Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Arise Sir Phillip!

Readers in other countries may not be aware that our beloved Prime Minister (who would be known as Dear Leader if that rank wasn't already taken)  has decided to award the Duke of Edinburgh a Knighthood of the Order of Australia.  Most readers in Australia will probably be aware of this, but not really believe it.

Its the sort of symbolic act that would be performed by a loony dictator from the armed forces of a developing country (say, the satire of Idi Amin that appeared in Punch).  It is also, as one would expect from this Government, cheap: Philip's father in law made him a Duke, and his wife made him a Prince!  He has in fact already got a truck load of titles, spelt out by the ABC:
His Royal Highness the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, KG (Knight of the Garter), KT (Knight of the Thistle), OM (Order of Merit), GBE (Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire), AK (Knight of the Order of Australia), QSO (Companion of The Queen's Service Order), PC (Privy Counsellor).
In Strine this is shortened a bit to "Phil DaGreek", and his good lady wife is affectionately known as Betty DaGreek..

I have commented in an email to various folk that I thought this award was the great stupidity that I had been expecting from Abbott for the last 5 years or so.  One response commented 
"My prediction is that this unbelievably ridiculous decision by {accurate expletive deleted}will be seen eventually as the one that brings him down, either by his colleagues replacing him before the end of the year or the electorate throwing him out next year.
The mood of the media certainly seems to be to ridicule the idea.  A couple of cartoons from the Fairfax Press:

There seems to be little difficulty in getting members of the Liberal Party to line up to criticise the decision.  While this could reflect the Fairfax hatred of the Mad Monk, the following are from the Murdoch owned Sydney Daily Telegraph
PRIME Minister Tony Abbott’s judgment is being questioned by furious Liberal MPs who say his bizarre decision to bestow a knighthood on Prince Philip — taken on his own without consulting Cabinet — is a serious mistake.
Liberals who spent yesterday at Australia Day events were met with derision and surprise from voters, who questioned the decision to give Australia’s highest ­honour to a decorated 93-year-old British royal.
Proving that Wikipedia is up to speed, their page about Prince Philip includes on 27 January the following
In 2015 he was appointed a Knight in the Order of Australia. The appointment was criticized by Opposition leader Bill Shorten of the Australian Labor Party who said: "It's a time warp where we're giving knighthoods to English royalty. Some people (have) wondered whether it was an Australia Day hoax." Adam GilesNorthern Territory chief minister and Country Liberal Party leader, said: "I woke up this morning and read the wires and was confused between Australia Day and April Fool's Day," adding "It makes us a bit of a joke. It's Australia Day, we're not a bunch of tossers."
The views of readers of Fairfax express their views in a poll.

My own gut feeling is that the loyal members of the Liberal Party will be awaiting with interest the results of at least the Queensland State election next Saturday before doing anything.  A bad result there (for the Liberal/National Party, which would be a good result for Queensland, Australia and the world generally) could be a tipping point, even though the Monk hasn't been allowed North of the Tweed for the last 6 weeks.  If that is followed by an interesting result in NSW in mid-March then the house of cards will crumble.

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