This is the most common piece of negative feedback we receive about what we do. There is a vague air of corruption about it, memories of “Cash For Honours”. Surely if somebody really deserves an Honour, they wouldn’t need to pay? And especially because it is a free system – anybody can make an application online, so what kind of terrible people are we to hoodwink unsuspecting clients into parting people from their money? Is it even legal?
Well, not surprisingly, we disagree – for a few reasons.
- We have three core principles here at Bayleaf Honours
- Total Client Confidentiality.
- Tell each Client that there is a free option (we link to it on our site and even link to it at gov.uk Nominate someone for an honour or award.
- Don’t accept Clients who don’t have a good chance of an award.
- We love the challenge of making Honours available to everybody. We offer significant discounts to any clients who work for charities – we are trying to democratise and popularise the Honours application process. We offer significantly cheaper prices than our competitors to put applications within reach of all, and even have DIY options which offer 100% of our expertise at a fraction of the usual cost.
- Yes – it’s legal. You can’t sell Honours – that’s been illegal since 1925. But we are not selling Honours, we are selling our expertise and skills at being able to tell your story in the best way possible. We have no Honours to sell, so you can’t buy them from us!
- We do not claim, or imply, or suggest, or promise that we have any access to decision-makers in the process. We do not, and we certainly do not pay any money to anybody. We do not and cannot lobby directly for particular candidates.
- We are story-tellers who know how to create succinct, compelling and clear nominations by working with candidates and supporters to craft the best possible version of a person’s achievements. Our writers are highly skilled and trained journalists who are motivated by your success.
- We do not ask for higher prices for more words. Your life story will be told in the best way possible in however many words it takes – 1000, 10000 or more. We don’t work harder for you the more you pay.
- We make the system MORE fair, not less so – in our opinion. If you, dear reader, think that the Honours system is fair and based on merit, that’s good. But we have news for you – if you think Sir Paul Fotherington-Huntingdon’s or Penelope Punchly CBE’s titles* are only for their charity efforts and not because they were at school with the Cabinet Secretary or donated to the Government’s party, then you need to do some background reading. Thankfully, 75% of Honours are now given to people with community focussed efforts, but we think that should be higher, and available to people further down the organisations. Our services allow anybody to apply – we even have free self-assessments so you can see if it’s worth applying.
But after all is said and done, the main question remains – “Well, you may be above board, but why pay for something I can do free?”
And our answer is – Don’t we all do that every day? I can paint my own house and not pay anybody to do it, but I probably won’t do a great job. So I pay a professional. Do I get angry that he or she are offering to do that work for a fee? Not usually – I either use them, or I don’t.
That is all we are offering – a service if you would like to use us. Our job is a little like that of a barrister – we gather the facts and present the case for our client in the best way possible. Should the person accused represent themselves because they can do it free? They could, but the stakes are high and maybe they don’t want to risk it. Similarly here, the chance of success of Honours nominations is generally accepted to be around 10%, and the Government doesn’t encourage repeat applications. Does using a lawyer in court imply guilt? Of course not – in the same way as we don’t believe that using us means that our clients are somehow cheating the system or undeserving. We are levelling the playing field with the well-connected, not corrupting it.
(* They aren’t real people.)
If you would like to use our services, or have a discussion about our approach, or to see if your nomination has merit – we’d love to talk to you. If not, that’s absolutely fine too – we wish you all the very best with your application.