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Knights and dames have no place in modern Australia: Barr

By Canfan - 18 February 2015 29

Chief Minister Andrew Barr will this week move that the ACT Legislative Assembly recognise that Tony Abbott’s ‘captain’s call’ to bring back knights and dames does not reflect a modern, confident and diverse Australia.

In a press release issued this morning, Barr said:

“Like many Australians, I have found the decision to bring back the archaic honour system a step backwards for Australia. The imperial designation of Knights and Dames was abolished by former Prime Minister Bob Hawke in 1983, as he saw the system did not reflect Australia’s identity. Almost 32 years on, the reaction of the community towards the decision to bring back the system and award a Knighthood to Prince Phillip clearly shows that modern Australian’s do not accept the concept of awarding our highest achieving citizens with a Knighthood or a Damehood.

Further, the appointment of Prince Philip as an Australian Knight demonstrates the lack of a full and proper assessment process associated with the system.

I know many Canberrans share this view, which is why I have decided to raise this in the Assembly. I will call on the Speaker to convey the Assembly’s position on the matter and recommend to the Prime Minister that he abolish the award of Knight and Dame of the Order of Australia. I believe this is the right thing to do as it reflects the attitudes of the constituents we represent.

On Australia Day this year, I watched on as individuals like Carrie Graf (AM), Professor Michael Miles Gore (AO, AM) and Sally Richards (OAM) were recognised for their valuable work in the ACT. Since the establishment of the Order of Australia honours in 1975, the system has appropriately recognised eminent Canberran’s for their efforts in community volunteering, scientific discovery and research, fund raising efforts and sporting achievement. The OAM honour system has become widely respected as the best way to reflect the high achievements of modern Australians and has ensured a proper assessment process for the conferring of such recognition.

I believe, like many in the community, that the resurrection of Knights and Dames has lead to a perceived devaluation of the many Canberran’s who have been awarded a Companion, Officer, Member and the Medal of the Order of Australia. These individuals have achieved this recognition due to the contribution they have made to our community, and the decision to add a more senior level of award exclusively for captain’s picks is deeply disappointing.

This decision takes nothing away from the notable Canberran’s who have already been honoured under the Knights and Dames honour system- most recently Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston. Individuals like Air Chief Marshal Houston and the other Australians who have been made a Knight or Dame of the Order of Australia  have made an outstanding contribution in their field of work. I maintain though that these Australians can still be appropriately recognised under the pre-existing system.

From speaking to many Canberran’s and hearing the public debate on this issue, I am convinced that the most appropriate course of action is to abolish the Knights and Dames honour system in Australia. I hope the rest of the ACT Legislative Assembly shares this view and makes a collective decision to approach the Prime Minister requesting the system be removed.”

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29 Responses to
Knights and dames have no place in modern Australia: Barr
rosscoact 12:23 pm 19 Feb 15

dungfungus said :

Funky1 said :

gooterz said :

Most Canberrian’s wouldn’t even know who Andrew Bar is.

If anyone (Andrew Bar) actually bothered to do some research they would see why Prince Philip actually has some merit in getting the award.

The devaluation part seems almost like most arguments against SS marriage.

What harm does it do or are we worried about a slippery slope and that Abbott will name himself king one day?

So do tell! Why does Prince Philip deserve a knighthood from one of the far flung colonies?

And if you did some research you will find that most media and social commentators and many Australians agree that installing an award about the existing honours (OA, OAM, etc) does devalue the worth of these existing awards.

What’s Abbott’s next captain call? Installing the titles of Lords and Barons?

He could approve Andrew Barr as a Queen.

Oooh, homosexuality joke Dungers. Well done you.

dungfungus 11:38 am 19 Feb 15

Funky1 said :

gooterz said :

Most Canberrian’s wouldn’t even know who Andrew Bar is.

If anyone (Andrew Bar) actually bothered to do some research they would see why Prince Philip actually has some merit in getting the award.

The devaluation part seems almost like most arguments against SS marriage.

What harm does it do or are we worried about a slippery slope and that Abbott will name himself king one day?

So do tell! Why does Prince Philip deserve a knighthood from one of the far flung colonies?

And if you did some research you will find that most media and social commentators and many Australians agree that installing an award about the existing honours (OA, OAM, etc) does devalue the worth of these existing awards.

What’s Abbott’s next captain call? Installing the titles of Lords and Barons?

He could approve Andrew Barr as a Queen.

jimbocool 11:26 am 19 Feb 15

Honours arguments aside, that has to be one of the most diabolically badly written media releases I’ve ever seen. “Canberran’s” is an affront to the eyes and basic grammar – the appearance of the Grocer’s Apostrophe in Chief Ministerial material is sufficient grounds for a no confidence motion.

Also “Damehood” is not a word.

Funky1 11:03 am 19 Feb 15

gooterz said :

Most Canberrian’s wouldn’t even know who Andrew Bar is.

If anyone (Andrew Bar) actually bothered to do some research they would see why Prince Philip actually has some merit in getting the award.

The devaluation part seems almost like most arguments against SS marriage.

What harm does it do or are we worried about a slippery slope and that Abbott will name himself king one day?

So do tell! Why does Prince Philip deserve a knighthood from one of the far flung colonies?

And if you did some research you will find that most media and social commentators and many Australians agree that installing an award about the existing honours (OA, OAM, etc) does devalue the worth of these existing awards.

What’s Abbott’s next captain call? Installing the titles of Lords and Barons?

switch 9:41 am 19 Feb 15

mcs said :

Why local politicians are wasting their time on issues like this I’ll never know, but noone can seriously think that ‘captain’s call’ has merit. Hasn’t the old donkey Phillip got enough titles already? He and Lizzy must have had a right royal laugh at the absurdity of it all when The Mad Monk’s nomination came through!

Do you seriously think they even noticed? And no, we don’t need to expand the Assembly it they’re just going to waste time on this sort of rubbish.

mcs 9:07 am 19 Feb 15

gooterz said :

Most Canberrian’s wouldn’t even know who Andrew Bar is.

If anyone (Andrew Bar) actually bothered to do some research they would see why Prince Philip actually has some merit in getting the award.

The devaluation part seems almost like most arguments against SS marriage.

What harm does it do or are we worried about a slippery slope and that Abbott will name himself king one day?

You can’t honestly be serious in the contention that there is merit in giving an Australian Knighthood to Prince Phillip……

Why local politicians are wasting their time on issues like this I’ll never know, but noone can seriously think that ‘captain’s call’ has merit. Hasn’t the old donkey Phillip got enough titles already? He and Lizzy must have had a right royal laugh at the absurdity of it all when The Mad Monk’s nomination came through!

rosscoact 9:06 am 19 Feb 15

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

What a waste of time and resources. Our MLAs worry about rubbish that won’t change or improve the lives of ACT residents when the ACT doesn’t even have basic services like green waste bins!

Agreed, if only he hadn’t written those seven paragraphs the budget would have been in surplus and there would be no need for extra MLAs.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 8:30 am 19 Feb 15

What a waste of time and resources. Our MLAs worry about rubbish that won’t change or improve the lives of ACT residents when the ACT doesn’t even have basic services like green waste bins!

gooterz 11:36 pm 18 Feb 15

Most Canberrian’s wouldn’t even know who Andrew Bar is.

If anyone (Andrew Bar) actually bothered to do some research they would see why Prince Philip actually has some merit in getting the award.

The devaluation part seems almost like most arguments against SS marriage.

What harm does it do or are we worried about a slippery slope and that Abbott will name himself king one day?

chewy14 9:50 pm 18 Feb 15

Yes,
That’s exactly what the ACT government really needs to be addressing.

Keep it up guys, this is truly top class, A level local government.

HiddenDragon 6:54 pm 18 Feb 15

Nice try, Andrew, but when this little diversion has had its five minutes in the sun, the trams fiasco will still be there, and the rates time bomb will still be ticking away…..

I guess we can look forward to more of this in the weeks, and weeks and weeks (and weeks) until the Saturday too far away in October 2016.

rommeldog56 6:23 pm 18 Feb 15

Whilst the Chief Minister may well be right saying that many Canberrians (in fact, many Australians) dont support the Captains Call to bring back Knights/Dames – what will this motion in the Legislative Assembly do ? I’m sure that the PM will be quaking in his boots !

Still, i guess it keeps the Legislative Assembly members occupied or instead they could be dreaming up more and more loss making infrastructure projects, further increasing fees/charges/Annual Rates, figuring out how to deliver less munciple services and accepting more salary increases.

With “motions” like this coming before the Legislative Assembly, isn’t it any wonder they need more Ministers and Members to carry the workload and make these very important decisions.

dungfungus 2:50 pm 18 Feb 15

The specific use by Barr of terminology “modern Australians” means what, exactly.
If he means “progressive” why doesn’t he just come out and say it?
And while Barr confirms OAMs are exclusively for Australians, will he now explain why Bob Hawke gave one to Prince Phillip (the same one that Tony Abbott awarded a knighthood to) and Julia Gillard gave one to a Indian cricketer (Tanduklar I think)?
The hypocrisy of the left never ceases to amaze me.

Mysteryman 2:28 pm 18 Feb 15

It’s so good to see that Barr is focusing on important issues and spending his time in the LA to make the ACT a better place to live.

/sarcasm.

I guess this is what you graduate to once you’ve delivered enough budget deficits to be considered a true Labor treasurer.

Garfield 1:35 pm 18 Feb 15

I know that Barr disagrees with the Knights and Dames honours, but when referring to Angus Houston, shouldn’t it be Air Chief Marshall SIR Angus Houston seeing that he was actually knighted?

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