…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
On the last Australia day Prime Minister Tony Abbott awarded Australia’s highest honour, Knight of the Order of Australia, to the 93-year-old Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Naturally, according to the protocol, this had to be and was approved by his wife ( the happy couple depicted bellow).
Some newspapers reported that Labor backbencher Tim Watts thought the news was a hoax. “I’m at an Australia Day barbecue in Sunshine and talking to my constituents and letting them know that we just made Prince Philip a knight – and they laugh,” he said. “At first people think we’re winding them up and it’s a joke. It just shows Tony Abbott is on a different plane to most Australians.”
I, for one, was not surprised and did not think it was a hoax. For a long time now I have believed that Mr Abbott, deep down, does not want to be a prime minister or even a politician. His kismet is elsewhere. There is something in his psychological make-up which makes me to say so; and undoubtedly, in the fullness of time, some psychiatrist will manage to work it out.
Personally, I have nothing against Prince Phillip and I like his occasional entertaining quaintness. After all, not many Greeks managed to move up so high on that chimerical hillock which is the XXI century gutless and decrepit aristocracy.
PM Abbott said Prince Philip was being recognised for his contribution “to Australia throughout the Queen’s 62-year reign”…”Prince Philip’s long life of service and dedication should be honoured by Australia.“
Fine, and while I have high regard for his Duke of Edinburgh Awards (a youth awards programme founded in the United Kingdom in 1956 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh that has since expanded to 140 other countries. The awards recognise adolescents and young adults for completing a series of self-improvement exercises modelled on Kurt Hahn’s solution to the “Six Declines of Modern Youth“), – that is what the aristocracy is for. Noblesse oblige and does not need, and should not be accepting belated recognitions from colonial commoners.
I am hardly ever, if at all, on the same page, or even in the same book with the likes of Shorten, Milne and other socialists, but this time they have a point.
ALP opposition leader Mr Shorten : “It’s outside the mainstream, I think, of Australian thinking to have done this. I just think giving our top award to a British royal is anachronistic. To be honest it’s a bit of a time warp, I wasn’t quite sure it was serious until I realised it was.”
Greens leader Christine Milne: “It’s like a joke within a joke, that Australia has knighthoods, and that we’re awarding one to a member of the British royal family.”
The problem is not some Phillip in the Buck Palace, or aristocracy as such, or some “Australian” knighthoods. The problem is Mr Abbott, who once again, demonstrated he is not one of us, not of the people, his grandstanding in lifesaving clubs notwithstanding. His wishy-washy-ness on many important issues, such as sec. 18C or the abolishment of the anti – Human Rights Commission and of the Australian Broadcasting Commissariat, proves he, whatever he may think of himself, is not a knight, but a knave.
As John Howard before him, Abbott either totally misreads his voters, or deliberately ignores them. One wonders to whom those people talk. Perhaps just to the coterie of sycophants and court jesters, like the kings of old, whom they are striving to emulate.
Many feel the same way, for example Larry Pickering:
“Here’s the problem, Tony Abbott has never been seen as a leader by the Coalition, in fact it has told him so. When he broached the subject of leadership with his colleagues under the Howard reign he was told, “We really don’t see you that way Tony”.
He finally won the leadership by a single vote on factional lines, emphasising that collegiate view.
Here’s the solution, Tony Abbott needs to go! And that’s a shame, but I believe in the next few weeks he will have the decency to step aside in the interests of the Party.” / the whole article here Can Abbott survive /
Decency? A politician? Poor fellow my country!