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The Standard

Out of order

Written By: - Date published: 10:19 am, June 4th, 2012 - 78 comments
Categories: class - Tags: ,

I’m not a big fan of the whole honours system, with or without knighthoods. But if you’re going to have it, make it mean something. Giving the top gong, which only 20 living people can have, to a guy whose claim to fame is marrying his second cousin and then acting like the stereotype of the elitist buffoon for 60 years is an insult to everyone who has ever earned an honour.

Oh, and good on I/S at NoRightTurn for not playing along and shutting up about who was getting the gongs after the Cabinet Office accidentally put them online early. The msm all kept mum – for no good reason that I can see, certainly nothing to do with good journalism – while I/S reported it all, despite a phone call from the Cabinet Office asking him to please be quiet.

78 comments on “Out of order”

  1. Judge Holden 1

    Giving one to Bazley for being really well paid to do her job for several decades is almost as bad.

  2. Carol 2

    I’m disgusted at this, specifically NZ honour, being given to Prance Fullup, who, as far as NZ is concerned has largely been MIA in the last 50 years.

    WHY!??

    I saw some headlines online with John Key apparently explaining why…. I’m not clicking on the article – no support for all these royal sycophantic articles in the MSM at the moment.

    Was it JohnKey’s idea to give the Prance this “honour”?

    • just saying 2.1

      Why?,
      Because some journo overseas is bound to ask the silly old coot how he feels about being named as one of Nz’s 20 greatest NZanders, and any publicity is apparently good publicity for NZCorp.
      Also, the Nats love to suck up to Royalty.
      win/win

      • prism 2.1.1

        just saying
        Key might be more devious than you thought. He might be thinking of a return on favours bestowed. Royal visits – we have Charles and Camilla in November I think. But the Queen might like to holiday at his house in Hawaii or in the wing of some friend’s mansion on a high point overlooking the sea and away from earthquakes. He could come and make some controversial comment about our quaintness etc. and get us media attention that will last and last.

        .Also the Royals have a lot of dosh and don’t bet on finance companies I should think. Perhaps we could tap him for a a quid or hundred.

        And the NACTs don’t save themselves just for the UK they also favour the USA with their attentions. Seems they like initials – I wonder when they will honour NZ with their attention.

      • Pink postman 2.1.2

        Dead right Just S,I bet Key will be bend down to his knees with the Queen . It will be an embarrassment to watch. I wonder how long it will be before he gets a Knighthood. ? What a farce it is. Im also sorry that Michael Cullen, a man I admire, has let the side down At least his wife has voiced her disproval .

        • McFlock 2.1.2.1

          Actually, that might be another reason key might not see the term out – the last thing on his “Presents from NZ People” bucket list will be an honour of some sort. I’m not sure he can rely on Lab6/Green1 delivering him that.

      • mike e 2.1.3

        Keys only chance to get a knighthood

    • Dr Terry 2.2

      Carol, of course it was! John Key personally reinstated all these specious “honours”! Cullen has happily accepted a Key knighthood (likely to turn off still more Labour voters!) Worse still are Cullen’s self-righteous denials reported in the Herald.
      I note that even a psychologist cannot resist the worn out cliche that his “honour” is “humbling” – I wonder if he could do with some personal analysis? Another recipient is unable to prevent herself assuring us that the “honour” is really for others (again, the ever repeated cliche.) Anyone worthy of Key’s awards might at least offer intelligent (even wise?) remarks (hardly possible,I guess). I am pleased to know that some people have been big enough to decline an “honour”, such as Lange and Bolger.

  3. The msm all kept mum – for no good reason that I can see, certainly nothing to do with good journalism

    Its quite understandable. They had agreed to an embargo, and weren’t going to endanger their future early receipt of such information (which allows them to prep stories in advance) simply because it was now public on the web.

  4. bbfloyd 4

    well, it’s official now….. there is no barrier low enough to stop johnny sparkles exorcising his talent for being utterly obsequious to people who he perceives as being useful to him…..

    this embarrassing decision marks the point where we have signaled the final departure from our previously respected position in world politics, into complete capitulation to the boardrooms of corporate earth….

    if this is allowed to stand…. there is going to be a rush to take australian citizenship among those already driven away…. who the hell wants to be associated with a country who’s leadership leads by the tongue?

    i feel nothing but disgust…… and i can report that i’m a long way from being alone on that score…

  5. Ad 5

    It was for Services to Comedy.

    Cullen totally deserves it – one of the very few who had a real tilt at changing the course of the country, and did it.

    Wonder when the Maori King will generate this kind of scrutiny. Utter self-reifying bullshit ripe for eradication.

    • prism 5.1

      Ad
      For goodness sake – don’t take rude swipes at the Maori king. If you want to pick on leaders that you don’t consider are performing well there are plenty without pecking away at the person and the position that mean much to Maori. It is for them to decide whether their leader is worthy of their respect.

      • Ad 5.1.1

        Pop down to Henderson or Kaikohe and do a vox pop on that premise. If this site is prepared to swing at the monarchy overseas, it can stand up to local scrutiny as well.

        • prism 5.1.1.1

          Ad
          But the monarchy overseas is so wealthy and long-founded with the support of the top people in the UK. It is a different thing taking pot shots at a local leader. Have respect for Maori tradition. Each leader faces different problems but will be a point for most to combine with. And the Maori King is centred in Waikato isn’t he. Ngapuhi up north have a long background of stroppiness.

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    Notice how the gongs for “services to business” stop after 2nd tier honours!
    Im very surprised at a husband and wife are honoured simultaneously, the Normans, who have the country’s biggest privately owned retail empire – Farmers, Whitcoulls, Pascoes.
    No doubt they were big donors to the National party

  7. deemac 7

    praps Phil is being honoured for NOT visiting NZ more often? we should be thankful for small mercies!

    • Jackal 7.1

      He’s probably being honoured co’s his missis is worth £17 Trillion and doesn’t pay any taxes. The £32 million for the jubilee was also paid for by the people… so surely they deserve a meaningless award given to those at the pinacle of capitalist excess.

  8. Nick 8

    Honours shouldn’t be for doing your normal job – though most of them seem to be.

    I’m not a fan of knighthoods but pleased to see that JK’s honour includes services to mental health, not just services to rugby for a coach and former player. There a lot of people on the list that are there just for doing their job (even if they did it well). Something above and beyond requires recognition, otherwise – no.

    • Ad 8.1

      +1 for Kirwan. And for all his tries in the first Rugby World Cup.

      • Bored 8.1.1

        Agreed, sure he wonders what the fuss is about: he woulld have done what he did anyay. Lets have him for AB coach, comes complete with Sir prior to any cup win.

    • higherstandard 8.2

      People like John Kirwan should be what the honours list are all about.

    • tracey 8.3

      Agree

      The business couple had nothing about community support/work in their blurb just business success. Good on them for their success, and that success has been rewarded with wealth. Frankly Helen was right to abolish the old system.

      Those who say “we have to have Sir and Dame” otherwise how will we know that someone has been honoured, I say, how do we know who the majority of those honoured are? We don’t and yet they have often served far more selflessly than those who have made money.

      Our PM has totally revealled himself as a jockstrap sniffing, celebrity chaser in hi appointment of Prince Philip as a greatest living NZer. He dishonours all the great efforts of thousands of NZers.

  9. Rodel 9

    So disappointed in Cullen. When Helen was asked if she’d accept similar she scoffed, ‘of course not.’
    What’s the opposite of integrity?

  10. Bored 10

    The hole thing is a load of bollocks, regardless of whether its some trashy right wing mate of Shonkeys like Bazley, or whether its a Hero of the Soviet Union for shovelling coal. Complete crap.

    I note John Kirwan was already a highly respected person by dint of public opinion for his good works prior to this: he will remain such regardless and that is the greater acclaim, our earned respect annd gratitude. He is one of us, not apart on a higher plane, no gong required. On the converse we see the Sainted Peter Jackson, taker of our tax funding and betrayer of workers rights…..setting himself aside from the rest, with a gong.

  11. Someone, I think it was Johnny Rotton, described the Monarchy as the biggest social welfare bludgers in the world. The sooner we get rid of the monarchy as an institution the better. We also do not need Govenors General, the Chief Justice could rule on who wins elections. Think of all the money we could save. We would no longer have to savage average class sizes …

    • higherstandard 11.1

      What drivel Greg

      If we ‘got rid of the monarchy’ we’d likely replace the HoS with a presidential type position which would be filled by some local felchtard politician who would both cost a fortune and be an unmitigated twat.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        Then Key could put them on the Honours list.

      • Vicky32 11.1.2

        If we ‘got rid of the monarchy’ we’d likely replace the HoS with a presidential type position which would be filled by some local felchtard politician who would both cost a fortune and be an unmitigated twat.

        Sad but true!

        • Rodel 11.1.2.1

          Please..could some one explain why when we vote in 120 highly paid politicians do we need a ‘ head of state, GG, president or any sort of artificial so called leader?

          I’m sort of happy with elected politicians, national and local, reluctantly accepting but not enthralled with Johnny sparkles as p.m.(For god’s sake someone give him his precious night hood.. sorry that’s knighthood)…someone has to manage or govern affairs of the state__ but why oh why do we need a head of state, especially an unelected one? These people are so expensive with their residences, gardeners, drivers, housemaids, banquets and so on …and for what return?

          I’d like to be convinced by any reasoned logic why we as an independent nation need a concept such as this in the 21st century.

          • rosy 11.1.2.1.1

            Sorry, Rodel, I can’t give you any reasoned logic as to why we’d need an unelected head of state. We might need a position to run checks and balances on parliamentary democracy, but I don’t think that role should necessarily be a Head of State.

          • Matthew Whitehead 11.1.2.1.2

            In principle or in practice?

            In practice, the Governor General does two important things: Separates the head of state from the head of government, removing the pressure for the PM to preside over events of official significance, and maintains the reserve power to dissolve parliament and call a new election in cases of constitutional crisis. Some people will argue that the governor general can also act as a safeguard and refuse to sign laws, but legally speaking I don’t think that’s actually very correct, and if we wanted that sort of safeguard, the better way to do it would be to make BORA sovereign over Parliament, meaning that the courts could strike down laws that aren’t consistent with it.

            In principle, the governor general also signs laws into effect and a few other things, but these functions are relatively unimportant and could be reformed out of our constitutional conventions, and just have parliament state when laws take effect, perhaps after a certain minimum window to allow for publication and, if necessary, publicity.

            Both of the practical reasons are decent justification to keep the office. If we want to we can also reform it to move some power away from the executive or parliament as a constitutional safeguard, especially as Ministers have a very large amount of power in our government at the moment.

        • Actually many republicans would be quite happy with an appointed Governor General, if the power of appointment was moved to a super-majority vote of parliament.

          Also, the Governor General’s residence, and many of their activities, already cost a significant amount. Selecting that person ourselves wouldn’t add much to the bill, (especially if we let our representatives choose for us) and public accountability could help them use that budget a little more wisely.

          • Rodel 11.1.2.2.1

            Thankyou. I’m see the reasoning but am unconvinced by your first reply but convinced by your second.

      • tracey 11.1.3

        I’m pretty sure the hosting nation spends millions hosting a royal visit.

    • Ad 11.2

      Well Mickey, once we sent them to the Great Beige Rest Home In The Sky, would you just have a Prime Minister, or would you like president as well? Would be useful to have a check-and-balance against a Prime Minister Hide, no? And would you like the weak Israeli or German option, or something stiffer like say Venezuela?

      • mickysavage 11.2.1

        Neither ad.

        The three roles of the GG are to:

        1.  Decide who won the election
        2.  Give the royal assent to legislation
        3.  Turn up at various dos and show the flag.

        We could:

        1.  Let the Chief Justice decide who won.
        2.  Let Parliament itself decide when its legislation is coming into force.
        3.  Use anyone else, Mayors, local body politicians, Ministers, ex all blacks do this work.

        You do not need a person at the head of the pyramid. 

        • Pete George 11.2.1.1

          I fully support what you’re saying on this.

          It’s time we stood on our own as a country, in a practical sense we do that already, it’s just the old pointless figurehead thing from the other side of the world that we haven’t let go of yet. And while we did manage to let go of an archaic “honours” system it boomeranged back.

          • ochocinco 11.2.1.1.1

            Why?
            If we stand on our own, what do we have?
            If we are part of the Commonwealth, we (1) express our appreciation for the Brits who forged us into a country in the 19th century, and (2) retain our lineage through the British family back to the glories of the Reform Act, Waterloo, Magna Carta, Crecy, the laws of Alfred the Great, and perhaps even through the Romano-British back to the very first flowering of Western civilisation.

            • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1.1.1.1

              1.) There was a country here before the Brits turned up
              2.) Not all of us have British lineage or give a fuck about it if we do
              3.) All that history will still be there to be learned from without having to be part of the Commonwealth

            • lprent 11.2.1.1.1.2

              express our appreciation for the Brits who forged us into a country

              Piss off. There are bugger all english in my heritage and very few who’d have considered themselves to be ‘british’. It is only the bloody english who think that and usually only when they’re hammering out some rebellion in scotland, the midlands, wales, cornwell, or ireland. Many of my ancestors both eurpean and maori were here long before the idiot englsh. We built this frigging country despite much of the interference from the bloody english like Hobson, Grey and the idiotic governers of the 19th.

              Screw the English and their ‘british’ myth.

              • Socialist Paddy

                Aye

                The English did not do a thing except terrorise ordinary people who came here from the Ununited Kingdom to get away from the bastards. And they claimed all of the credit for everything that ordinary working people achieved when they got over here.

                The Monarchy and their sycophantic arse kissing supporters have nothing to claim credit for. If those bastards were not on the backs of ordinary working people so much more could be achieved.

                And just ask Tangata Whenua what they think of the gob shyte bastards who ripped them off the same way they ripped the Irish and the Scots and the Welsh off.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  And just ask Tangata Whenua what they think of the gob shyte bastards who ripped them off the same way they ripped the Irish and the Scots and the Welsh off.

                  Yep, a lot of history of England is about them ripping others off – usually at gun point and then declaring themselves great and civilised.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    That’s how empire works. Conquer new territories and new resources, exploit the peripheries to the maximum, pumping wealth out of them back for the benefit of the glorious imperial centre.

                • The first people to be colonised by the English nobility/elite were the English peasantry. They were dispossessed from their land, their cultural practices were outlawed, they were starved, regularly raped and murdered and generally treated like animals.

                  It was only on the basis of a thoroughly exploited and oppressed domestic population that they were then able to move on to the second phase of colonisation (‘press-ganging’ being one of the typical ways to ‘recruit’ English youth for their role as global oppressors).

                  The English elite learnt their craft on my ancestors (all of whom are English so far as I’m aware – as I am) and continue to practice it on my relations to this day (in a late capitalist kind of way, of course).

                  While many of the Scots and Irish (and Cornish – or is that ‘English’?) who migrated here were grasping (quite rightly) the opportunity to themselves become part of the elite here, my grandfather, as a child, was part of a transient, agricultural labouring family in England, getting work where they could and spending time in the poorhouse/workhouse when they couldn’t.

                  And, btw, many Scots did quite well out of the ‘British’ Empire

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    And, btw, many Scots did quite well out of the ‘British’ Empire.

                    Empires have always found it a good idea to enlist some of the locals in the oppression of other locals.

                    • From the link:

                      In Canada, Lord Mount Stephen was behind the creation of the great Canadian Pacific Railway, and other Scotsmen dominated the economy to the extent that one-third of the country’s business elite were of Scottish origin.” 
                      And;

                      The Scottish presence was also strongly evident in India. When Henry Dundas became President of the Board of Control in 1784 he ‘Scoticised’ India and through his agencies Scots came to dominate the activities of the East India Company (EIC) …
                      The first three Governor-Generals of India were Scots. Vast fortunes were made by imperial administrators and entrepreneurs.

                      And;

                      Seven of the 12 viceroys were Scottish and many Scots served as judges, district commissioners, and so on … Ceylon became synonymous with tea, a product developed by James Taylor but brought to world renown by the Glasgow businessman, Sir Thomas Lipton.

                       … Practically all the railway engines in India were built in Springburn in Glasgow. The east of Scotland was also strongly linked economically through the jute trade. Dundee became the centre of jute making in the world and the Camperdown works of the Baxter Brothers the largest mill in the world.

                      And;

                      The Scots were at the forefront of this assault on native peoples, showing themselves to be as ruthless as any other ethnic group when it came to land grabbing. This was also true in New Zealand, where the Maori population fell from around 150,000 in 1800 to 37,000 in 1872 as a result of a protracted struggle with the settlers over land rights.” 

                      While it is true that “It was English laws and civil institutions that the Scot was to uphold and live by“, Scots were not just passive locals ‘enlisted’ to oppress other locals – they were doing much of the ‘enlisting’ and were benefiting, as an elite, often to a far greater extent than local, English (and Irish) ‘enlistees’.

                      But my point is not to claim that ‘Scots were as bad as the English’.

                      It’s to point out that the pillage – which was the British Empire – wasn’t about nationality, despite all the moronic rhetoric about ‘Britishness’ or ‘Englishness’ and despite all the chinless, plummy voiced poseurs who liked to claim it was.

                      It was about what happens when concentrated power meets opportunity. 

                    • Vicky32

                      And, btw, many Scots did quite well out of the ‘British’ Empire.

                      Very true! Especially in New Zealand. It enrages me to hear the Scots-descended majority self-righteously baiting and abusing the English.

              • Vicky32

                Screw the English and their ‘british’ myth.

                Gee, thanks, as the Americans say “a whole bunch’. Not all of we English promote any ‘British myth’.
                I was surprised to learn from Gordon McLauchlan and the Herald, in that order, that 2/3rds of New Zealanders are of Scottish descent. That news explained why my sisters and I were screeched at when we started primary school to “get back to Pongolia” (and that was mild!) Battle of Culloden – it was bad enough having my Scottish descended mother re-fighting it with my English father every night, flinging his dinner at him when she felt like it… but to have a lifetime in freezing, unwelcoming New Zealand, being told to ‘sod off back to’ a place I have never been (only the middle classes get to do ‘their OE’, btw), is one life time too bloody many…

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Well then, I suspect you’re not one of the “English and their ‘british’ myth” and can probably ignore that line.

            • rosy 11.2.1.1.1.3

              Part of commonwealth doesn’t mean having the queen as head of state – India is a republic with a president as head of state and is a member of the commonwealth.

              As for how important the Commonwealth is? If the official flag hoisting is any indication in the jubilee overload is any indication, it’s not important at all. I don’t know what coverage is like in NZ (maybe they trawl through hours of footage for the seconds that are relevant to NZ), but on SkyNews UK and the BBC Commonwealth countries are severely under-represented in their head of state’s jubilee celebrations.

          • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1.1.2

            And while we did manage to let go of an archaic “honours” system it boomeranged back.

            Yep, sure did, as soon as we got the authoritarians back in power.

        • Ad 11.2.1.2

          Check out Bowalley Road, Mickey.
          He just lets loose on the monarchy like a pit bull in a meat truck.

        • Actually, I really disagree with point (3), as it puts increased pressure on our political leaders to show up at waste-of-time, or prestigious-but-distracting events. I’d rather we had a nominal head of state to do those things, and for official, ceremonial respect for events and functions, and have the head of government do the serious stuff. Sending an ex-All Black to represent us at the Olympic Games doesn’t really have the same gravitas as sending the head of state.

          • Murray Olsen 11.2.1.3.1

            If we are indeed represented at the Olympic Games, it’s by our sportspeople, not some outdated relic of the days when we were a Pacific outpost of Mother England. I’m always amused that the same idiots who screeched “Politics has no place in sport!” in defence of their bonding sessions with the Boers, are all too happy to accept corporate seats and junkets to sporting events purely on the basis that they are politicians.
            Queenie and Princie are hideous relics and the sooner we step out from under their shadows the better.

            • Puddleglum 11.2.1.3.1.1

              Queenie and Princie are hideous relics and the sooner we step out from under their shadows the better.

              Exactly.  I wouldn’t put it so personally though. Elizabeth and Philip are products of a warped social structure that is long since past its use by date – if it ever had any legitimacy to begin with. Yet, there but for the grace of God …

              There was a good piece in Monday’s The Press lifted from a Times columnist, Philip Collins, titled ‘Pity the Poor Republican’. Unfortunately, being from The Times I can’t link directly to it (I don’t think). It began like this:

              It was the prime minister (David Cameron) who made me crack. ‘‘My weekly hour with the Queen is vital because I get to draw on all those qualities; her knowledge, her commitment, her time-tested wisdom,’’ he crawled, Uriah Heeping on the praise. ‘‘Above all she has an abundance of what I’d call great British common sense . . .’’ Oh come on, man, pull yourself together. You’re the prime minister, for goodness sake. There’s no need to abase yourself.” 

              It got better.
               

              • Carol

                But the fact that public school boy Cameron, values her, shows how the aristocratic structure is still pretty much in place.

                • Yes, aristocratic ‘cache’ is still leveraged by the ‘aspiring elite’. 

                  Which is one reason why I oppose honours.

                  • Carol

                    Yes, aristocratic ‘cache’ is still leveraged by the ‘aspiring elite’.

                    caché?

                    indeed. T’is why our dear leader likes to front up to royal events, event though he prefers aligning himself with the US moneyed classes.

                    He probably hopes some of the born-to-rule caché of the Brit aristocracy will rub off on him, and reassure him that he deserves such status himself.

                    • Vicky32

                      caché?

                      No, it’s cachet! :)

                      (BTW, what’s happened to the reply box? One can’t quote properly..)

  12. Tiger Mountain 12

    sod ’em, the “cuddlie wuddlie” ‘they’re not so bad factor’ is increasingly coming to apply to Queenie.
    Queenie was right up Thachter, Reagan and Pinochets rear ends, not to mention H Block. Rotten in all his idiocy got it right in that infamous pistols song, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqrAPOZxgzU&feature=list_related&playnext=1&list=AL94UKMTqg-9BnZU2mQgFtaBXiMsyTmGaX

    and Motorheads Lemmys lite version is pretty good too because the engaged a Liz impersonator.
    http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DsnyjRd93HBs%26ob%3Dav2e&h=wAQHMNzP4AQEJEL8SAL4b3aFuTGHWl5vZZQEMUTnl5yDk4Q&enc=AZOJFg8lpxVLNCIsKYHL8e72hqC_MQJuXltzYZt2-Z3WO3jzSk4veKMEuRCTtdzFDFNamPgEzYnHRbgJqXnyppV4

  13. ochocinco 13

    I have no issue with Prince Phillip getting a gong.

    However, Rod Deane? For what? Destroying thousands of lives by cutting costs and sacking people?

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Deserves the Highest Tory Honours, in other words.

      • ochocinco 13.1.1

        You keep associating “Tory” with “neo-liberalism”. It’s disturbing. No conservative worth his/her salt would ever align themselves with the sort of Rogernomics practised by Deane and co.

        • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1

          Yeah that’s a fair call.

          Its a shame that the National Party has long been run by the neoliberals. And its a shame that old fashioned rural conservatives still vote for them despite that.

        • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.2

          The other name for neo-liberalism is neo-classical and conservatives were all for classical economics. Then the Great Depression happened, the conservatives were voted out, Keynesianism was voted in and then conservatives became hardened Keynesians. When that got voted out they changed spots again and went for the new economics.

          The only thing that conservatives are for is increasing their own wealth and power. If that requires firing people and cutting costs then so be it.

  14. captain hook 14

    journalist: how do you like new zealand?
    spike milligan: boiled with chips!
    coming up…

  15. Dv 15

    Weldo got one foor his money raing for chch from rich lsters.
    DOES ANY ONE know how he raised?

    Did the guy who organised the student army get one?

  16. GregJ 16

    Hmmm – I don’t know – seems appropriate that something as antiquated and anachronistic as an honours system should award something to Prince Philip who is, after all, antiquated and anachronistic.

    It does seem at times that many of the “higher level” honours with whatever Government is in power appear to be a pay off to supporters or fellow travellers – I think Napoleon was reputed to have said when there was egalitarian criticism of the Légion d’honneur – “With such baubles, you lead men.”

    Do we have a clear idea of what the fundamental purpose of an honours system is in a modern age?

    • Ideally, to recognize excellence in a field of national significance, and bring publicity to the work of such leaders.

      Honestly, if we stopped giving them to civil servants for just doing their jobs, (which admittedly aren’t easy) I’d say they’re fine. I don’t think the honours system should be tied to the monarchy, but I think the idea in general is fine.

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    This is kinda on topic

    But the most interesting thing of all about Game of Thrones is what you get when you strip away the blood and tits and get to the bare narrative bones under all that greasy meat. I’m talking about the basic story of the whole saga. I’m talking about one of the oldest stories of all, a story with the power to draw millions of us around the flatscreen just as our notional ancestors gathered around the hearths. I’m talking about The Search For The Good Ruler.

    Yep, it’s a review of The Game of Thrones but the story we see in this fictional narrative (and a lot of other fictional narratives as well for that matter) is exactly what’s being played out now in the honours system. After a few centuries of the declining power and relevance of the monarchy people now seem to grasping for a dictator to set things right again and thus they will be searching for The Good Ruler and this hoopla of honours is, IMO, part of that search.

  18. tracey 18

    IF the honours system honoured genuinely altruistic people it does send a message to an increasingly mean society that there is worth/value/respect in acting unselfishly.

    I have attended a few honours ceremonies, and frankly the system is upside down. The closer you get to the very highest honours the more the people are rewarded for a career or sporting involvement rather than their unselfish giving to society. The lower down the awards you can be overcome by the incredible time and hard work fellow j kiwis put in for no pay, no reward and simply because they want to help others.

    Being a sportsperson and representing your country is reward in itself, if it is a professional sport you got paid. JK at least has done great and selfless and non paying work for mental health, a significant issue in NZ.

    The important message of the honours must be selflessness, not a further message that if you become a famous person or make millions that’s enough for you to be top of the pile of those who should be respected.

    John Key’s appointment of PP to status of greatest living NZer says an awful lot more about our PM’s priorities than I ever could.

  19. Draco T Bastard 19

    The poll for the award given to prince philip isn’t looking too good.

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  • Bullying contributes to Auckland being stripped of ICU training
    Complaints of bullying and harassment by supervisors which have contributed to Auckland’s critical care department losing its training accreditation are further evidence of the appalling culture at executive level, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The department had its accreditation… ...
    2 days ago
  • Broadband failure sucks up more cash
    The Commerce Committee has blocked an inquiry into the $300 million rural broadband initiative (RBI) despite mounting evidence it’s a massive policy failure and waste of money, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “The Government is about to spend an… ...
    3 days ago
  • TISA – Another secret trade deal you may never have heard of
      This post first appeared on The Daily Blog You’ve probably heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by now and the widespread concerns around it but what about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) also being currently negotiated by… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    3 days ago
  • Health chickens coming home to roost as Dunedin loses right to train doctor...
    News today that Dunedin Hospital has lost orthopaedic training accreditation is a major blow and proves the Government’s prevarication is having devastating consequences, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Losing orthopaedic advanced training is serious. There is a knock on… ...
    4 days ago
  • $74,000 quarterly rise shows crisis out of control
    New figures out today showing Auckland house prices have spiked by a massive $74,000 in the past quarter is further evidence the city’s housing crisis has spiralled out of control, Labour’s “In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from… ...
    4 days ago
  • Democracy for Nauru now
    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    4 days ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    4 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    4 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    4 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    4 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    4 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    5 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    5 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    5 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    5 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    5 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    6 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    6 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    6 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    6 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    1 week ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    1 week ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    1 week ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    1 week ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    1 week ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    2 weeks ago

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