[oclug] [OT]What is the world coming to?
Mark Harrison (Groups)
mph at ascentium.co.uk
Fri Mar 4 12:03:38 EST 2005
Frank Stratton - VE3YY wrote:
>Since Bill Gates is now a KBE, I suggest we begin a write-in campaign to
>have Linus Torvalds made a Knight of the British Empire.
Right, on a small technical point, KBE doesn't actually stand for
"Knight of the British Empire". It stands for "Knight Commander of the
Most Excellent Order of the British Empire".
It's the second highest honour in that particular order (GBE is highest,
then KBE/DBE (male/female versions), then CBE, then OBE, and finally the
... and technically, Bill isn't one, he's an "honorary KBE" which is
subtly different. (For example, he's not a "Sir", and doesn't count
towards the limit of 845 KBEs living at any given time.) Only
Commonwealth Citizens can be full members.
Ironically, if Bill were to apply for British Citizenship, then, were he
accepted, he's be entitled to be called "Sir". However, as I understand
things, while the British Government is happy with people having dual
citizenship, the US government isn't, so he'd have to give up his US
Citizenship at that point :-)
However, the idea of nominating Linus for a British Honour isn't stupid
at all. Tim Berners-Lee got a full (ie - non-honorary) KBE in 2003,
having been awarded an OBE earlier.
As a non-commonwealth citizen, Linus could only be "honorary" member
(unless he wants to become British, or for that matter, Canadian.)
Technically, all such honours are handed our directly by the Sovereign.
As a Commonwealth Government, the Canadian Government could recommend
that Linus receive something...
... alternatively, if we could, genuinely, get a groundswell of support
together, and he's accept (!) then it may be that nominating him in the
UK would be more effective. If this is genuinely a goer, then I'm happy
to spend some time researching the "proposal" process (which the latest
UK government made a bit more transparant a few years ago.)
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