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John Passant

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March 2014



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



In a daze over knights

There was cheering in the pubs and clubs of Western Sydney. ‘Tony’s nailed it’ was one very  common comment.  ‘He’ll stop the boats with this,’ was another.

Re-instating the honours system for ‘pre-eminent’ Australians (aka suckholes for capital) – up to 4 Knights and Dames a year – is an Abbott masterstroke. Bigotry? Refugees? Sinodinos before ICAC? All disappearing before our very eyes as the sun rises on the outpost of Empire, Australia.

Yes, having Dame Quentin until tomorrow and then Sir Peter ensconced in Government House will make us all feel safer. And my god how the jobs will flow. Australia will be a cornucopia for all.

Surely that is what this is about – super egalitarianism, recognising those who are just a little more equal than the rest of us?

The possibilities are endless for Australian sycophants of capital. Dame Bronny, Sir Arthur of the Waters, Dame Edna, Sir Les. And of course the mining magnates deserve a special mention. Dame Gina, Sir Clive and Lord Twiggy of the Forrest. It is all enough to warm the cockles of any monarchist’s heart (if they have hearts.)

And who knows, in the not too distant future might we not have Tony Abbott, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports? He’s sinking us so what finer tribute could there be?

My hot tip is Sir Paul out of the Howes, for his sterling services to capital.

Yes, sir…

The nightmare that comes true? Sir John Howard.

WTF is going on? Is it 1660 all over again? Sort of. Abbott represents that small wing of Australian capital stuck in the imperial past.

The more modern faction of capital favour a republic because then they can can have their own symbols (an unelected President instead of someone associated with another country).

In that sense the push for a republic represents the maturity of the Australian ruling class and its independence from Britain. The left liberals who supported them are their unthinking collaborators.

Not that a republic makes any difference really to the daily exploitation of workers either materially or even ideologically. Maybe, just maybe, an Australian republic might have been one further tie for the Australian working class to Australian capital.

Hawke abolished this honours nonsense in 1986 as a symbolic gesture and as part of the neoliberal modernisation of Australian capitalism.

Abbott has restored it for four outstanding Australians a year, including whoever is appointed governor-general that year. Excuse me but what have these supernumeraries of capital done as G-G to deserve Abbott’s accolades? Nothing, other than serve their class.

This is a government of capitalist reaction. It is also a government of symbolism, and what better way to show both than by marching into the past with the reinstitution of the honours system?

The Normans – yes 1066 and all that – introduced knighthoods into England.

So Tony Abbott has re-introduced a hangover from feudal times, one almost a thousand years old.

How much more backwards can we go?

Only Monty Python can answer that.

The annoying peasant

Knights of the round table



Pingback from In a daze over knights | OzHouse
Time March 25, 2014 at 9:12 pm

[…] Mar 25 2014 by admin […]

Comment from Caroline Storm
Time March 26, 2014 at 8:32 am

And, of course, [OMG, in three years please], Sir Anthony himself with his Lady.

Comment from Christine Hyde
Time March 26, 2014 at 8:36 am

Relax! Our history has made us a republic residing in a commonwealth headed by a monarch. We can choose!

Comment from David
Time March 26, 2014 at 9:11 am

This article is a lot of crap.
It is about time we recognised those people who have made outstanding contributions to our society in a more tangible way. An Order of Australia might be OK for some, but the addition of a title gives a bit more kudos to those people who really deserve it.

Lindsay Fox summed it up nicely the other night on QANDA. “Without tall poppies all you have are weeds.”

Comment from Kay
Time March 27, 2014 at 6:21 am

I agree with David in that we do need to be able to recognise those people who have made outstanding contributions to our society. But I think this return to knighthoods is anachronistic, and stinks of mother-country love, when our links to the UK have become very tenuous. I think this is a ridiculous move by Abbott, and no doubt ‘on the nose’ within his own party.

I have always wanted Australia to become a republic and ditch the parasitic royals as soon as possible. It is a pity that the last referendum on becoming a republic was ruined, either deliberately or just through incompetence I’m not sure, by not having a suitable model.

Comment from MyDee
Time March 30, 2014 at 7:59 am

WS Gilbert penned the consequences of this little flight of fancy in his comic opera Iolanthe-

“Small titles and orders for mayors and recorders I get and they’re highly delighted.
MPs baroneted sham colonels gazetted and second rate aldermen knighted.”

But why stop at Sirs and Dames, as we purport to live in a multicultural society could we not extend the titles to reflect the recipients heritage? We could have Nawobs Datos, Comptessas Chervaliers and as a special recognitions to our beloved senator of a German heritage MarGrave. I especially like the ring of Erich Graf Abetz von Tasmania.

Comment from Jolly
Time March 31, 2014 at 4:28 pm

What a commendable step taken by Abbott … the revival of the imperial honours!!!!! Wow… at last … we get an Australian PM who is at least loyal to his birth place (London) and is bringing back the ‘pom’p class system. I am actually looking forward to stooping and curtseying to (tampon) King Charles and (home-breaker) Queen Camilla. Well done Abbott. What next? LOL

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