Red on ABC early morning program reckons 'it's the regression we had to have' as he rabbited on about our current Prime Minister's obsession to take us back to the 'good old days'. Now Tony wants Lords and Ladies to be part of our Oz culture. Oh my Lord! What happened to the concept of republic. Come on Oz, grow up! Hard to believe in these modern times. I read this in the Age
on-line this morning.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that up to four Australian knights or dames will be created each year, reintroducing an honours system that was abandoned in 1986. Governor-General designate Peter Cosgrove will be the first knight in the Order of Australia, and will be known as Sir Peter, and outgoing Governor-General Quentin Bryce will be the first dame. The special recognition, approved by the Queen on Mr Abbott's recommendation, would be for Australians ''of extraordinary and pre-eminent achievement'', and each successive governor-general would receive the title of knight or dame in the Order of Australia.
Clive Palmer and Gina Rinehart, you'd imagine, would be holding their breath for the announcement that His Grace Tony the Abbott, Duke of Australia, has quietly decided there should be a new title for Lord and Lady Wardens of the Iron and Coal Ports.
The new Bunyip Aristocracy - only four knights or dames a year - seems a trifle limited. Why, back in 1965 when Sir Robert Menzies, having already received the Order of the Thistle, donned the fabulous gold-embroidered costume and silk-lined cocked hat of Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, you could hardly move in the Melbourne Club or one of Abe Saffron's speakeasies in Sydney without bumping into a brace or two of knights, and there were dames a-plenty at the better garden parties of Toorak and Vaucluse.
Alas, there has been a lamentable lack of new Australian sirs and dames - let alone Orders of the Thistle - since Gough Whitlam introduced the Australian honours system in 1975, tossing knighthoods and the like aside. Malcolm Fraser bravely introduced knights and dames of the Order of Australia in 1976, but only
12 chaps and two dames got the metaphorical sword on the shoulder before the Hawke government gave the whole idea the shove 10 years later.
Since then, the blessed have had to be content with the chance at a mere medal and tiny lapel button declaring them an AC or AO or suchlike, with not a gorgeous robe nor a cocked hat in sight. Now even those high honours are to be devalued, though His Grace tried to reassure them that the new knighthoods and damehoods ''will not affect Companions, Officers or Members of the Orders of Australia''. Haw. Try selling that in the members lounge of the finer clubs!
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/tony-abbotts-bunyip-aristocracy-arise-lord-clive-and-lady-gina-20140325-35g7i.html#ixzz2x0JiAQAj