Ian Botham got a knighthood for genuine cricketing and charitable achievements. I thought it a bit OTT, but 🤷♂️. The Life Peerage is not for achievement at all but for rather incoherently and without any expert knowledge supporting Brexit. Absolutely unbelievable and unprecedented.
To be clear. Sir Ian was generously (some would say over-generously) rewarded with a knighthood for his cricket career and for his long walks which promoted charities and raised money for them. In recent times he has been a cricket commentator and since being sacked by Sky he has spent his time mostly in his house in Spain and played golf. He has also launched the “Botham” range of wines.
Sir Ian has arguably earned the privileges of wealth and fame. I have met him and heard him speak on cricket and he is entertaining and informed. Previous cricketing peers – Learie Constantine, Colin Cowdrey and Rachel Heyhoe-Flint – lived post player lives of distinction. Botham has added little if anything to the achievements for which his knighthood well rewarded him. That he takes a rich man’s view of Brexit is his right – many of his wealthy ex-patriate golf buddies no doubt agree with him.
Sir Ian is not a toady and is his own man – he always has been. But he is not a credible political figure – more a Right Wing Colonel Blimp with no gravitas on Brexit nor any other non cricketing subject. Where’s the Beef? In the past his friendship with the great West Indian Viv Richards made the young Ian Botham a doughty and respected opponent of racism and discrimination. That the older man aligns himself with the xenophobes of Brexit is sad. That he is ennobled for this is a scandal.