Sir Bob Jones

Reading 3 months of newspapers over several days to ascertain what’s happened in my absence, I noticed a phenomenon one might otherwise overlook.

That is the ridiculous spread of the pre-fix “award winning.” These days it seems to apply to virtually everyone and every activity thus through its excessive use, it’s now meaningless.

Up until recent years it was the domain of journalists. Journalism is rightly a low-paid career, particularly with the dying print media, and notably newspapers. So presumably as is a sap for poor monetary rewards and ignominy, in place is delivered the dubious and devalued bauble of nonsensical awards. Seemingly every journalist is a winner.

If you think that’s an exaggeration, consider this.

On the 28th May The New Zealand Herald published a full page, small type (of necessity given the sheer number of recipients) of this year’s journalists’ awards. In total there were circa 300 “winners”.

To ensure no-one missed out, individual awards such as for example, “Political Journalist of The Year” had six different winners, and so it went.

But as I said, this award nonsense has spread from journalism to every activity, in the process totally devaluing the honour. The periodic government awards illustrate this, as for example, earlier this year a chap receiving a knighthood for merely staying alive. Specifically, he was the last surviving member of the Second World War Maori Battalion, but had otherwise lived an innocuous life.

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Bob Jones

Sir Robert ‘Bob’ Jones — now New Zealand’s largest private office building owner in Wellington and Auckland, and with substantial holdings in Sydney and Glasgow, totalling in excess of two billion...