Lord What ?

One of the things that I find quite touching here is the way that politicians of all colours take their title with them when they leave office. EvenĀ a one-term president – like Jimmy Carter or George Bush Snr – is always addressed as “Mr President”, though it may have been many a year since they actually did the job for which the title was accorded. Indeed – there is a hierarchy of sorts… That great servant of Nevada politics – Richard Bryan – who was both our State’s governor, and one of it’s two US senators for twelve years is always addressed as “Senator” Bryan today.

Rudy Guilliani will forever be addressed as “Mr Mayor”, even though he left office back in 2002

The reason for my raising this – is that in England this is definitely NOT the case, and my mind got to thinking about it when I heard Wolf Blitzer address Tony Blair as “Prime Minister” in an interview last on CNN week. Trying to cast aside my dislike for the politician that Blair became after 9/11 – riding on George W. Bush’s coat-tails in disastrously invading Iraq back in 2003 – he would be accorded no such honour on British television. He would always be plain old “MR” Blair.

Politicians who have left office are generally regarded as has-beens – unless they are awarded a peerage and elevated to the House of Lords, where they spend the rest of their lives sleeping…

As I have said in a previous posting – I am utterly opposed to the granting of titles that oblige me to address someone as other than “Mr”….

Sir this, Lord that, Baroness whatever….

I rather like the way that “honorary” knighthoods are awarded – with it being a recognition of a persons achievements without the silly title…. Steven Spielberg, who was awarded an honorary knighthood back in 2001 can officially write his name as “Steven Spielberg KBE” (Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire), but mercifully we don’t have to refer to him as “Sir Steven” !

Some titles just make me laugh…. SIR Mick Jagger ??? Now if they awarded Keith Richard a knighthood I might change my mind !

I became acutely aware of just how utterly obsessed we Brits are with titles when I used the Royal Opera’s website to order some tickets. As part of the process I had to register and create an account. The second “Contact” field I was obliged to select was “Title”. Now normally you might expect to see a handful of those most commonly used – Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr – but no…

There were 133 to choose from !

Here is the complete list:

Mr
Mrs
Ms
Miss
Advocate
Ambassador
Baron
Baroness
Brigadier
Canon
Captain
Chancellor
Chief
Col
Comdr
Commodore
Councillor
Count
Countess
Dame
Dr
Duke of
Earl
Earl of
Father
General
Group Captain
H R H the Duchess of
H R H the Duke of
H R H The Princess
HE Mr
HE Senora
HE The French Ambassador M
His Highness
His Hon
His Hon Judge
Hon
Hon Ambassador
Hon Dr
Hon Lady
Hon Mrs
HRH
HRH Sultan Shah
HRH The
HRH The Prince
HRH The Princess
HSH Princess
HSH The Prince
Judge
King
Lady
Lord
Lord and Lady
Lord Justice
Lt Cdr
Lt Col
Madam
Madame
Maj
Maj Gen
Major
Marchesa
Marchese
Marchioness
Marchioness of
Marquess
Marquess of
Marquis
Marquise
Master
Mr and Mrs
Mr and The Hon Mrs
President
Prince
Princess
Princessin
Prof
Prof Emeritus
Prof Dame
Professor
Queen
Rabbi
Representative
Rev Canon
Rev Dr
Rev Mgr
Rev Preb
Reverend
Reverend Father
Right Rev
Rt Hon
Rt Hon Baroness
Rt Hon Lord
Rt Hon Sir
Rt Hon The Earl
Rt Hon Viscount
Senator
Sir
Sister
Sultan
The Baroness
The Countess
The Countess of
The Dowager Marchioness of
The Duchess
The Duchess of
The Duke of
The Earl of
The Hon
The Hon Mr
The Hon Mrs
The Hon Ms
The Hon Sir
The Lady
The Lord
The Marchioness of
The Princess
The Reverend
The Rt Hon
The Rt Hon Lord
The Rt Hon Sir
The Rt Hon The Lord
The Rt Hon the Viscount
The Rt Hon Viscount
The Venerable
The Very Rev Dr
Very Reverend
Viscondessa
Viscount
Viscount and Viscountess
Viscountess
W Baron
W/Cdr

If I wasn’t the wrong sex I would have been sorely tempted to have signed up as “The Dowager Marchioness of Las Vegas”. It does have a certain ring to it don’t you think ?

I do speak French – so perhaps “HE The French Ambassador M Chris” might have been a possibility…

Even “HRH Sultan Shah Chris” might have been the ticket ?

Tell you what…

How about we Brits agree to address politicians with their previous titles (ie calling Blair “Mr Prime Minister”) IF we can dump having to use titles like Lord Muckey-Muck….

Deal ?

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