Bunyip aristocracy. Putting all satirists out of business. Boosting republican sentiment. Every ironic or sarcastic criticism of PM Abbott’s re-introduction of Knights & Dames to the Orstralian cultural firmament has been made already, so not much space left to play in.
The first unfortunate collateral damage is the outgoing Governor-General Quentin Bryce, who has accepted to be the first Dame under the new-old royal awards system. It does somewhat diminish, indeed make a mockery of her recent pro-republican pronouncements.
Incoming GG, ex-army chief Peter Cosgrove has also accepted his gong, becoming the first Australian Sir Peter since Hawkie’s dodgy old mate Abeles back in the 80s. With our penchant in recent years of uncritical respect for any member of the armed forces, this puts Cosgrove close to the gods.
What a joke! Even John Howard has refuted the idea of resurrecting this archaic custom of caste and patronage, thus leaving Abbott way out back behind the white picket fence.
However it will boost the dwindling supply of Sir Peters in the world. Humourist Ustinov has passed. Blake the Kiwi yachtsman killed in the Amazon. Scott the conservationist also gone too young. Only Jackson of the Rings is still thriving with endless Tolkien iterations. So Cosgrove joins a rump of Knights Peter.
POH is definitely not accepting a gong for services to the meedya and low intellectual life. No way mate, tell ’em they’re dreaming! As a youngster I didn’t stand up for God Save the Queen, the erstwhile Australian national anthem, so I’m certainly not kneeling before Her Maj or offspring. I prefer the companion order of Irishman Peter O’Toole, who refused a knighthood way back. No connection, but he also died last year.