Of all the royal families still peddling their wares around the world, two dominate the Anglosphere: the House of Windsor and the House of Murdoch. This week, both flexed their muscle in ways that seem both antiquated and, frankly, alarming.

It was Prime Minister Tony Abbott summoning monarchical ghosts to revive an elite honours class even John Howard thinks is “anachronistic”. And after reinstating the baubles of one empire, he turned today to publicly acclaim the court movements of another, more powerful, one: News Corporation.

“It’s a very significant role for a very capable person,” Abbott said this morning of Lachlan Murdoch’s promotion in the halls of Murdoch, elevated by dad Rupert to co-chair of perhaps the most influential company in the world.

As Stephen Mayne writes today, it’s a move that only entrenches the power of the Murdochs at News. Just like the monarchy, it’s fundamentally against the interests of democracy and the egalitarianism Australians are supposed to champion.

And both empires show no signs of crumbling.

Peter Fray

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