Crikey Clarifier

Mar 26, 2014

Crikey Clarifier: the knights (and dames) of the occasional table

Tony Abbott has revived knights and dames. We look at who will pick them and how, and examine who's in line for the (new) top gong.

Cathy Alexander — Freelance journalist and PhD candidate in politics at the University of Melbourne

Cathy Alexander

Freelance journalist and PhD candidate in politics at the University of Melbourne

Arise, Sir John! The Coalition government has revived knighthoods after a 30-year hiatus. Will we see John Howard sent to Buckingham Palace to be tapped with a sword by Queen Elizabeth?

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s decision to resuscitate the William-the-Conqueror-era honours has delighted monarchists, annoyed republicans and baffled some people who are neither. Crikey explains how the new system will work and we ask monarchists who they nominate for the top gong …

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63 thoughts on “Crikey Clarifier: the knights (and dames) of the occasional table

  1. Dean Hubert

    So now we’re ending the age of entitlement, but reinstituting titles?

  2. JohnB

    Dean, I see no imminent end to the age of entitlement any time soon, but plenty of dog-whistling on that subject.

    Unfortunately, our Prime Minister has, by reinstituting titles, revived the the previously common monniker for Australia, “the ars_e end of the British Empire”.

    Once again, Tony Abbott has substituted circus for policy. It seems that Australia’s PM is incapable of comprehending anything that requires more than six words to explain.

    Thinking of which, the conservatives in NZ still persevere with titles AFAIK.

  3. johnno

    How bizarre. I guess Abbott really wants to thank Johnnie so badly.
    I want to vomit …

  4. Bill Hilliger

    Sir John Howard is the next title to bestow, to be closely followed by Sir George Pell.

  5. michael hewitt-gleeson

    Who’s been made a knight or dame in the past?

    The article omits the BIG fact that, in the past, the most controversial aspect has been that knighthhods were given in exchange for BIG financial contributions to the conservative party.

    Perhaps the PM hopes to avoid that elephant in the room this time around.

  6. extra

    How long before there is a facebook campaign for posthumous knighthoods for Bon Scott and Michael Hutchence? And how long before a PM desperate for populist cred gives in to it?

  7. Cathy Alexander

    Interesting suggestion Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, I wasn’t aware of that claim.

    Can you point me to some evidence? As those donations must have been pre-1986, it might be hard to find it online. I’d very much like to find out more.

  8. Michael Stanley

    Taller poppies!

  9. Lubo Gregor

    Imperial units will be introduced later in the year and currency system is to be reverted to the good old pennies and shillings (so that Gina can start paying the employees what they really deserve). Ahead to the past dear Australians! Horse carriage travel will finally make the fitting use for the quality of the roads here. And who needs to fly if we won’t have Qantas anymore? They say people in the third world countries may be poor but are genuinely more happy – so I guess this government IS taking us to a better place 🙂

  10. zut alors

    I’m guessing the first posthumous knighthood will go to B A Santamaria.

    Cathy Alexander, you don’t need to dig too deep into Queensland history during the Joh era to unearth questionable knighthoods. Not all of them were allowed to keep their gongs once sanity prevailed following the Fitzgerald Inquiry.

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