Columns - The Man in the Pub

Arise, Sir Ron


It's back to the warmth of the pub after a trip out for the lads to nearby Kemble Airfield, an old World War II bomber base and once the home of the Red Arrows aerobatic display team. Now home to not much at all, other than a bistro employing the most stunning waitress in Gloucestershire, it's not normally the sort of place you'd go for a bit of entertainment.

However for a couple of days this week it's anorak heaven, as a lot of people with nothing better to do, stand in the drizzle watching a Williams F1 car blast up and down the runway, in what for the driver looks like a very boring test session, but for us is something to behold.

It's a sad state of affairs, that with Kimi Raikkonen's Brazilian hangover probably still giving him grief, we are already reduced to this, just to get our F1 fix.

Back in the bar, over the first beer of what is looking like a promising session, talk turns to the Williams team, and of what has been a pretty good season for them, though still some way short of what Sir Frank would be happy with and a long way off what his old friends and rivals at McLaren achieved in 2007.

Yes, we know the Woking boys finished dead last in the Constructors' Championship, but anybody reckoning that Ferrari "won" that title is either deluded, a die hard Tifosi or more likely, both.

In fact, so proud is our little group of how well McLaren and Ron Dennis took the flak this year, that we think Ron should get a knighthood. Whether it be for services to motorsport, showing patience in the face of extreme adversity or just for spending the whole season putting up with a Spaniard so grumpy he makes General Franco look like one of The Chuckle Brothers by comparison - we reckon he truly deserves it.

The two good things President Blair did before he went off to become a property developer, was ban smoking in the boozer and to enable proles like us to have our petitions put up on the Number 10 Downing Street website.

And that is exactly where our campaign to get Ron a tap on the shoulders from Her Majesty can be found (see website.)

Of course, as everybody from the pro-hunting lobby to fed-up motorists know, they probably won't pay a blind bit of notice, but it'/s worth a shot anyway.

In a country where cricketers get gongs for just turning up at a series and where footballers are described as heroes, what Dennis has achieved over the last 40 years surely merits recognition and if anybody says the whole "Stepneygate" thing will count against him, forget it. Only last week The Queen (gawd bless her) knighted KGB colonel and superspy Oleg Gordievsky, and he got up to a bit more than discovering that an errant employee had nipped out to the local copy shop with a few dodgy drawings,

The Ronster was of course awarded a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 2000 and folk in the know generally say that it's a seven year wait between the CBE and the big one, so after all, maybe the Men in the Pub will get their wish in the next New Years' Honours list.

Before ordering his last pint of the day one of the chaps wondered out aloud, why is it that drivers traditionally tend to get an OBE when they win a world title?

Easy one that, and altogether now as we all know that OBE stands for; "Other Buggers' Efforts!"