National treasures

Joanna Lumley has become a recognised “National Treasure”. Googling “Lumley” & “national treasure” brings 4,420 links, with everyone from the Guardian to the Daily Mail united on her treasuriness. She has been appearing in the news recently because of her campaigning work on behalf of the Gurkhas, which led to a Parliamentary defeat for the government.

(Some of the 28 Labour MPs who rebelled against the government over the Gurkha issue are also pretty national treasure-worthy, insofar as MPs can ever be: Dianne Abbott, Alan Simpson, Bob Marshall Andrews, Bob Wareing, etc. The LibDems brought about the vote but I hesitate to think of them in national treasury terms.)

Maybe England could sort out its financial mess by selling the (human-form) family silver. There must be celeb-deprived countries that would pay billions for our human National Treasures. Or we could lease them. At least they are real, which is a lot more than you can say for most of the world’s conceptual billions.

Which celebs are National Treasures? Obviously, asking tinternet is the way to find out. This is the National Treasure league table. It’s only based on the names that I’d remembered having been called national treasures in the media.

  • Attenborough, obviously. (20,500 googled links) They should probably keep him in the Tower of London or something
  • Tony Hart got 58,500 (Yes, I know he and Oliver Postgate died recently, but the treausre status seems able to live on for a time.)
  • Stephen Fry is a relatively new entrant to the lists but he put up a strong showing with 3,810 links
  • Terry Pratchett 2,400
  • Oliver Postgate managed a modest 732.
  • Grommit reached an even more modest 407

I am just thinking these are all pretty fair selections for the human National Treasury. Then, (Shock, Horror!) googling shows that I am channelling an old Daily Telegraph article.

Specialists from The Sunday Telegraph and the British Library have selected the nominees for each National Treasure award, which was no easy task.

Pause to wonder what qualifies anyone to be a National Treasure specialist. Longer gobsmacked pause at the Telegraph/British Library list overall winners. These include
Margaret Thatcher, Richard Branson and Cliff Richard. Cliff was the People’s Vote choice, as the Telegraph let even its non-specialist readers vote. Attenborough and Fry got in, though.

While looking at the Telegraph’s old list of treasure people, I noticed that yesterday’s Telegraph ran a “Who Would You Kick Out of Britain?” piece. It’s some sort of evil twin of the National Treasure awards – maybe a National Debt award, or something. I don’t know if it was chosen by proper specialists, though.

I am momentarily shocked to see it’s headed by a picture of Jacqui Smith. She does indeed seem a reasonable choice for deportation. Her every action as Home Secretary seems to have come as close as humanly possible to expressing shit in a ministerial decree format. Don’t tell me that I am agreeing with something in the Telegraph, ffs.

Phew, she’s not actually number one, though. That honour goes to “the cabinet” as a whole. Her picture’s just there as a representative member of the Cabinet. The rest of the list consists of Gordon Brown, plus some insignificant celebs. There are 150 comments on the article, at least half of which must surely have been generated by the twatotron.

Still, I reckon I can spend a good 24 hours thinking of who I’d like to kick out of the country. If I get to stick them in one of the UK’s immigration prison hell-holes first, so much the better. Watch this space.