Why has Salman Rushdie accepted a knighthood, an honour which all his writings reject? Both of Midnight’s Children became republics. How can the voice of the end of empire bend the knee to the embodiment of racist privilege?

Rushdie’s knighthood has upset the mad mullahs. That it did not outrage the British left is a further sign of Labour’s debilitation. Blair arrived promising to cleanse the House of Lords. He exits mired in the sale of peerages.