Upon hearing the news that Lionel Barber had been awarded the Legion d’Honneur, one reader wrote to the FT’s letters page to congratulate the editor on his gong. For some reason the letter hasn’t appeared in the pages of the Pink ‘Un, so Guido reproduces it here:
May I, without fear or favour, be the first to congratulate you through the pages of your newspaper on your nomination for Chevalier, Legion d’Honneur. But why has this happy news not been reported elsewhere in your paper? False modesty is not your strongest suit.
This accolade is, of course, richly deserved for your unswerving devotion to the European Union and France’s role therein. Assuming you choose to accept, may I suggest that the rather ordinary surroundings presented by the French Embassy in London are not befitting of the occasion. A far more suitable venue would be the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, scene of so many other diplomatic initiatives. The ceremony would not be complete without a very full attendance from your senior staff and I would be happy to volunteer to help a skeleton crew back in London get the paper out while you are away.
I’m sure we will manage to keep the party line going on your big day.
Modesty must have prevented publication…