Arise Sir Ringo?
Jan 18 2007
by Robert Merrick, Liverpool Daily Post
TONY Blair is being flooded with demands for Ringo Starr to be awarded a knighthood – to match the honour given to Sir Paul McCartney.
Almost 1,500 people have signed an “e-petition” on the Downing Street website, urging the Prime Minister to make a recommendation to the Queen.
Ringo – real name Richard Starkey – was awarded an MBE along with his fellow Beatles way back in 1965, allegedly with the strong support of the then Prime Minister, Harold Wilson.
But no knighthood followed for the moptop drummer when Sir Paul was bestowed with the greater honour a decade ago.
Now 1,440 people have added their names to the petition, an innovation born last November to replace traditional petitions presented at the No.10 door.
It reads: “We, the under- signed, petition the Prime Minister to recommend to the Queen to confer a knighthood on Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey MBE).”
Lodged by journalist Daniel Finkelstein, a leading journalist on The Times newspaper, it is headlined: “Time to right an injustice.”
Supporters have until February 13 to sign the petition at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Ringostarr/
. Alternatively, people can “sign against”, but no-one has so far done so.
Ringo’s supporters argue he brought a unique drumming style that anchored The Beatles and wrote one of the band’s most famous songs, With A Little Help From My Friends.
Others see him as the “accidental Beatle”, the classic example of being in the right place at the right time when he replaced Pete Best in 1962.
Back in 2003, there were strong rumours that a knighthood was imminent – Ladbrokes slashed the odds to 3-1 – but it never happened.
Most recently, he has been in the headlines because his Liverpool birthplace – a small Victorian terrace on Madryn Street, in Toxteth – is set to be demolished as part of regeneration plans.
There are now plans to dismantle the house brick-by- brick and rebuild it to take pride of place at the £65m waterfront-based Museum of Liverpool.
Intriguingly, Mr Finkelstein is a leading Conservative and former policy chief to William Hague, suggesting Ringo’s chances of a knighthood may be greater if the Tories return to power.