Incitatus honoured

Another day, another new metaphor to describe the shamelessness of this government. Today the metaphor is Caligula who wanted to make his favourite horse a Consul just to annoy the Senate. He didn’t actually do it, apparently, but Gordon Brown is not as shy as that well-loved Roman and he will miss no opportunity to annoy us. Step forward three donkeys of public service, Tom Kelly, Debby Reynolds and Richard Summerskill.

Those with long memories will recall that we are in this mess in Iraq because we were lied to by the government over Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction. One man tried to speak out, and well qualified he was to do so too. But his credibility and reputation were publicly shredded, leading him to commit suicide. For his services to the country Tom Kelly, the government spokesman at the time, is given the Order of the Bath. The same honour goes to the Government’s former chief vet Debby Reynolds, who was in charge when foot and mouth and avian flu struck these shores. Thank heavens her efforts fell short of meriting a peerage. But spare a thought for Richard Summerkill who must feel short-changed after his department lost the personal and banking details of every family in the country and yet he only walks away with a CBE. Bad luck, Dick, try harder next time.

There you go, Caligula, for a master lesson in how to abuse the people you govern, look and learn from Emperor Gordon.