Here’s some good news from Australia. A long-time reader from Down Under just sent us the following note:
Hi Dymphna and The Baron,
This news item has been all over the Australian news outlets.
Americans might not understand why conservative Australian like this, but many do.
As part of the British Commonwealth (Queen Elizabeth II is our legal Head of State) Australia always used to participate in the Royal honours system (Sir ABC, Dame XYZ). This ended with the execrable Gough Whitlam (Labor Party/left) in about 1973, was briefly revived by Malcolm Fraser (Liberal Party/vaguely right, he claimed) and then dropped.
Tony Abbot (Liberal Party/actual conservative) has revived it once again! This is a move worthy of RESPECT!
There is a double deliciousness here — lefty heads are exploding like Champagne corks on New Year’s Eve, and I (along with many other conservative Australians) like the return to tradition. Note that the titles are not hereditary, and confer no actual legal or social privilege, other than being allowed to call oneself “Sir So-and-so”.
The best detail is that the current Governor General (Queen Elizabeth’s representative in Australia) is an avowed republican (i.e. wants to remove the Queen as Australia’s Head of State) but has accepted the Honour (Dame Quentin Bryce).
Note also that the Governor General has little real power — only in extreme circumstances of failure of government can he/she dismiss the Prime Minister and call an election.
Still, round 1 to the conservatives!