The world may be going to hell in a hand-basket and National may have been pretty derelict so far in coming up with any real plan to combat the recession, but clearly they’ve been busy focusing on the really important business of dragging us back into the past.
The British titles of Knights and Dames are to be re-introduced, no doubt to the great relief of those who need a colonial backdrop for our sense of national identity. I’d always appreciated the fact that those we chose to recognize received honours that didn’t include titles that placed them above everyone else, that didn’t need Mother England’s endorsement to make them special, and which instead echoed the egalitarianism many New Zealanders hold dear. But now it’s back to forelock-tugging deference to Sir This and Dame That. The decree will have retrospective scope so those eligible to pick up their freshly minted tiaras now include Jenny Shipley, Stephen Tindall, Pinetree Meads and Russell Coutts, on account of them having already received New Zealand honours.
With “get to be PM” now firmly crossed off, the Prime Minister will be pleased he can put ‘get to be called Sir John’ back on his list of Things I Really Want But Can’t Buy. Apparently ‘this is about celebrating success‘ – I can’t help but think it’s more about celebrating the serfdom that comes from pompous institutionalized privilege. A brave and visionary step backwards in this time of need for real leadership.