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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  • Kids bear the brunt of Budget
    Future generations are the ones bearing the brunt of National’s failure to provide education services the funding they need to make ends meet, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “For nine years in a row the Government has told our ...
    40 mins ago
  • The real costs of National’s election bribe
    The cost of National’s poorly-targeted election year budget bribe is that there’s nothing to fix the housing crisis, health funding is cut, and funding for schools is cut, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “As the dust begins to settle ...
    2 hours ago
  • Health running on empty
    Get ready for more cuts to health at a local level, affecting all New Zealanders, after a Budget that failed to deliver even enough for health services to stand still, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “District Health Boards this ...
    3 hours ago
  • Nats’ budget a double-crewed ambulance parked at the bottom of the cliff
    National’s election year Budget shows that there’s no coincidence Finance Minister Steven Joyce doubles as National’s campaign manager, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The 2017 Budget reveals a lack of vision, and is simply an election year budget with ...
    19 hours ago
  • After nine years, it’s the One Dollar Bill Budget
    National’s Budget 2017 is an irresponsible election bribe which after nine years exposes a government that’s run out of energy and ideas to tackle the big issues facing New Zealand,” says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “This is simply cynical electioneering ...
    23 hours ago
  • Alfred Ngaro might be sorry – but to whom?
    The fact that the number of people classified as homeless on the Social Housing Register has doubled over the past year alone should be the real reason for Alfred Ngaro’s recent apologies, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “As ...
    2 days ago
  • Government’s data-for-funding backdown embarrassing
    The Government’s U-turn on their shambolic attempt to collect private client data from social services is an embarrassment for a senior Minister, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “After months of criticism and mismanagement, the Government has finally cut ...
    2 days ago
  • Overloaded hospitals reach crisis point
      The country’s hospitals have reached breaking point with some hospitals discharging patients to free up bed space and patients with serious injuries having to wait hours to be seen by a doctor, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    2 days ago
  • National fails on critical school building needs
    Students are paying the price of the Government’s failure to invest fast enough in school buildings to keep pace with Auckland’s increasing population, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Parents should lay the blame for their children having to put up ...
    2 days ago
  • Tipping culture is not welcome in NZ
    Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett’s comments about tipping have been in the news and have sparked off a series of furious discussions about tipping in Aotearoa. From our point of view, tipping every time you’re provided a service is a ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health a huge cost for Police
      The cost of dealing with mental health incidents for our police was a staggering $36.7 million which shows just why we need Labour’s fresh approach on Mental Health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “Police now ...
    3 days ago
  • Grant Robertson: Speech to Otago-Southland Employers Association
    Thanks to the Otago Southland Employers Association and Virginia for hosting me this evening.  It is always a pleasure to come back to the city and region that shaped who I am as a person. I believe that growing up ...
    4 days ago
  • Renting a home in the Wild West
    It can be tough renting a place to live, and it could be about to get tougher. Radio NZ is reporting that the American Rentberry app wants to start operating in New Zealand. Rentberry allows landlords to play perspective tenants ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    4 days ago
  • Free West Papua leader in Aotearoa
    Last week I hosted Free West Papua leader Benny Wenda at Parliament and travelled with him to a number of important events. Benny is spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and lives in exile in England. 14 ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Nats unprepared for record immigration
    National’s under-investment in housing, public services, and infrastructure means New Zealand is literally running out of beds for the record number of new migrants, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour opposes Ports of Auckland sale
    Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short term cash crisis caused by the Government blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National ...
    1 week ago
  • Workers pay the price of Silver Fern’s Fairton closure
    The threatened closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton Plant in Ashburton raises serious questions about the Government’s support of the sale of half of the company to a foreign company, when it appears this outcome may have been inevitable, says ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s answer to the housing crisis: One new affordable house per 100 new Aucklanders
    National’s fudge of a housing plan will make Auckland even more of a speculators’ paradise, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Government can’t be trusted with private data
    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    1 week ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Feed the Kids
    While in Whangarei last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Buddhi Manta from the Hare Krishna movement whose cafe is making lunch for some schools in Whangarei. His group have been feeding up to 1,000 primary school kids at local ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    3 weeks ago
  • DHBs’ big budget blowout
    New Zealand’s District Health Boards are now facing a budget deficit of nearly $90 million dollars, a significant blowout on what was forecast, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   Labour believes health funding must grow to avoid further cuts ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Govt plays catch up on drug funding
    The Government's backdown on Pharmac is welcomed because previous rhetoric around the agency being adequately funded was just nonsense, says Labour's Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago