Opinion

Knights and dames part of outdated medieval chivalry

HEAR ye, hear ye.

In case you're behind in the news this week, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has revived the titles of knights and dames in the Order of Australia honours list, an honour bestowed by the Queen that has lain dormant in Australian life for almost three decades.

Outgoing governor-general Quentin Bryce and her successor Peter Cosgrove will be the first to receive the titles, but up to four knights or dames will be able to be appointed each year.

My household has been involved in the mocking of the issue. Are we heading back to medieval times?

Will we be seeing pollies jousting for power down in Canberra in a more literal way?

I'm sure the Queensland line-up of MPs will do us proud when they go down for a quick visit - after all, with their recent pay rises they would be able to afford some very fine tunics.

Former politicians are expected to be a rarity among the honour board, with Mr Abbott saying "public office is its own reward".

But when asked whether politicians could receive a knighthood under future prime ministers, Mr Abbott declined "to pre-empt who down the track may be considered worthy of this pre-eminent honour".

An answer that would make character Sir Humphrey Appleby, of Yes Prime Minister fame, proud.

This whole scenario has made me think about the suggestion on the show about how public servants who basically get an automatic title could receive a deduction from their pay packet; an interesting notion.

On a more serious note - how is our Australian community benefited by the reintroduction of knights and dames?

This decision comes from the same government that believes same-sex marriage isn't a priority, but okay, let's discuss knighthoods.

Other matters such as health, education and finding a long-term solution for fixing potholes would be higher on my agenda in the top job.

I shouldn't criticise too much since my research hasn't been in-depth.

It may have been a straightforward conservative, monarchy-loving decision but, if not, the general public is likely to never know the reason why.

As Sir Humphrey Appleby says: "Diplomacy is about surviving until the next century - politics is about surviving until Friday afternoon."

Topics:  gladstone humour column knights lisa maynard opinion politics tony abbott



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