At one time, the MBE and OBE and the Sir/Dame was reserved for those deserving of the honour--the ones who had done things for the greater benefit of Mankind, great entertainers and actors, scientists, scholars and the like.
Now, they give them to anyone. We never had a Dame Anna Massey and there probably won't be a Sir Derek Jacobi--but there may well be a Dame Katie Price or even a Sir Ashley Cole, so rewarded for their services to tabloid claptrap.
A Caucasian cyclist who has won a major race--for which he was handsomely paid--and won a gold medal at the Olympics, gets a knighthood. Why? An equally talented young black female boxer who achieved the same at the Olympics does not get an honour. Why? A straight yachtsman gets to become Sir--a gay sportsman who triumphed at the same event, worshipped like the icon he is by his millions of fans, gets overlooked. Why?
Next year, a stray cat will have a poo on the doorstep at Number 10, and Agatha Penrose, a passing Birmingham hausfrau, will bravely save the PM's blushes by just happening to have a poop-scoop in her shopping bag. Come 1 January 2014, the lady will be feted as Dame Agatha Penrose.
Need I go further?