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Equivalent to getting checkmate with the horsey

In my youth I utterly and completely despised the imperial honours and the way that every tired political hack would get a knighthood for “services to the parliament”  every little tin pot party toady could become “Sir Arsewipe” worse still was the sycophantic way that so many people treated these self styled aristocrats. My boss at  the  little supermarket where I had my first job was one such and  he was so deferential to the local “Sir and lady Fishface” (name changed to protect the guilty ) that I just wanted to vomit. It was the worst possible example of the perniciousness of the English class system writ large. So it will probably surprise many people when I say that I am most impressed by Tony Abbott taking the whole country by surprise and reinstating Knights and Dames to the Order of Australia honours. Its a brilliant piece of political theatre.

As its , what? thirty odd years since Bob Hawke gave such honours the chop so most of the last cohort so honoured have died or have appointments with the undertaker and there has been enough of an interregnum that new appointees will be viewed on their own terms rather than as part of the old tradition the timing is spot on. As for just who can qualify its  an excellent an clever bit of policy design to restrict the number of honours to no more than four per year and that to qualify requires exemplary  service to the community and more importantly that service can not be as any sort of elected official.

In Political terms of course the usual suspects will go utterly troppo, there are already inklings of this around the traps and while the minions of the left invoke their republican credentials there will be no need for the government to expend a great deal of energy defending this change to the way that we honour our most dedicated servants of the people, after all to receive such an honour a person has to have consistently gone above and beyond for their country.

Its the sort of move that, on the chess board, would be equivalent to  getting checkmate with the horsey…

Your move Comrades

a Knight

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29 Comments

  1. Richard Ryan says:

    Sir GD? For services to the Muslim community. Shalom.

  2. Ray Dixon says:

    Political theatre? So you admit that it’s a political diversion. A stunt. And you applaud that, Iain? This is just further evidence that the Coalition & Abbott are not governing the country. Add this to the rush to change the Racial Vilification Act and you’ve got a Govt that is only about window dressing and is of no substance. This is amazing – 6 months in and this is practically all they’ve done. We could be looking at a one-term Govt here, Iain. Or at least a one-term PM. They’re a joke.

  3. GD says:

    a Govt that is only about window dressing and is of no substance

    That’s pathetic, Ray. The majority of voters who voted for the LNP are pleased the way the LNP are governing. It’s only the rusted on Laborites and the loopy Greens, ie those who ‘marched in march’ that aren’t.

    Get over it. You lost, and to reference you from the SA thread, the LNP won not only the majority of votes, but also the majority of seats, by a landslide. It was the worst result for Labor in history.

  4. Ray Dixon says:

    The majority of voters who voted for the LNP are pleased the way the LNP are governing

    GD, at the 2013 election the Coalition received 53.5% of the two-party preffered vote. So if only a “majority” of that 53.5% are now “pleased with the way the LNP are governing”, that could mean as little as 27%. I’m just showing you the lack of logic in your statement there but, even so, I’d suggest the majority of voters are now none-to-happy with what they’re doing and, more to the point, what they haven’t done.

  5. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    Political theatre? So you admit that it’s a political diversion. A stunt. And you applaud that, Iain? This is just further evidence that the Coalition & Abbott are not governing the country. Add this to the rush to change the Racial Vilification Act and you’ve got a Govt that is only about window dressing and is of no substance. This is amazing – 6 months in and this is practically all they’ve done. We could be looking at a one-term Govt here, Iain. Or at least a one-term PM. They’re a joke.

    Most politics in a democracy is all about theatre Ray that does not detract from the serious business of running the country. Further you should not forget that Politics is a game not unlike an endless AFL match where gamesmanship and clever manoeuvring is just as important as getting the ball between the sticks from time to time. As I said earlier there is no rush to change the Racial Vilification act its been done as scheduled as part of the Government’s legislative program for this session of the parliament. But getting back to the subject of this post love it or hate it can’t you see the tactical brilliance of what Abbott has done here? Debate about this move among the chattering classes will go on for a while and during that discussion they will shut up about climate change, Manus Island and any of their usual topics. Out in voter land this is going to play out in a couple of was simultaneously. firstly people are going to say “Bryce and Cosgrove are very deserving of the honour” and some will see it as an exercise in forelock tugging, but that sort will never vote for the Libs no matter what so it will be no loss. As suggest in my piece the problem with any public honorific comes when it is over used so much that it becomes devalued, by insisting in a very limited number of gongs each year Abbott is ensuring that each one will have real meaning.

  6. Ray Dixon says:

    Debate about this move among the chattering classes will go on for a while and during that discussion they will shut up about climate change, Manus Island and any of their usual topics.

    No it won’t, Iain. Most people will just see Abbott’s reintroduction of knighthoods and dames as plain silly and won’t give it more than 5 minutes full-on attention. It won’t divert anyone from the more serious issues of the day. It’s not “tactical brilliance” at all, it’s Abbott going off at a tangent. He’s no leader, Iain. As for the RVA, they have certainly made it a priority, which is odd considering that the RVA as it is has not caused any problems, apart from to Bolt, but only minor damage to reputation there.

  7. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    every lefty blog I follow or consider regularly is full of the Knighthood thing today so its working just as I said in my piece, you forget that Politics is as much about the little stuff as it is about the big issues of the day. As I always say about Blogging so to in politics you need light and shade otherwise dour seriousness all the time becomes too dreary and oh so deadly dull.

  8. Jeff G. says:

    In my youth I utterly and completely despised the imperial honours and the way that every tired political hack would get a knighthood for “services to the parliament” every little tin pot party toady could become “Sir Arsewipe” worse still was the sycophantic way that so many people treated these self styled aristocrats.

    I don’t despise it as much as I think it is utterly irrelevant. Knighthoods are a medieval idea Iain. It doesn’t matter how they are given out or who gets them or if there is a quota. Look at who has received knighthoods in the UK. Elton John, for services to mournful piano ballads, bad temper tantrums and bum fun. Jimmy Savile, for services to fiddling kiddies in his trailer. Jeffrey Archer, for services to Conservative politics, bad novels and corruption.

    They have no place in the modern world, even if they do make a handful of people feel good. It’s just a load of old Tory wank. We are an egalitarian society and have no place for aristocratic titles, even if supposedly based on merit. That’s what the current awards system is for.

  9. Iain Hall says:

    So in your world we should totally abolish the Order of Australia as well Jeff?

  10. Jeff G. says:

    Also, I’d like Tony Abbott to stop pissing about with small fry stuff and actually develop some of his own policies to improve the nation. A summary of what he’s done or doing so far:

    Bringing back knighthoods – big deal.

    Repealing 18c – means nothing to anyone except to Bolt and a few journalists.

    Red tape campaign – basically just cleaning up and reducing the amount of legislation. This is what governments and parliaments do when they are in ‘lame duck’ mode, not in their first 6 months.

    Stop the boats – they’re essentially using Rudd’s second policy on this, not their own.

    Paid parental leave – it was an election con job and will never happen. We will see a much watered down version.

    Corporate bailouts – inconsistent on this, some got handouts and others didn’t.

    Repeal carbon tax – OK this I agree with. 100%.

    Where are his meaningful social and economic policies. You know, policies to create jobs, diversify the economy and get it moving, policies to improve education, healthcare and so on. When are we going to see those? Are we ever going to see those?

  11. Jeff G. says:

    So in your world we should totally abolish the Order of Australia as well Jeff?

    Read the part where I said “That’s what the current award system is for”.

    OA is an award for services to the community, not a title.

    Will you be able to nominate someone for one of Tony’s knighthoods? No, it’ll be the domain of politicians. That alone will make them political appointments.

  12. les says:

    the subject matter is, much like this blog piece, a bloody waste of time.

    not your best work Sir Iain of Dark Places

  13. Iain Hall says:

    Jeff
    How is there a substantive difference in the honorific? Apart one being a prefix to a person’s name and the other being a suffix?
    Its not as if such titles are in any way hereditary,have any property attached, or give recipients any material benefit.
    Its JUST a type of social recognition that’s all.

    Les
    Is that your best shot?
    Sigh….

  14. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, I’ve fogotten about it already. It might be ‘news’ today but tomorrow it’ll be fish & chips wrappings. Brilliant? No. Stupid.

  15. Iain Hall says:

    Jeff

    Also, I’d like Tony Abbott to stop pissing about with small fry stuff and actually develop some of his own policies to improve the nation. A summary of what he’s done or doing so far:

    Give the Hostile Senate and utterly stupid opposition its hard to enact change until the new Senatesits

    Bringing back knighthoods – big deal.

    Oh I agree its no biggie but It has been good for a laugh or too at the outraged republicans!

    Repealing 18c – means nothing to anyone except to Bolt and a few journalists.

    While you and Ray may be rather sanguine about 18c out there in voter-land there is a great deal of disgust about that clause and how it has been by self seeking loud mouths to support their ethnic vanities

    Red tape campaign – basically just cleaning up and reducing the amount of legislation. This is what governments and parliaments do when they are in ‘lame duck’ mode, not in their first 6 months.

    Actually its not been done in living memory and as a result there are a lot of silly statutes on the books, some are quaint and amusing but others are just a total pain in the arse for many people.

    Stop the boats – they’re essentially using Rudd’s second policy on this, not their own.

    No I won’t accept that Rudd or Labor deserve any credit at all on this issue, especially as Rudd caused the problem in the first place

    Paid parental leave – it was an election con job and will never happen. We will see a much watered down version.

    I’m not so hot on this one either but I don’t agree that it will not happen, Abbott has learned form the Gillard experience that saying one thing and doing another is NEVER good.

    Corporate bailouts – inconsistent on this, some got handouts and others didn’t.

    I think that you are a bit wide of the mark on this one

    Repeal carbon tax – OK this I agree with. 100%.

    Good

    Where are his meaningful social and economic policies. You know, policies to create jobs, diversify the economy and get it moving, policies to improve education, healthcare and so on. When are we going to see those? Are we ever going to see those?

    Its teh question we can ask of all governments and they all give us plenty of good intentions on that one

  16. Iain Hall says:

    Not quite Ray, you are still commenting on this thread are you not?

  17. Ray Dixon says:

    Nope. What’s it about again?

  18. deknarf says:

    Oooh! I doffs me at and kow tows to dem right regal toffs I does!!
    An anachronism reintroduced by an anachronism to recognise achronisms. Note that anachronism contains the term ‘chroni’!
    I’d call it a cheap trick, just like a pawn taking a pawn ‘en passant’!

  19. Iain Hall says:

    I love ‘en passant’!

  20. Jeff G. says:

    Its JUST a type of social recognition that’s all.

    Well if that’s the case why hark back to ye old medieval England and carry connotations of rank, privilege and title? They could have thought of something catchy and unique to Australia. Instead they went for the lazy conservative option and went for the knights of yore. It’s a load of bollocks. And I say that as a British-born republican.

    Re: salary, I don’t think these knights will be getting one. From the sounds of it they’ll already be supping hungrily from the public teat anyway.

  21. richard ryan says:

    I hope this not start all this inbreeding again——Knights and Dames.

  22. Paul Murray says:

    Make ’em wear actual armour, wield an actual broadsword, and fight – I dunno. Queue-jumping asylum seekers? Iranians? Or just have a commonwealth games where all the “knights” hack it out for real. It would be beyond awesome. I would be glued to the screen, I assure you, watching all the nobility (nights are the lowest rank of peers) who were elevated for “services to commerce” swinging maces at one another.
    It would make the world a better place.
    There’s plenty of ACA hobbyists able to supply the materials and even some training. We should do it.

  23. Ray Dixon says:

    So basically, conservatives are not supporters of a Govt actually doing anything that benefits the wider population? It figures.

  24. Iain Hall says:

    Ray,
    unlike you socialists we conservatives do understand the art glutinous mastication and perambulation are not mutually exclusive 😉

  25. Ray Dixon says:

    I have no idea what you just said …. but I am very impressed by it.

  26. Jeff G. says:

    I think he said that conservatives are good at gluttonous masturbation. Probably true too.

  27. Iain Hall says:

    Ray I am incredibly saddened that I need to translate for you:

    We conservatives understand that walking and chewing gum at the same time is not difficult.

  28. Ray Dixon says:

    Hi Iain, I’ve been away in NSW since Friday morning (and it looks like everyone else has too!) so this is a late reply:

    Yes, we all know conservatives are ‘gum chewers’ but they seem to have difficulty with the walking part. So when exactly will we see them do anything for the wider population? Face it, Iain, they won’t even introduce their PPL scheme – that was a mere poltical stunt. Higher GST, here we come.

  29. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    even I’m not that cynical!

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