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DIS-HONOURS LIST; Awards for the Tory toadies who watched Scotland suffer, in the.

Michael Forsyth, the man who brought Scotland to the verge of full-scale revolt over the poll tax, was yesterday rewarded with a knighthood.

Other top Tories who helped bring Scotland almost to its knees over 18 years of Conservative misrule were also handed top honours.

Ex-cabinet members Forsyth, Ian Lang, Malcolm Rifkind and former Scottish Office minister Lord James Douglas-Hamilton were at the top of John Major's resignation honours list.

Forsyth was the mastermind behind the introduction of the ill-fated poll tax under the brutal regime of his friend and mentor Margaret Thatcher.

Lang, former Scottish Secretary and ex-president of the Board of Trade, becomes a baron.

He forced through controversial legislation on the privatisation of water utilities at immense cost to Scotland.

Rifkind, ex-Scottish supremo, who also savoured high office as Foreign Secretary, Transport Secretary and Defence Secretary, is also made a Sir.

He was one of the most faithful lieutenants to Thatcher and then Major.

The foursome also failed to sort out the mad cow fiasco which cost Scots farmers millions.

And they backed the fuel taxes that brought winter misery to the worst- off people in Scotland.

They did nothing to stop the closure of the Rosyth shipyard and the destruction of the Ravenscraig steelworks.

The awards, uncensored by Tony Blair, mean that Rifkind and Forsyth are still free to seek any parliamentary seat prepared to have them.

Lang and Lord Douglas-Hamilton, former Scottish Office minister and ex- MP for Edinburgh West, will help lead the Tory fight to save the hereditary rights in the House of Lords.

Lang will concentrate on making his fortune in private enterprise.

There is nothing in the list for disgraced Sir Michael Hirst, former Scottish Conservative chairman, who quit in shame after admitting gay affairs.

Even the Downing Street cleaning lady Maureen Bick and switchboard supervisor Christine Ferns get MBEs.

Sir Hector Monro, who stood down as MP for Dumfries, is made a baron.

But Norman Lamont, the ex-Chancellor who masterminded Major's leadership campaign in 1990, was left out in the cold.

Other prominent Tories who were handed gongs were Michael Heseltine, who becomes a Companion of Honour, Brian Mawhinney, who got a knighthood, and former bungler-in-chief Jeremy Hanley, the accident prone ex-Tory chairman, who was given a knighthood.

Prime Minister Tony Blair also announced his own list of Working Peers who will go to the House of Lords to fight for Labour.

They include former Glasgow Central MP Mike Watson - who lost out in the bitter fight for the Glasgow Govan seat to Mohammed Sarwar.

Veteran MPs Norman Hogg and Robert Hughes, who stood down at the election in Cumbernauld & Kilsyth and Aberdeen North, also go to the Lords.

Scots-born top QC and human rights campaigner Helena Kennedy won a peerage, as was James Gordon, boss of Scottish Radio Holdings.

Former Perth and Kinross candidate Veronica Linklater goes to the Lords for the Lib-Dems, as does Tory defector Emma Nicholson.

Film-maker Sir David Puttnam will go to the Lords for Labour, as will crime author Ruth Rendell.

Businessmen like supermarket boss David Sainsbury and George Simpson, MD of General Electric have also been chosen by Blair.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The Prime Minister is particularly pleased to have such a good cross- section of people from business, the arts, politics and the community."

Other Tory election losers who ended up empty-handed were former Scottish Office Ministers George Kynoch and Raymond Robertson.

Sir Michael Hirst shrugged off the snub and said he was not upset by not becoming a lord.

He said: "I did not expect it, I never expected it so I am not disappointed."

Ian Lang said he was delighted to become a baron and, although he hopes to pursue a business career, he promised to do his bit in the Lords

He added: "It is a great honour and I look forward to playing my part in the House of Lords and hopefully helping represent Scottish interests.

"I hope to be able to balance business interests with a contribution to the Upper House."

Radio boss James Gordon - one of the high-powered businessmen backing Blair - said he could not wait to start working for Labour in the Lords.

He added: "This is very exciting news. Obviously it is a considerable honour for which I am most grateful.

"More importantly, it gives me a chance to play a more significant part in public affairs.

"I greatly value this at a time when I sense a sea change in public attitudes which I think can be built upon to create a much better society."
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Author:Kelly, Amanda
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 2, 1997
Words:764
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