I've my regular Canberra Times column up today, 'Honour? Thanks but no thanks'.
I'm discussing why the rejection of the Queen's honours, recently revealed in a British Cabinet document, is healthy for democracy. A sample:
the best artists are remarkably honest: they are used to rejecting, revolting, or at least refining the taken-for-granted.
This might be awkward, embarrassing or painful, but it also what spurs societies to develop: only sick civilisations stifle debate and conflict.
So, artists like JG Ballard, Benjamin Zephaniah, L.S Lowry (who turned down a record-holding five honours) might seem ungracious or ungrateful. But even if we disagree with their judgments, we ought to welcome their candour and courage.(Photo: D. Gordon E. Robertson)