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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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Knights and dames have no place in modern Australia: Barr
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dungfungus 12:21 pm 23 Feb 15

Masquara said :

dungfungus said :

Masquara said :

We have representatives in the federal parliament who can discuss this issue. Andrew Barr needs to work on the administration of Canberra. And he needs to read up on the value of heritage (hey, the usually vocal John Hargreaves – has he added his two cents’ worth on the Northbourne flats? I would have thought John would be sympathetic to heritage preservation. Perhaps he only expresses his opinions when they toe the party line …despite being technically free to say whatever he wishes).

Last time I checked the two representatives the ACT has in federal parliament were Labor ones.
I haven’t heard reports of any discussions on this issue from them. Then again, Labor members toe the party line don’t they?

erm derp …. Senate?

This has nothing to do with the Senate.

Acton 11:49 am 23 Feb 15

If the Hon Andrew Barr MLA wishes to preserve his integrity when pushing to abolish the Knights and Dames honour system, then he should also abolish the tradition of referring to MPs as the Honourable, which besides also being a regal relic, is a title that is always elitist and sometimes delusive.

The article by John Hargraves demonstrates the hypocrisy of opposing knighthoods, but still using the regal based honorific of ‘the Honourable’.

http://the-riotact.com/i-call-the-honourable/141123

Masquara 9:48 pm 22 Feb 15

dungfungus said :

Masquara said :

We have representatives in the federal parliament who can discuss this issue. Andrew Barr needs to work on the administration of Canberra. And he needs to read up on the value of heritage (hey, the usually vocal John Hargreaves – has he added his two cents’ worth on the Northbourne flats? I would have thought John would be sympathetic to heritage preservation. Perhaps he only expresses his opinions when they toe the party line …despite being technically free to say whatever he wishes).

Last time I checked the two representatives the ACT has in federal parliament were Labor ones.
I haven’t heard reports of any discussions on this issue from them. Then again, Labor members toe the party line don’t they?

erm derp …. Senate?

rosscoact 6:41 pm 22 Feb 15

dungfungus said :

gooterz said :

For those that can be bothered and have the intelligence to see past the media bandwagon. (Not many).
Prince Philip founded the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme in 1956.
~700,000 have completed this since.

Prince Philip is a WW2 Navy veteran, who spent much of his time protecting Aussie’s.
Its ignorant to say that all of the quality of life and freedoms we have today are a result of those who risked their lives in WW2.

He’s over 94 years old and still comes to Australia.
He’s not Australian so can’t get many of the honours that we give out.

1988 Bob Hawke recommended that he get Australia’s highest honour!

At last – some balance on this blog – thank you moderators.

When the Abbott so stupidly made that decision, I quoted a commentator who had termed it as ‘Peak Stupid’. As the past month has shown, it wasn’t even near the top.

This train wreck of a government is ridiculous and incompetent and is led by a delusional nitwit. Thank goodness it’s only a year and a bit until we can throw them out.

dungfungus 5:54 pm 21 Feb 15

Masquara said :

We have representatives in the federal parliament who can discuss this issue. Andrew Barr needs to work on the administration of Canberra. And he needs to read up on the value of heritage (hey, the usually vocal John Hargreaves – has he added his two cents’ worth on the Northbourne flats? I would have thought John would be sympathetic to heritage preservation. Perhaps he only expresses his opinions when they toe the party line …despite being technically free to say whatever he wishes).

Last time I checked the two representatives the ACT has in federal parliament were Labor ones.
I haven’t heard reports of any discussions on this issue from them. Then again, Labor members toe the party line don’t they?

Masquara 12:04 pm 21 Feb 15

We have representatives in the federal parliament who can discuss this issue. Andrew Barr needs to work on the administration of Canberra. And he needs to read up on the value of heritage (hey, the usually vocal John Hargreaves – has he added his two cents’ worth on the Northbourne flats? I would have thought John would be sympathetic to heritage preservation. Perhaps he only expresses his opinions when they toe the party line …despite being technically free to say whatever he wishes).

dungfungus 8:44 am 21 Feb 15

gooterz said :

For those that can be bothered and have the intelligence to see past the media bandwagon. (Not many).
Prince Philip founded the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme in 1956.
~700,000 have completed this since.

Prince Philip is a WW2 Navy veteran, who spent much of his time protecting Aussie’s.
Its ignorant to say that all of the quality of life and freedoms we have today are a result of those who risked their lives in WW2.

He’s over 94 years old and still comes to Australia.
He’s not Australian so can’t get many of the honours that we give out.

1988 Bob Hawke recommended that he get Australia’s highest honour!

At last – some balance on this blog – thank you moderators.

gooterz 12:26 am 21 Feb 15

For those that can be bothered and have the intelligence to see past the media bandwagon. (Not many).
Prince Philip founded the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme in 1956.
~700,000 have completed this since.

Prince Philip is a WW2 Navy veteran, who spent much of his time protecting Aussie’s.
Its ignorant to say that all of the quality of life and freedoms we have today are a result of those who risked their lives in WW2.

He’s over 94 years old and still comes to Australia.
He’s not Australian so can’t get many of the honours that we give out.

1988 Bob Hawke recommended that he get Australia’s highest honour!

HiddenDragon 5:29 pm 19 Feb 15

John Moulis said :

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.

Someone had to say it …

Nothing new:

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/hargreaves-gay-note-in-bad-taste-20120222-1tony.html

But back on the original topic, shaking an angry – at times, as here, righteously angry – little fist at a federal government, particularly if it’s of the opposite political persuasion, is a well established part of the political theatre in Australia. I seem to recall several such outbursts in the Stanhope/Howard era.

John Moulis 5:06 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.

Someone had to say it …

dungfungus 2:21 pm 19 Feb 15

jimbocool said :

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.

Personhood would be more acceptable, even though it is not a word either.
The Grocer’s Apostrophe was used in “modern Australian’s” also.
I wonder who wrote this stuff? Didn’t Barr just recently one of Gillard’s old scribes?
Still no takers out there to describe what a “modern Australian” is?
No comment about the hypocrisy issues I raised either.

Holden Caulfield 2:14 pm 19 Feb 15

gooterz said :

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

The ironing is delicious.

Canberrian’s?

Bar?

Most Canberrans would know who Andrew Barr is.

chewy14 1:24 pm 19 Feb 15

mcs 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?

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!

I see no difference in Prince Phillip being knighted to almost all the other awards given out by the government. The vast majority of them are chosen on political thoughts, who they know and the whim of the day rather than being based on them being the best person in their field and the actual work or achievements that the individual has made.

It was a silly move from Abbott but only because it was sure to garner ignorant public backlash. He should have knighted a football or cricket player, then everything would have been sweet.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 12:43 pm 19 Feb 15

rosscoact said :

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.

Yeah, cos that’s all it took…

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!

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