The British Empire Medal (BEM), described as the working-class gong, is to be revived as David Cameron reverses one of John Major's signature reforms that was designed to create a classless society.The prime minister, who is consulting the Queen on the change, hopes the revived medal will be awarded to people involved in voluntary work.Downing Street, which has been looking for ways to revive the prime minister's big society initiative, believes that people involved in the voluntary sector are often overlooked in the current honours system. The prime minister hopes that people who are not considered senior enough to receive an MBE or OBE will be able to receive a BEM.
So workers in the voluntary sector are to be fobbed off with what are clearly lower grade gongs. If Mr Cameron wants to honour more workers in the voluntary sector, why not give them more MBEs? Or is the Big Society to be stratified by class and seniority?