When I first heard this story I must admit the song that kept going through my head was that famous Morecambe and Wise sketch ‘There is nothing like a Dame’
Last week, the Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott re-introduced the Knights and Dames system that was abolished by the Hawke Labor government in the 80s. This decision has been met with ridicule and general disapproval within Australia as event Abbott’s predecessor and avowed Monarchist, John Howard spoke of his belief that the system was outdated in this day and age. Until now the country did have the Order of Australia, which was created by the Whitlam Labor government in the early 1970s.
A new poll out this week shows that just 27% of Australians support the return of the old honours system compared to 43% opposing it.
I could set out the case against an independent nation like Australia going back to a British system but I will let the former Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating, make the case as he derided in February 1992 the ‘Cultural Cringe’ of some politicians constantly harking back to Britain for guidance.
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs