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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