Shorten and Abbott revive the Republic

Bill Shorten’s call yesterday to reopen the republic debate struck me as uncharacteristically brave. Now, with Abbott’s bizarre decision to confer an Australian knighthood on a foreign prince, it looks prescient, or perhaps well-informed.

63 thoughts on “Shorten and Abbott revive the Republic

  1. Not just the Australian rog. Judith Sloan went ballistic about the decision on Catallaxy, and almost everyone is supporting her. I can’t recall such unity of left, centre and right. This could well be Abbott’s Karl/Rove McManus moment. The difference being of course that with Beazley it was a slip of the tongue whereas with Abbott it was a deliberate decision. But then Labor has always been held to a much higher standard by the media.

  2. Philip did not call to thank Abbott. He may have thought the award impertinent: since when do you offer a mere knighthood to the consort of your sovereign, even a purely ceremonial one? He couldn’t turn it down, as a younger Philip might have done, with Australian frankness. He is a very old man, pretty much retired, and not fit to travel to Australia.

    I agree that the bizarre incident suggests that Abbott’s loose screws are working free. Thank God Australia does not control nuclear weapons.

  3. I think Angus Houston’s reaction says it all. He wants still to be called Angus. to call someone Sir is anachronistic and an embarrassment.

    Tony has completely lost the plot.

  4. Sloan is only antsy because it could blow the lid on what the back room market economics people like her are up to.

  5. The really odd thing is that Phillip was already an AC;

    The Duke’s full title is HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, KG (Knight of the Garter), KT (Knight of the Thistle), OM (Order of Merit), GBE (Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire), AC (Companion of the Order of Australia), QSO (Companion of The Queen’s Service Order), PC (Privy Counsellor).

    When did that happen? I don’t remember any fuss about that, though you’d think it was just as objectionable.

  6. Yes, the palace might well be perplexed at this Abbott antic; usually a knighthood is bestowed by a monarch in recognition of service.

  7. I know that the ALP has been lying low on the issue of whether or not Abbott can produce certification of his renunciation of dual citizenship. I don’t think they’ve made a demand, that I’m aware of, in parliament for proof.

    I’m suspecting that Tony didn’t renounce his British citizenship, that he knows his days are numbered, that he is cracking up at the prospect of having to go to by-election to hold his seat (or take the long trek to the HC) and the prospect of inevitable and further public humiliation has him totally rattled. Maybe this knighthood is therefore either an attempt to secure himself a post parliamentary future, perhaps sucking up to Saudi Royals on behalf of British Royals, or it is the action of a man who has actually lost the (mental health) plot.

  8. Phillip was a prince before he married the Queen. He was born Prince Phillip of Greece (and/or Denmark, I forget which). The Queen gave him the title Duke of Edinburgh.

  9. @paul walter

    Philip got his AC in 1988 apparently. Lots of foreigners have received honours in the Order of Australia, and lots of Australians vice versa. It’s the conjunction with the revival of knighthoods that causes the big problems.

    As an aside, Fraser gave Charles an AK in 1981. It didn’t get quite the same reaction, because it wasn’t as bizarrely anachronistic 35 years ago. But Hawke scrapped the AK as soon as he got in, and there was never any suggestion of reviving it under Howard.

  10. Not complainin’, John Quiggin.

    I had the best day I’ve had for months yesterday. If the PM keeps it up, he can have the job for life, such is his entertainment value, the gift that keeps giving.

    Just a little niggle at the back of my mind.. what’s it REALLY all about?

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