Your Majesty

I was somewhat outraged when National Radio covered the return of the nobility with no single reference (that I heard) to anything apart from the effect this would have on the people who got to choose if they wanted a title. While the conversations raised some interesting issues which I think needed addressed I wanted to know what this mean to New Zealand’s creeping republican movement, and what kinda of review had been carried out. Nationals Policy was to review the situation with respect to honours, how in depth was this review? A discussion around the cabinet table? Will this same reviewing technique be applied to other items on National’s Policy Platform? When Nick Smith says he will review ACC does he mean chat with a couple of mates over a beer and then act? Or talk to ordinary people that depend on the scheme?

Big ups to the ODT editorial today. Looks at the Honours question and pulls out an opinion poll from 1999 that suggested that 54% of people favoured abolition while 37% where for retention. It also points out that Canada and Australia have already walked this road. Australia have a website that shows that they have one less level than us, Canada has a 3 level system.

The main thing I took from the media stories was that the honoured didn’t feel acknowledged, they wanted that title. And why not. We don’t have to return to Sir and Dame, with as norightturn points out there are plenty of alternatives. I have some proposals, Good Bastard for the person that really sums up what it is to be kiwi. Good Bloke and Good Shelia for the next level down and simply Good for the lower level of honours. There would also be a Maori equivalent system, but I don’t know enough about Maori Culture and Language to pick out the phrases that would work best, and as a really white guy from the south it is not my place to. Inclusion in the history curriculum at school of all the Good Bastards and why they were awarded their distinction would be a way of remembering their sacrifices. Okay, it might not be totally appropriate but it would reflect part of NZ culture much more than Sir and Dame.

2 thoughts on “Your Majesty

  1. The titles lost all credibility for me when Robert Muldoon effectively awarded himself a knighthood. Enough said really.

  2. Aaah, yes, but why is the lingo of 1950s Barry Crump literature (Good Bastard, etc) more reflective of ‘NZ culture’ than British titles? Given British involvement in the creation of the NZ state, and population of the nation with settlers whose descendants form the bulk of the population, not to mention English as one of the 3 official languages.

    I struggle to see why the colonial cringe… Surely internationalists shouldn’t be too bothered whether they call themselves Dame or ‘grand order of the exalted poobah’? Or are the Greens nationalists?

    Interesting that in the time the Greens have got their knickers in a twist over titles, Labour have organised meetings of S92A opponents, and an alt jobs summit. Why haven’t the Greens taken leadership of these sort of tangible issues, instead of yet again handing the title of ‘Her Majesty’s Opposition’ back to Labour…?

    Just asking.

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