In news that we of the internet generation can definitely get behind our Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has had a chat with the Queen and asked her to restore knights and dames to the Order of Australia. Elizabeth, of course, has agreed and first up our retiring Governor-General Quentin Bryce has become a dame and our current Governor-General Peter Cosgrove is soon to become a knight. Fun!
After being cut by Gough Whitlam in 1975, only to be brought back by Malcolm Fraser, and then cut again by Bob Hawke in 1986, Australian Knighthoods are back because Tony Abbott thinks “it is entirely appropriate that someone who represents the monarch should be honoured in this way.”
Will this cost money to reinstate? Sure. Will we get a few days of Twitter fodder out of it? Definitely! And in these uncertain times, backing a horse called ‘Definitely!’ seems like a much safer bet.
Mr Abbott, a former card-carrying member (director, in fact) of Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy, sure has come a long way to make that particular extracurricular come to national fruition. Perhaps it was a case of: one boozy night out with the ‘knights’ and ‘dames’ of Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy, young Tony realises his cash is drying up but he wishes the beers wouldn’t and so asks a fellow Australian (for a Constitutional Monarchy) for a loan. They are hesitant. “Bra, if you loan me a fifty I will become Prime Minister and get this shit happening” “What shit?” “This shit. Proper knights and dames shit.”
A deal was struck!
Twitter and duly elected naysayers were quick to get on board #knightsanddames:
Everyone has changed their twitter names to make #knightsanddames jokes and i’m struggling to remember who is who…
— Naomi Woodley (@naomiwoodley) March 25, 2014
Labor leader Bill Shorten told ABC News Online: “It’s good to see the Government has a plan for knights and dames – where’s their plan for jobs? I’m concerned the Abbott Government thinks this is a priority – what about jobs, health and education?”
— Sir Edwyn III (@WynRichards) March 25, 2014
Janet Holmes à Court, who already has a great name and should maybe just let people have this, told ABC Local Radio 720 Perth: “If someone has made a contribution they can be recognised with an Order of Australia. We’ve been doing it since 1983 or something. I just think [Mr Abbott] must have had a little bit too much red last night or something [throwing of shade intensifies]. I think people will think this is some kind of joke and we will all wake up and think this is some kind of bad dream.”
— lady redambition (@redambition) March 25, 2014
In other great news, Abbott has stated that the honour of knighthood/damehood “doesn’t preclude anyone except people who have not given service of extraordinary and pre-eminent nature,” meaning you’re in with a shot.
Labor bro Stephen Conroy asked why money could be found for knighthood yet the government couldn’t fork out $250,000 a year for the families of veterans. It’s almost like Stephen Conroy doesn’t get how much internet mileage this has?