Radio Australia reported that the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott's decision to reintroduce the official honours of Knight and Dame for pre-eminent Australians was mocked by the opposition Labor party and the Republican movement. But Tony Abb.ott's surprise announcement was celebrated by monarchists.
This report is by Simon Lauder and includes speech and comment from the following :-
Tony Abbott, Prime Minister; Sam Dastyari, Opposition Senator; Kelvin Thomson, Opposition backbencher; Senator George Brandis, Liberal frontbencher; David Morris, National Director, Australian Republican Movement; and Professor David Flint, National Convenor, Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy
The mainline media presented a near unanimous line on the awards to the present and former Governors- General, just as the great General Sir John Monash was recognized on the battlefield. Threatening that he would be damaged, they greeted the awards with ridicule.
They missed the fundamental fact that Bob Hawke's blunder had been finally fixed up.
In this piece first published in Quadrant Professor David Flint explains.
It was predictable that the commentariat and the republican politicians would deplore the restoration of knighthoods. The plaintive, almost anguished, cry of ”Why? ” as Tony Abbott concluded his press conference said it all.
Reflecting the narrow, left-oriented world in which they live, commentators both deplored and ridiculed it. That reaction was entirely predictable.
[ General Sir John Monash knighted by HM King George V ]
The real surprise was that so many eye-rolling members of the press corps came to the immediate conclusion that Abbott’s decision would damage him politically, perhaps even inflicting major harm on the Prime Minister’s standing with the voting public. The April Essential Poll soon corrected that, revealing only 21% of voters strongly disapprove the restoration. That meagre figure emerged even after the commentariat had gone overboard in condemning the move. It needs no closer examination of the polling data to confidently assume that the critics and naysayers would never, ever vote for Abbott come hell or high water.
The commentariat had made the mistake of thinking the rank-and-file Australian has similar interests and concerns to those who dwell in inner-city enclaves dominated by groupthink and fashionable opinion. Instead of taking an ideological position on the restoration, commentators should have objectively examined what Abbott had done, which was to have rectified an anomaly.
...Hawke's blunder - and the commentariat didn't even notice...
"...We are a free, prosperous and multiracial nation because British-style institutions, especially a stable constitutional monarchy, have served us well, declares Spectator Australia in its editorial "A Royal Welcome'', 12 April 2014...
''The royal visit of William, Kate and young George is warmly welcomed by most Australians.
''Meanwhile, although the keepers of liberal received wisdom take umbrage at Tony Abbott’s decision to restore knighthoods and damehoods to the lexicon of Australian honours, they take solace in thinking his unexpected move could reignite the republican cause. We doubt it.