Are you like me wondering why on earth Salman Rushdie was given of all things a Knighthood in the Queens Birthday Honours list recently? Knighthoods aren’t given out willy-nilly, and certainly not to authors who normally receive OBEs, MBEs, and CBEs – if anything. We are of course still at the tail end of Tony Blair’s era of control; he may still be settling old scores.
One annoyance that he will probably feel quite strongly as it happened very recently is the embarrassment he must have felt having to back down when the Iranians captured the British Royal Navy sailors and marines in the Shatt al Arab waterway along the border of Iraq and Iran.
My feeling is that giving the Knighthood to Rushdie had one reason behind it, and one reason alone: to pull faces at the Iranians for having so embarrassed TB. It’s petty, small minded, and childish too, petulant even. But isn’t that what we have come to expect from TB? He’s been under the influence of George Bush for so long that it’s beginning to stick. Like stale sick.
There is no way Rushdie really deserves this honour – Knighthoods should be reserved for people who actually make people proud to be British, and not given to foreigners who make a load of trouble for the rest of us. But then, I don’t like Salman Rushdie, I don’t like his style of writing, and I find his books boring and irrelevant. They must be – he won the Booker Prize, didn’t he?