Our local council has decided to ‘honour’ Captain Tom Moore with a Freedom of the City of London ‘award’. The Freedom is hardly an ‘honour’ given that paedophiles like Hubert Chesshyre and Keith Harding have also received this ‘award’, not to mention disgraced politicians like Ian Paisley Junior. In the long run the best way to fund the NHS is through ending the tax breaks and tax avoidance schemes for corporations and the wealthy which the City of London council lobbies for under the guise of neo-liberal ‘light regulation’. In the short term if the Corporation really wants to pay tribute to Captain Tom Moore then it should match his charity raising feat and donate £30 million to the NHS from its sovereign wealth fund City’s Cash. It could easily afford to do this. Instead the City prefers cheap publicity from doling out its dubious ‘honours’. Here’s the City’s press release from earlier today, already picked up and reported on My London News:
Captain Tom Moore, the 100-year-old Second World War veteran who has raised over £29 million for the NHS, will receive the Freedom of the City of London, in recognition of his outstanding charitable work.
Captain Moore, who celebrates his landmark birthday today, launched ‘Tom’s 100th Birthday Walk for the NHS’ on 6 April.
The initiative involved completing 100 laps of his garden to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities Together, which supports staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients.
The target was reached on 10 April and since gaining widespread media attention, the amount on his JustGiving fundraising page began to rise sharply and today, it stands at over £29.7 million.
William Russell, Lord Mayor of the City of London, and Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chair at the City Corporation, have nominated Captain Moore to receive the Freedom of the City of London, to coincide with his 100th birthday. Next week’s ceremony will be the first conducted virtually since the Freedom is believed to have begun in 1237.
Lord Mayor William Russell said:
“My colleagues and I have been touched greatly by Captain Moore’s truly inspirational efforts to support the NHS by raising this astonishing amount of money.
“It is our privilege and pleasure to grant him the Freedom of the City of London by Special Nomination, in recognition of this remarkable achievement and on a more personal level, for his generosity of spirit and commitment to this cause.”
Policy Chair Catherine McGuinness said:
“Captain Moore’s hugely admirable initiative, which has been supported generously by so many people, will benefit the NHS charities’ vital work to keep people safe and save lives in these challenging times.
“At the age of 100, Captain Moore has become an unlikely, but cherished, role model and as well as making headlines around the country, he will be making history in the City, because his Freedom ceremony – to be conducted via video link – will be our first ever ‘virtual’ ceremony!”…
The Freedom of the City of London used to enable recipients to carry out their trade; and today, people are nominated for, or apply for, the Freedom, because it offers them a link with the historic City of London and one of its ancient traditions.
The Freedom is also offered to individuals by the City of London Corporation to help celebrate a significant achievement, or to pay tribute to their outstanding contribution to London life or public life.
Captain Tom Moore awarded Freedom of the City of London by Anon, City of London website, 30 April 2020: http://web.archive.org/web/20200430203911/https://news.cityoflondon.gov.uk/captain-tom-moore-awarded-freedom-of-the-city-of-london/
The City of London is the last rotten borough in the UK, and urgently requires democratic reform starting with – but by no means limited to – the abolition of business votes. What the City of London lie machine celebrates above as its ‘ancient traditions’ is, in fact, a feudal political system that is rotten to the core.