A senior ex-MP claims Gordon Brown used his position as prime minister to block the offer of a knighthood for Apple supremo Steve Jobs. The startling claim, made in the Telegraph, was that Brown was still bitter because Stevey previously turned down an invitation to speak to the Labour Party conference. The anonymous senior …
Just goes to show he wasn't a complete waste of time.
He did one good thing in office.
"because it has always taken design as the key component of everything it has produced"
That and this statement, albeit true, should have been followed immediately by: "...and disregarding end-user usefulness, 3rd party enhancements, and generally making hand over fist in his overpriced products."
Tall poppy syndrome thriving
After reading these comments, does anyone still wonder why Jonathan Ive is thriving under Apple in the US rather than the UK?
Now where have I heard that name recently...
Oh yes.. An article on one of the gadget blogs yesterday where he said he was thinking of moving back to England... Gizmodo I think..
And if that means quitting Apple.. So what. The guy has something like 130 million to his name. He never needs to lift a finger for the rest of his life.
After reading your comment, I think I understand why. Imagine a talented designer working for a company where every design decision is credited to an arrogant picky salesman with poor dress sense, and nobody is allowed to give constructive criticism without getting jumped on by a whole shrill of fanboys. Must be frustrating, when your next great design doesn't fit in with the company image, so it can't be explored.
Perhaps he got sick of shiny minimalist crap and wants to design something cool.
Now you know what you have to do.. If he leaves Apple, he is a heretic. Must be shunned. So the designs he has already done can't possibly be his, and he is stealing the credit from the real design genius.. The Steve.
@John Bailey: "a company where every design decision is credited to an arrogant picky salesman with poor dress sense, and nobody is allowed to give constructive criticism without getting jumped on by a whole shrill of fanboys. Must be frustrating, when your next great design doesn't fit in with the company image, so it can't be explored"
It sounds to me as if you're blinded by a fixation with Steve Jobs. I'm talking about Jonathan Ive and his design work for Apple. Ask yourself this - would Jonathan be well off, respected, and acknowledged as a great designer if someone else was taking the credit for it? When have you ever heard anyone from Apple credit Steve Jobs for industrial design? He's the front man for company, the guy who's great at presenting. He doesn't talk about himself - he talks about Apple, the great team at Apple, the talented people he loves to work with.
We know about Jonathan because Apple has trumpeted his abilities - he's been brought forward to present his ideas, to talk about them in the company's advertising. Other designers would kill to have the freedom and mandate to explore design ideas the way he has. And Apple has rewarded him too - that's why he can afford to be independent if he chooses.
All of this is about design. The knighthood was proposed because Apple - fronted by Steve - has put design front and centre of everything they do. And that's unusual, especially in the tech world. Design is often sidelined or completely ignored (as reflected in many of the comments on this article). Do you know any industrial designer from any other tech firm? Fact is, many CEOs are paranoid about talented people and sideline them. All they listen to is numbers, bean counters. Steve is a successful CEO because he enables, focuses, and rewards the efforts of skilled people. He's flawed too, but who isn't?
We should appreciate design every much as we appreciate coding and other technical skills. The world is a poorer place without it, and I applaud an effort to acknowledge the efforts of those who are passionate about design.
Good! He's a prick!
Good for Brown
See, he wasn't so stupid after all.
Why would Jobs even Be eligable for one.
He runs a company that sells overpriced hardware produced almost entirely in China.
So he costs jobs in the US because of the outsourcing and Apple Donates very little to charity when compared with other companies/CEO's
Unless its because he is the biggest Cult leader the modern world has seen i can't see any reason that he'd deserve a Knighthood, probably one of his inner circle in the British Government nominated him because He and the British Government have the same aims , i.e.impose a 1984 style culture on everyone.
"So he costs jobs in the US."
What is the relevance of this remark? Knighthoods aren't conferred on the basis of how much the recipient has benefited the US.
Kinda makes me want to advance the idea that anyone who reduces our former colony's status in the world deserves a bucketful of merit badges. Eventually the US will be so broke, we can afford to buy it back.
Why would we want to buy it back?
So you want to see millions of people homeless , penny less starving in the street ?
I do want to see less starving in the street, yes.
First up, at what point did you think I was being serious?
Second up, in jumping all over my sarcastic retort to US-centric stupidity, you have indulged in some more US-centric stupidity. Why do you think I should value US workers over Chinese workers?
What I really want to see is an end to the hypocrisy of US politics: anything to the left of hyper-capitalism is denounced as communism (eg. the current situation in Wisconsin) ... until some other country benefits from your alleged free-market ideals. If y'all don't want to be outsourced, join a fucking union and fight for workers' rights.
If you mean the USA...
I thought there already were millions of people homeless, penniless, & starving in the streets.
P.S. Note spelling of penniless OP.
Uh, we could pave it over, make a nice patio?
Good luck with that...
Doubt your little island will be able to come up with China's asking price.
Workers rights, as in you have the right to not take a crappy job. You do not have the right to make the company offering that job change the description.
It's time we return to freedom and get rid of this tyranny. If works have a right to unionize, the firm as a right to fire them for being part of a union.
... and firms have the right to outsource all the skilled jobs to India and the unskilled ones to Mexico, and where's that leave the rest of you? Blaming it all on the liberal commie-socialists no doubt.
How about 95% don't get our lives turned to shit just so the other 5% can turn an extra dime? How about that kind of freedom?
As opposed to the "freedom" of needing to feed oneself. Yeah. The job market ain't quite so free as y'all make it out to be.
Am I going to get well and truly flamed for pointing out the obvious fact that (as far as I know) he's not British? I can't help but think that this should have some bearing on whether even the possibility of such an honour is forthcoming or not.
People who are not British and are awared a KBE actually get an honorary knighthood.
From what I can recall they are not allowed to be refered to as 'Sir' but they can put the letters KBE after their names. Bob Geldof, an Irish citizen, was awarded an honorary knight hood (although he is often refered to incorrectly as Sir Bob Geldof) as was Terry Wogan. The key difference between the two is that Wogan applied to become a British Citizen (as he was born before 1948 in Ireland he was automatically entitled to do so) and as a result he could then be awared an non-honorary kighthood and use the title 'Sir'.
So in answer to your question, nationality (and specifically not being British) does have a bearing on how the honour can be applied but not on who it can be applied too.
In general I agree with many here that Jobs wouldn't have deserved one anyway, surely a better candidate for an hour would be Jonathan Ive (the British man who designed many of the Apple products). Having just checked, it turns out he got a CBE in 2006.
It would be an honorary knighthood - much like Bob Geldof's. As he's Irish he isn't officially Sir Bob, although everyone refers to him as such.
ISTR Wogan got dual nationality so that his knighthood was considered proper rather than honorary.
You're right, sorta
If it is for a non UKnian, is an honorary knighthood, which wouldn't entitle him to call himself "Sir Steve Jobs" or owt.
Bob Geldof has one, as it goes. However, I personally would have a hard time imagining Sir Robert Geldof saying "send us your fockin' money", so it is just as well.
Well it doesn't
Probably why Bill Gates got one. And Bob Geldoff. And Steven Spielberg. And Terry Wogan for that matter.
They can be elevated to the rank of Knight Commander, but can't use the title "Sir" (or "Dame" in the female case). Terry Wogan notably obtained dual citizenship and thus became eligible to call himself Sir Tel.
An honourary KBE is a special honour reserved for those who are not actually British, it's not actually the same as a regular knihthood. However I don't see how he could actually be considered an anything of the British Empire since California was never part of the Empire.
Yes, but no 'sir'
Non-British people can be given knighthoods, but they're not allowed to use the 'sir' moniker.
As for my own view, like the rest of the commenters here I'm glad he didn't get one. Unlike Bill Gates who is extraordinarily philanthropic, Jobs does little more than run a company.
Can get knighthoods, just a different type of knighthood.
Thankfully, only British Knights are eligible to use the prefix Sir.
...the limeys can give knighthoods to anyone they want...
...like, for example, Sir Bill Gates (pictured here with Halo because the "Bill Gates Getting Knighted" Icon is not available on El Reg forums... yet).
Re: A knightehood
He isn't eligible for a peerage (e.g. Sir Jobs of Bridgend) because he's not a British subject, but the PM/The Queen can bestow a membership of a British Order* to anyone they please (i.e. CBE, OBE, MBE, etc.). Indeed, anyone can be nominated for a membership, but naturally the chances are slim of getting one if you've not done anything/bunged enough cash**.
* Though I'm not sure about Knights Garter which tend to be former PMs and the like.
** Of course, this sort of thing has been stopped. Honest.
>>"Am I going to get well and truly flamed for pointing out the obvious fact that (as far as I know) he's not British? I can't help but think that this should have some bearing on whether even the possibility of such an honour is forthcoming or not."
You *might* get flamed for not doing research before posting.
Don't have to be British
There are other non-British people that can call themselves "Sir" with a knighthood. They just need to have the Queen as head of state. There are still quite a few of them.
bunch of w*****s
With these vicious comments about Steve Jobs, I expect you are all in favour of us having a Lord Fucking Prescott.
Explain why that's better than a great and successful techy getting a gong.
California was part of the Empire
The Spanish Empire
Thanks for that! I was getting concerned, as this Aussie still has "get a knighthood and be called Sir Michael" on my TODO list.
Hope we don't become a republic before then...
>>"With these vicious comments about Steve Jobs I expect you are all in favour of us having a Lord Fucking Prescott."
Looking back up the thread, the great majority of the fraction of comments which were negative seem to be along the lines of "I'm glad he wasn't given one", which doesn't seem to be particularly vicious.
Aren't people allowed to have an opinion on the issue that *isn't* pro-Steve?
Lord Prescott of Hull (punishment in itself)
Steve Jobs of fingers in ears "nah nah nad"
Re: bunch of w*****s
Lord Prescott is rubbish as well.
Now take that look off your face; if the wind changes it'll stay like that.
Technically, a peerage means becoming a Lord, whereas a knighthood is just an honour with the right to use the title "Sir" before your name. Both have, as you rightly point out, become political favours these days...
The relevance of Jobs not being British is that under US law, you can't use foreign titles (so although Bill Gates has a knighthood, he cannot refer to himself as "Sir Bill Gates" in the US.)
Surely nobody is in favour of Two Jags in any way, shape or form.
“Apple has been the only major global company to create stunning consumer products because it has always taken design as the key component of everything it has produced. No other CEO has consistently shown such a commitment.”
Bloody hell, this MP must have drowned in the cool aid. I don't think Apples Marketing/Reality Distortion Engineers at their most magical would try to pull that one off.
Having left parliament and the expenses, he must be skint and in desperate, desperate need of a free iPad.
Has Apple redefined the word "design"?
In my engineering classes, focusing on design meant not putting your antenna on the outside and selling a well known defective product. Apple is known for its design flaws moreso than its design...
because of what?!
`because it has always taken design as the key component of everything it has produced`. Let´s give every designer a knighthood then!
Never mind the British scientists and engineers working on more important things than what the Skinny Jeans Brigade will next fall over themselves to part with 500 quid for...
Help me here.
What is so special about 'Design'? There are some neat user bits but, overall, it has to be delivered by Engineers & Technologists, manufacturers, Marketeers and Sales folk.
John Boyd Dunlop may have a greater claim to a Knighthood that Mr Jobs.
@AC: "Help me here."
A good designer (e.g. Jonathan Ive) doesn't add a feature to a product that nobody (or very, very few) customers will ever be able to work out how to use.
A good designer (e.g. Jock Kinneir, Margaret Calvert) will go that extra mile to ensure the (British) road signs that help you make informed decisions while driving are actually legible at the speeds you're driving at.
A good designer (e.g. Harry Beck, designer of the iconic 1933 London Underground map—a design since copied worldwide) knows that form and function need to work *together*.
A good designer understands that user interfaces should be intuitive, invisible.
A good designer knows form and function are not enemies, but *allies*— both sides of the same coin. You're not supposed to choose which one "wins". Both should be equal, crossing the finish line together, hand-in-hand.
A bad designer (e.g. almost every 1980s and 1990s VCR designer, ever,) will add a clock to a device, but make it so bastard hard to set that almost every device sold ends up constantly flashing "12:00" at the frustrated purchaser, all the bloody time, utterly defeating the point of inventing that fancy "timed record" feature in the first place.
On the other hand, a _bad_ designer _wastes_ all the efforts of your precious engineers, programmers, marketers and salespeople by telling them to go and build a box of compromises nobody will want. Sales and Marketing employees will have to work their arses off trying to convince customers that Features X, Y and Z are good to have, even when they're fully aware that the device they're selling is such a pig to use, those features may as well not be there.
Worst of all, a bad designer wastes *YOUR* time, by forcing you to use it trying to understand how to use the product, instead of just getting on with whatever it was you bought it to *do*.
THAT is what is so special about "Design". THAT is why it bloody well matters.
I don't agree with the notion of giving Jobs an honorary KBE—as others have pointed out, Jobs is a (damned good) salesman with an obsession over design; the *design work* is being done by Jonathan Ive and his team. (Then again, Mr. Ive already has a CBE, and I daresay he'll get upgraded to a knighthood eventually. He's still young.)
For a small island nation off the west coast of Belgium, the UK punches well above its weight in many creative sectors, including games. Design is one of the few things the British are actually very good at.
I've always thought that Gates stunted software development by many years through some of the choices he made with his monopoly position. Linus should have received it over preference to Gates.
Bill didn't get his for anything technology related.
If Jobs had been given a knighthood then what would have been next? How low can we sink? The next think you know U2 would have gotten a knighthood .... oh wait ...
Work for Charideeee?
Gates could at least point to some work on poverty reduction.
Apples pricing is more likely to reduce people to poverty.
Billy boy got it for his humanatarian works...
... not for his technological work (that part about assistance to technology etc was only added on as an addendum).
When Jobs or Linus give a few billion dollars to attempts to wipe out Malaria and other diseases in the third world, ill consider them worthy of a knighthood...
RE: Bill Gates
Gates received his for his massive charity work, not for services to technology...