I reckon I can count the times I have agreed with Jack Waterford on one of my toes. Imagine my surprise when I found I agreed with what he was saying about the magistrates and their wanting to be addressed by the title Your Honour!
What errant pomposity and arrogance!
We see them appointed (not elected by us) so that they may sit in judgment of our deeds. Not to sit in an eyrie casting a disdainful look at us and our misdemeanours. They have no right to a privileged position in society just because they get to say whether we are guilty of some crime or another.
In my time as an MLA and a minister, I hated being called “Minister”. My parents gave me a first name and a surname. If calling me John was difficult, Mr Hargreaves would do fine. But I walked among many who basked in the sunlight of such titles. And check out the pomp and ceremony of the opening of federal and State Parliaments!
I guess we all know someone who we reckon is pompous or arrogant, but some professions seem to attract that sort. The legal profession is one of them and so is the medical profession. I had nearly 20 years working with the medics in this town and the more the specialty the more the elitism and pomposity and the need, yes need, for ceremony and deference. Academics are the same. And in my years in the Army gave me evidence pomposity in the exalted ranks of that bunch. (I only got to Corporal so I guess I had no leadership!)
What is it that makes men and women need to feel superior to others? Another gripe of mine in the same vein is the term Public Servant. This suggests an inferior position relative to other work classifications, trades or professions and it is not so. When I went into the PS in 1968, I was appointed an officer of the Commonwealth Public Service. It is a service to the Australian people to which I belonged but I was the servant of no-one.
How about a straw poll among rioters to see which profession/trade/service is the most pompous and arrogant?
Over to you…
PS: this is not an academic exercise, merely a conversation. Since we can all count to some degree, let’s put an end time on it and do the count in two weeks.