IT was in Glasgow that Iain Duncan Smith had his glorious epiphany about the lives of the poor.

And it is in Glasgow that third sector groups and legions of volunteers have had to strive to stave off the very worst privations of the soon-to-be-Sir Iain's decisions from his time as secretary of state for work and pensions.

There is no surprise that news of Duncan Smith's reward of a knighthood in the New Year's Honours list.

The list was drawn by Theresa May before she stepped down as Prime Minister and so the decision to reward the Honourable Member for Chingford and Woodford Green was hers.

Talk about a reward for failure.

This is the architect of welfare reforms that have seen families plunged into poverty.

Duncan Smith is responsible for universal credit, the two-child cap and the bedroom tax, three policies that have never had a kind word said about them.

Well, that's not entirely true.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation was supportive in principle of the ideas behind universal credit - a more streamlined system that would simply a complex system.

But, in practice, the policy was a disaster. The five week wait to receive universal credit meant that families had to turn elsewhere.

This could be to pay day lenders or, worse, loan sharks, who would offer interest rates that would mean borrowers would struggle to pay the cash back.

Or they turned to foodbanks, a UK-wide network of support that has grown and grown under the effects of Duncan Smith's policies to catch people falling through the gaping hole ripped in the social security network.

Of course, the honours system rewards people such as those who work in foodbanks.

Among the annual announcements detailing who is to be rewarded with an honour from the Queen, there are always names that prompt dislike, distaste - and, as with Duncan Smith, disgust.

And there are always calls to scrap the whole system.

One of the things I am most proud of, working for the Glasgow Times, is our awards for people who strive to make a difference in their own communities.

Our Community Champion Awards every year show the incredible, innovative ways that grassroots groups and generous individuals work to make things better for other people.

From running tea dances to after school groups to environmental initiatives, there is always an overwhelming number of entries to choose from.

Many of these will also be plugging the gaps in the state's provision for those who need support - foodbanks, of course, are an obvious example of this.

Our Scotswoman of they Year Awards are one of my favourite nights of the year.

There is nothing like the atmosphere in the room when hundreds of women get together to honour those who have worked to make a change somewhere.

We've had woman who set up charities to welcome refugees to the city.

We've had women who, after their own experience of having a child who is ill, set up art projects for children's hospitals.

One mother, whose daughter was murdered by a stranger, set up a charity to provide families who lost loved ones to manslaughter or murder with financial support at what is a most horrendous time.

These are the people we choose to highlight with our awards - not that any of the people who do this work are doing it for the recognition.

But they deserve it.

After a lifetime of giving their time in the service of others, they deserve to be thanked.

That is what the honours system should be for.

It should be about modest heroes.

Not about cronyism. Not about a outgoing prime minister giving a wee nod and wink to their pals or their own personal, undeserving heroes.

Theresa May, of course, also named Geoffrey Boycott as a recipient of a honour.

A cricket legend, yes, but also a convicted domestic abuser.

This is the same Theresa May who pledged to leave a legacy of reformed and improved domestic abuse legislation for England.

So, acknowledging a problem and rewarding a perpetrator of that problem. An own goal from Theresa.

I'm sure, between us, Britain can think of many deserving titles for Iain Duncan Smith... but Sir is not one of them.

And this is the thing. We all know it, we all see it. Duncan Smith might be delighted with his gong but it's given us a chance to point out his flaws loudly and publicly.

Part of the honours system is a bunch of old cronies slapping each other on the back. But much of it is honouring the nation's real community champions.

They shouldn't miss out when they, unlike Duncan Smith, have really earned it.