012 in Discussion, Society, Uncategorized
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The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established in 1917 by George V, comprising of five classes; the “OBE” (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) is the second class of award. It was originally established as a means through which individuals in non-combatant roles during the first world war could be honoured for their actions.

There has always been criticism associated with the “British Honour“, or as it is more commonly known the “Queens honour”. Many individuals who have been nominated for or, received a Queens honour, have returned the honour as a form of statement.

The most recent case of an award being made to raise questions is that of an OBE to Chris Preddie; an alleged former London gang member, drug dealer, and cousin of the brothers convicted of the murder of Damiola Taylor. The drug dealing allegations frequently appearing in media headlines no doubt associated with having grown up in a particular area of London.

Preddie, in an article written for the Guardian newspaper by Erwin James, appears forth-right about his past and his relationship to his cousins. Preddie also comes across very passionate about his intentions and the focus of his work. Who are we to judge Chris Preddie?

However, whilst not the youngest person (Eleanor Simmonds MBE) to receive a Queens honour Preddie appears to be the youngest to receive the OBE.

Chris Preddie has been awarded the OBE through a nomination process that requires the attainment of set standards; and it is now not only Preddie who must carry the weight of responsibility that the OBE brings upon his shoulders, but those who placed it there.

Chris Preddie OBE deserves to be left alone to get on with his work, using the title bestowed upon him to good use.

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