What Price Heroism

Chivalry is not dead in England.

In days of old when knights were bold, you had to do something bold in order to receive the honor of knighthood.  Traditionally, the recipient knelt before the reigning monarch, who tapped the hero on both shoulders with a sword and proclaimed, "Arise, Sir [Your Name Here]!"

As with grade inflation, the value of knighthood has suffered severely of late as we've forgotten what "hero" means.  These days, the "Honors List" is stuffed full with high-ranking British bureaucratic mandarins being honored on retirement.  Richard Branson, of Virgin business fame, was knighted because of his commercial endeavors.  Celebrities such as James Bond actor Sean Connery and Andrew Lloyd Webber have also received noble honors.  Mr. Webber - or Lord Lloyd-Webber as he is now styled - has purchased an estate fit for a lord with the proceeds of his successful stage productions, but neither he nor Mr. Connery have done anything especially brave or heroic.

Hearts of Oak

For all we bemoan the fact that British "hearts of oak" are being diluted by immigrants who don't share British values, there remain traces of British valor.  The Telegraph reports:

A British Transport Police officer, who has only been with the force for two years, has been praised for his remarkable bravery in the face of terror.

The man, who remains unnamed, is recovering from his injuries in hospital after he was stabbed during the London Bridge terror attack as he confronted the attackers armed with only a baton[emphasis added]

The officer was one of the first on the scene after he responded to calls for help from the public after a vehicle ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge.

This brave Briton's furious counterattack delayed the terrorists long enough for them to stab him 12 times.  This gave other unarmed civilians time to escape, and for armed police to arrive and deal with the terrorists properly.

Why, one might ask, was this first responder armed with "only a baton?"  The logic of creating victim disarmament zones continues to escape us.  Guns are like parachutes - if you need one and don't have one, you'll probably never need anything ever again.  This hero is fortunate to have survived his heroism, yet we had to hunt even to find his name, which is Wayne Marques.

The attack brought out the usual meaningless "Standing with the people of...," and "Hearts go out to..." which we are so utterly sick of hearing.  We want to hear something Churchillian, starting with a clear definition of exactly who the enemy is, followed by firm action to remove said enemy from civilized lands.

These days, unfortunately, that's the job of our mostly unfit elected Western political leaders.  Queen Elizabeth II reigns over England, but under their current constitutional arrangement, she does not rule - she has no direct political power and basically leaves all policy to parliament, even policies that directly affect the territorial and political integrity of the land over which she reigns.  Perhaps a future King William might see fit to renegotiate this arrangement, assuming there's still a throne for him to take up when the time comes.

In the meantime, there is one meaningful thing the Queen could do: confer a knighthood on this heroic transport police officer.  Instead of the usual nonsense of rewarding people for campaign contributions or for creating jobs, worthy though these activities may be, this action would remind everyone what knighthood is supposed to mean - laying your life on the line out of concern for others.

Arise, Sir Wayne!

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Foreign Affairs.
Reader Comments

Poignant article. I never thought about that.

You're correct: This man should be recognized for his bravery in the highest manner: Knighthood. He put his life on the line for others, complete strangers. "Greater love hath no man..."

July 9, 2017 11:01 PM
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