Tuesday, 10 March 2009


Facebook update:

"Former Flatmate wants to know which member of the National cabinet was so desperate to be titled 'Sir'."

Former Flatmate pretty much sums up my feelings on the decision to reinstate knighthoods. I never really understood the fascination with the whole knighthood thing, it all seems a bit knaff. It isn't that I don't think we should celebrate success and honour achievement, it's just think there are better ways to do so then resurrecting a bygone era and New Zealand's previous ties to a faded empire.

But without the honours system however will we know that were in the presence of someone who did great deads? Hmm call me a cynic but I'm pretty sure Edmund Hillary would have been huge with or without the title attached and in my experience the people who want others to make a big deal of the letters either before or after their names are generally those whose achievements aren't widely fantastic as they think they are.

The whole debate reminds a bit of how some engaged women get all excited about becoming a Mrs and insist on its usage post-nuptial. Yes it's great you got married but can move onto something else pretty, pretty please?


Giovanni said...

I confess being mildly disappointed when Labour got rid of Sir and Dame. So long as we still wish to honour the stand out members of our society (and clearly we do), why not use those vestigial prefixes that everybody knows, instead of silly new acronyms? It was a civic tradition and I didn't mind its attachment to a questionable past, in the same way that I don't go reminding my friends who insist on getting married of the more than questionable history of that particular institution*.

It also seemed a little bit tokenish. Let's become a Republic already rather than messing about with the decorative and kind-of-nice aspects of the monarchy.

*Actually, I do. All the time.

Julie said...

I think it will be very interesting to see how Key sells this in the first round of announcements in June. I wouldn't be surprised if they offer one to Helen Clark, as it is a win-win for Key - she is bound to turn it down, having abolished them in the first place, probably does deserve that level of recognition (and it's pretty standard for past PMs to get one), Key can make it known that it was offered which makes him look magnanimous in victory, but she doesn't actually get it so all those Clark haters out there will let Key off the hook for being soft and have yet another reason to whip the woman who wore pants to meet the Queen.

Ms Gore said...
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homepaddock said...

"I did think it was rather quick of the PM to announce he was bringing back the titles, then one day later award to one to Don McKinnon"

This came from the Queen, it's not a NZ award.

We use Dr, Professor, Bishop and other honorifics and I like the idea of acknowledging special service in a similar way.

However, I'm not averse to giving them a local flavour.

Socrates said...

"However, I'm not averse to giving them a local flavour."

That was teh debate that should have happened before they were abolished...

Deborah said...

I don't understand the current acronyms, but I don't care for "Sir" and "Dame" either. I would be very happy with some indigenous version, except that feels a little like theft to me - we won't honour the tangata whenua, but we will co-opt te reo when we want to honour someone.