Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.
Prometheus in The Masque of Pandora (1875) by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The decision of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to make Prince Philip a knight is a masterstroke.
Like all royals, Philip is a parasite, a hangover from medieval times and the result of the incomplete English revolution. He is also racist, stupid, sexist, rude, idiotic and an elitist.
What a day too for the political genius Tony Abbott to announce yet another meaningless title for the man who has 33 of them already. Thirty three may be an overestimate. Or an underestimate. Who’d bother counting when the list includes names like Extraordinary Commander of the Order of Military Merit or Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom? Not to mention Knight Grand Cross with Chain of the Order of the Queen of Sheba.
As Megan Levy notes in the Fairfax media:
Among the more elaborate sounding decorations he has received are the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Condor of the Andes, from Bolivia; the Member of the Most Distinguished Order of Izzuddin, from the Maldives; the Knight of the Order of the Elephant, from Denmark; and from Ethiopia, the Knight Grand Cross with Chain of the Order of the Queen of Sheba.
He has also been awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold by Belgium; and the Grand Cordon of the National Order of the Leopard by Zaire, which is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
So why not add Knight of the Order of Australia to the list of ridiculous titles?
Well, there are a number of reasons. One relates to Abbott’s political acumen or rather lack of it.
On Invasion Day (officially known as Australia Day) ‘our’ Prime Minister recognises Prince Philip for, let me guess, his services to Aboriginal Australians among others. Here is just one example of that caring sharing approach of the Parasite Prince. He posed this question to Aboriginal leader William Brin during a visit to the Aboriginal Cultural Park in Queensland, 2002. ‘Do you still throw spears at each other?’ Yep, a totally appropriate award on this most racist of days.
Not only that but the knighthood, and the Englishness of its recipient, undermines the theme of ultra-patriotism and ‘Australianness’ the bourgeois have manufactured around Invasion Day in the last few decades as a distraction from their neoliberal attacks.
The gaffes of the Parasite Prince are well known. The Independent listed 90 of them on his 90th birthday. Of course they aren’t gaffes. They reflect the bigoted, biased, blinkered views of the British (and Australian) elite about themselves and the rest of us, their ‘inferiors.’
Abbott, by appointing the parasite Prince as a knight of the order of Australia, also shows how he too is a member of the elite, out of touch with ordinary Australians who not only overwhelmingly want a Republic but also despise Philip. Even his own side, people like Adam Giles, conservative Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, have ridiculed the knighthood, saying that it was Australia Day, ‘we’re not a bunch of tossers, let’s get it right.’
About the only people Abbott will keep happy with this are the Monarchists. They will be rattling their pearls and drinking their top shelf port or whisky to celebrate, all 3 of them. Speaking of port, unlike Menzies, Abbott doesn’t drink port. So rather than becoming Lord of the Cinque Ports he is perhaps aiming to become Lord of the Sank Beers.
I think Abbott knows that politically he is a dead man walking and has decided to release his inner reactionary. That may well explain the enquiry into workplace relations (code for bringing back the highly unpopular vote losing Work Choices) which at least most of the ruling class want. But knighthhoods, and one for Philistine Phil? Seriously? No sensible member of the Australian ruling class sees that as in any way desirable or defensible and it destroys the ‘we are all in this Budget fixing together’ lie they are trying to promulgate. This latest blunder, one of such magnitude, shows how isolated from and toxic to the public Abbott is and may see him soon rolled. How much longer can the Liberals hang on to and with this buffoon? How much longer will the ruling class put up with their idiot? Not much longer I suspect.
That won’t end the nightmare, just replace one bad dream with another. Our own actions on the streets and in our workplaces (demos and strikes) in defending jobs, wages, conditions and public services, can end the nightmare of reaction social, economic and political reaction we are suffering.