Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thank God for Gerald Ronson CBE

There is a bit of a fuss being made over the CBE awarded to Gerald Ronson, an ex-convict imprisoned in 1990 for his part in the Guinness share-trading scandal. He was found guilty of conspiring to create a false market, false accounting and theft. He was also fined £5million.

He is awarded the CBE for services to charity, having raised more than £100million for (and donated more than £30million to) charities such as the Community Security Trust, NSPCC, the Prince's Trust and Jewish Care.

Labour find this deplorable. The Daily Mail is apoplectic.

While it is indeed rare for a former prisoner to have such an honour bestowed, surely it is a good thing to reward those who reform themselves; to honour those who have turned away from sin, vice and crime and chosen to walk a righteous path. Are those who have erred and paid their debt to society to be denied recognition? Are they to be outcast forever?

When the wayward and prodigal return, the angels rejoice and God honours them with a banquet. The state should do no less. Bestowing a CBE upon Gerald Ronson is symbolic of healing, wholeness and forgiveness. We should be proud that we live in a society in which redemption may be found. Mr Ronson has received words of admonition and been subject to the discipline of the community. He is thereby worthy to receive words of encouragement and the forgiveness of the community. Rebuke and correction cannot mean that a person becomes a perpetual pariah, for then there is no mercy. It means, rather, that the person becomes an object of the community's missionary efforts: the shepherd leaves the 99 sheep to search for the one who goes astray. If it is not God's will that any should be lost, the ultimate goal of the community's disciplinary action must always be the restoration of the sinner to fellowship, thereby providing forgiveness and reintegration of the wrongdoer into the life of the community.

Since his fall from grace, Gerald Ronson has not only raised millions for charity, he has received many awards including 'Entrepreneur of the Year' from the Variety Club of Great Britain; 'Businessman of the Year' from Hambros; and he won the Property Industry Award for High Achievement. King Juan Carlos of Spain has also bestowed upon Mr Ronson the Encomienda de Numero of the Spanish Order of Civil Merit Decoration. He is also the Ambassador of the Druze Community on Mount Carmel, and in 2009 was awarded an Honourary Doctorate in Civil Law by Northumbria University.

There is no shame or disgrace in Gerald Ronson CBE. On the contrary, we must thank God that justice may be tempered with mercy, and that reformation can be rewarded with forgiveness.


Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

If only all reformations were so wholesome.

31 December 2011 at 10:55  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Guinness is good for you in more ways than one. ;0)

If the bloke done good then I don't have a problem with good works being recognised. It worked for Profumo after all.

To be honest, I'm more concerned that the majority of the corrupt and inept Westminster scum caught fiddling their expenses are still employed at our expense. Have they been forgotten so soon? How about rewarding them with their just desserts? I'm not talking about honours, you understand, just a prison cell or the dole queue.

31 December 2011 at 11:04  
Blogger Gnostic said...

PS When will we enjoy the honour of seeing Huhne in the dock?

31 December 2011 at 11:07  
Blogger Preacher said...

Well done Gerald for showing the way, a true torch bearer who paid his dues, reformed & came good.
Charles Colson did the same.
Now if all the rest of the dodgy Euro M.P's repent & do the same, for all the years that the books haven't balanced, we might see some real progress. After all confession & repentance are good for the soul. What better start to the New Year than a clean slate?.

31 December 2011 at 11:40  
Blogger hengist mcstone said...

Oh, came here cos you tweeted something about Labour not being critical enough of reformed drug dealers receiving honours ... but disappointed to see there isn't any support for that claim in this article whatsoever.

31 December 2011 at 12:38  
Blogger Tony Blair said...

What a decent geezer Gerald Ronson CBE is.
Rumour has it he made a substantial donation to Ford Oprn Prison to enable a chapel and/or education block to be built.
Mazeltov to him and his family,well

31 December 2011 at 12:47  
Blogger martin sewell said...

There is much rejoicing in heaven over a repentant sinner. We all need mercy.

The party that rehabilitated Peter Mandelson should be slow to criticise an unequivocal acceptance of wrong doing and a healing response.

31 December 2011 at 13:10  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
Thanks for enlightening us on the background of this Honour. I would have questioned such an award had you not written about it. We would not be blamed for thinking the worst about awards given the appalling history of awards since the early part of the 20th Century.
If there is no hope for the redeemed then there is no hope. Look at the apostle Paul and compare with Judas, the treasurer.

31 December 2011 at 14:07  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

These awards are handed out like Smarties to any old tosser, I think it diminishes and cheapens it for those who really have earned and deserve them outstanding achievements other than doing their job or reforming.

It's good that people have reformed, but surely they don't need a trophy and a higher standing than those who have not committed any offence in the first instance and who quietly and tenaciously go about their work and do good without the expectation of any reward.

31 December 2011 at 15:04  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

I generally don't comment on subjects unique to the UK since I typically don't know much about the subject. In fact, I had to look up CBE to even know what the award was for. But I am curious about one thing. Is this man considered on the right of the political spectrum? Liberals often attribute criminal acts to underlying political ideas, and will not accept repentance unless it is accompanied by a corresponding change in political outlook. Indeed, repentance is often defined by liberals as changing one's political outlook to a liberal perspective.

Just wondering.


31 December 2011 at 16:02  
Blogger Kennywhizz said...

Well, pardon me for wondering but where did the £30 million he donated come from???

31 December 2011 at 16:10  
Blogger Phillip said...

Marie 1797 has obviously not read the parable of the prodigal son.

31 December 2011 at 16:11  
Blogger Roy said...

I agree that an ex-convict who has since done a great deal of work for charity certainly deserves an honour.

The attitude of the Daily Mail puzzles me. It is right that criminals should be punished (and I don't mean given one of Ken Clarke's slaps on the wrist) but once they have served their sentence we should all want them to live honest, worthwhile lives and if they do anything particularly worthy of praise then they should get it.

31 December 2011 at 16:21  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

He did something bad, and then he apparently learned from his mistake and did something good. Whether or not this is officially recognised by the government, he should be an example to many of us.

31 December 2011 at 16:49  
Blogger Albert said...

Labour find this deplorable. The Daily Mail is apoplectic

That just goes to prove how far both are from traditional British culture - which is Christian. Neither the crime of Gerald Ronson CBE nor the honour he is receiving are commensurate with the crimes of St Paul and the honour he has received, from our Lord.

31 December 2011 at 17:32  
Blogger Albert said...


In fact, I had to look up CBE to even know what the award was for.

Well, you're all going to have to learn more about the rock from which you were hewn, now that it appears the US wishes to be restored in submission to British Crown.

repentance is often defined by liberals as changing one's political outlook to a liberal perspective.

As far as I can see, Labour are upset by a knighthood given to a fat-cat Tory who made millions from the credit crunch, rather than the issue of Gerald Ronson being given a CBE - but perhaps someone will correct me on that.

31 December 2011 at 17:42  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
While in the East it is already 2012, we have to wait our turn. Ireland, Canada and the USA will have to wait a little longer.( Ireland is a bit behind the times is it not?)
A New Year, a new opportunity to consider the politico/religious concerns of the day and as such I wish everyone a happy New Year.
God Bless. (Whether you want it or not in Ireland!)

31 December 2011 at 17:50  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Does irk a bit, more joy in heaven for one repentant crook than for a thousand Inspectors, but hey, that’s Christianity for you, and we don’t make the rules...

31 December 2011 at 18:28  
Blogger selsey.steve said...

Mr.Ronson has repaid any debt which he might have owed to society many times over. He deserves this award.

w/v = prizesse !!

31 December 2011 at 20:37  
Blogger English Viking said...

I don't give a toss if a man has seen the inside of a cell.

In fact, if he had not, that would be more reason to doubt him.

But this tit?

A thief, a liar, a self-confessed chicken strangler, a player of the pink oboe.

Dave really is an utter c***.

HG should know better than to pretend this tosser is some kind of returning sheep, a penitent, a repentant ne'er do well.

He is not. He is a c***.

31 December 2011 at 21:28  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...


Civility my man!

Happy New Year.

WV Panties - truth!

31 December 2011 at 22:11  
Blogger English Viking said...

Hey Dodo,

Panties eh?

Don't mind if I do, what?

Happy new year, you bog-trotting prick.

31 December 2011 at 22:35  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...


A true story:

Avrahom is having his first meeting with Mr Lewis, an eminent psychiatrist.
"So, Avrahom," asks Mr Lewis, "why have you come to see me?"
"Because I am having trouble with the whole of the human race, doctor. They are stupid and they won’t listen to me."
"Can you give me some examples of how they …."
"They are calling me a crazy man," says Avrahom. "It doesn’t matter what I tell them, they call me meshugga. What do you do, doctor, when you meet stupid people who won’t listen to a word of truth?"
"OK, Avrahom, I’m getting to understand your problem. Why don’t you start from the beginning?"
"Oh thank you doctor," says Avrahom, "thank goodness someone wants to listen to me. In the beginning, I created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And my spirit moved upon the face ……."

31 December 2011 at 23:17  
Blogger outsider said...

You are right Your Grace: Gerald Ronson's trial and imprisonment was a symbolic act to damn a period of excess in the City, a response regrettably not made to the recent period of excess in the City. It served a useful purpose. Mr Ronson, unlike some others involved, took his punishment like a man, paid his dues, dusted himself down, reinvigorated his entrepreneurial instincts and is creating some of the better new skyscrapers in the City. We do not have to love him but he has earned respect.

1 January 2012 at 01:06  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

The so-called "daily Mail" is a very nasty little fascist rag.
Anyone condemned by it is probably doing something right!

1 January 2012 at 09:40  
Blogger Ian said...

I regret this sanctimonious championing of someone who despite your blog and comments by others has never expressed any remorse or repentance for the crimes he was convicted of. To compare him as you do shows a misunderstanding of the biblical texts as the son in the story accepted his guilt (as well as the punishment - outsider) and asked to be allowed to be the most lowly of people in the Fathers household (not to cheerfully accept a CBE).

If this years honours create a challenge for us the reformed and repentent Christopher Preddie is the person we need to consider, not the undeserving Ronson, or the tainted Paul Ruddock. By all accounts Preddie would be worthy of his OBE (not for him the toffs CBE) if it were not for the accusation by Mr Taylor of his association with two cousins who murdered Damillola. This is a real test of our willingness to honour someone despite the pain it metes out to others. I believe that the Telegraph is right to challenge the three awards it does and none should have been awarded. However if your Grace wants to lift one up for closer inspection and for biblical rhetoric, then choose Preddie not Ronson.

Let us thank God for all three men (as all three have done great things for society). However all three are still the cause of hurt to others who have never been offered an honour and for this reason should not be so annointed.

Perhaps we should instead look out for others who do good in our communities and nominate them for next years awards.

1 January 2012 at 12:56  
Blogger Ariadne said...

I heard Christopher Preddie interviewed on Radio 4 and he said he didn't even know the cousins.

He lives in North London and that divide might be familiar to lots of people.

I wonder what he had been "reformed" from. Ham perhaps in the "media" version of him.

1 January 2012 at 13:37  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 January 2012 at 08:11  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 January 2012 at 08:21  

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