ANOTHER batch of titles and medals have been handed out today in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Many are for work that is hugely valuable and national recognition of an exceptional level of dedication and service is something worth doing as a society.

But the system this country uses to thank people for, recognise and celebrate their service or achievements is seriously outdated, open to abuse and in need of reform.

By all means let’s absolutely recognise the work done by people who have gone above and beyond what their job expects of them.

And those who have made extraordinary contributions during their career are deserving of something that says it is appreciated.

And if some people want to give a medal to the guy that fixed the Queen’s phone line earlier this year then who are we to disagree.

I am sure he is an excellent telecoms engineer.

Similarly, in the past many people from Glasgow who have been given honours have definitely merited it.

As well as people in services like education, health, community work and business, many of our famous and most successful sports people have letters after their name and titles before them.

Alex Ferguson, arguably the greatest football manager, not just from Govan, Glasgow or Scotland but the UK. Absolutely well done sir.

Sir Kenny Dalglish, one of the greatest footballers from these islands, but also rightly revered in Liverpool for his statesmanlike leadership after the Hillsborough tragedy.

And Jim Watt, one of the many boxing world champions Glasgow has produced.

When other people from Possil battered people they got the jail but Jim did it the right way, in the boxing ring, so he got an MBE.

I am sure we would all say their achievements are worthy of public acclaim.

But what has it to do with the British Empire?

Member of, Order of, Commander of, British Empire Medal?

Meaningless titles every one.

And when the same titles are handed out to the political pals of Prime Ministers down the years it diminishes the awards to those who have actually earned it.

People who have earned it this year, like David Maguire, the restaurant owner who gave out free meals to NHS staff.

Or Alison Williams, the Edinburgh nurse who raised thousands of pounds to buy iPads to help isolated patients communicate with family at the height of the pandemic.

They didn’t seek or expect an honour and didn’t do they work they did to climb any society greasy pole or to one day kneel before the Queen or one of her heirs.

A look at some other people who have been given honours tells us there is something rotten in the system.

There are too many to mention so I’ll just single one out as he likes to pick on people too.

Iain Duncan Smith received a knighthood in the last New Years honours list.

Former leader of the Conservative Party and latterly Work and Pensions Secretary in David Cameron’s Government and Brexiteer cheerleader for Boris Johnson. Whereas the people mentioned above in various fields have brought joy or relief to many people, he created a benefits system that is the cause of misery for millions and has driven people to despair and even suicide.

A knighthood and damehood is seen as the pinnacle of the honours system with CBE, OBE and MBE lower down the rankings.

Contrast Iain Duncan Smith’s title earlier this year with that of two people in this years list.

Marcus Rashford, Manchester United and England striker, has been made an MBE for helping get free meals for children who would have gone hungry when schools were closed.

Rashford should be made captain of Manchester United and England for the example and leadership he has shown. Maybe one day, soon.

And an MBE for the Glasgow restaurant owner David Maguire who gave out thousands of free meals to hospital staff because the canteen was shut all while living in his garage because his wife was shielding.

That really does deserve a medal.

Duncan Smith would

probably want to charge him

extra council tax for using his garage to sleep in.

While Duncan Smith was forcing people into hunger and poverty Rashford was trying to force his government to do something to mitigate the devastating impact of its own policies.

And Mr Maguire wouldn’t contemplate charging NHS staff for meals during the pandemic.

Where there are rewards it is inevitable there will be arguments over merit.

If the British honours system is to be legitimate then it has to be brought up to date.

We need new awards that do not hark back to days of an empire and consign archaic titles to the history books along with the empire.

We also need an end to political awards for helping get someone into power or help them stay there, either through financial support.

And what on earth is the Order of the Bath or Order of the Garter.