Tony Abbott – bats in the belfry, or rat cunning?

You’d have to wonder after his latest attempt to top Monty Python…

I refer of course to Tony Abbott’s Bunyip Aristocracy: arise, Lord Clive and Lady Gina.

Governor-General designate Peter Cosgrove will be the first knight in the Order of Australia, and will be known as Sir Peter, and outgoing Governor-General Quentin Bryce will be the first dame.

The special recognition, approved by the Queen on Mr Abbott’s recommendation, would be for Australians ”of extraordinary and pre-eminent achievement”, and each successive governor-general would receive the title of knight or dame in the Order of Australia….

My initial response on Facebook:

I can’t believe what I have just been seeing on ABC News 24! I tell you, I now think Tony Abbott is barking mad! Or very cleverly distracting us from a range of far more important matters… Yes, he plans to revive Knights and Dames — the Bunyip Aristocracy revisited! Quentin Bryce — say NO! Look, sentimentally I am a monarchist, and practically I no longer get excited by the issue one way or the other — but this move of Abbott’s is just plain bizarre in my opinion. There is NOT ONE GOOD REASON to support this twee little jape on the Abbott’s part. F*cking stupid!

And:

Why is it whenever I see Tony Abbott I think of the wide-mouthed frog joke? Can’t help it — Max Morris at TIGS c.1972 should never have told it to me!

Julia and Kevin — see what your incompetence and personal dysfunction has delivered to Australia — it is the 21st century, or am I mistaken? Bloody hell!

Peter Cosgrove and Quentin Bryce could have and should have refused the Dame/Sir Bunyip aristocracy tag. Why should the Queen have been sucked into this by that twerp of a PM? I honour Queen and GG, I regret the reactionary Abbott.

This is what the Lord High Drongo of Lake Burley Griffin was saying just a few months back! Jeeez!!!! #batshit #monumentalirrelevance (December 2013: “HE restored an oath of allegiance to the Queen when he was sworn in as Prime Minister, but Tony Abbott has ruled out bringing back Knights and Dames in Australia.”)

From this point on I can do no other than regard Tony Abbott as a really bad joke inflicted on a once progressive nation — and that’s not even to mention the trashing of our standing on human rights… Such a shame we were all sucked in. Perhaps Scott Ludlam was too kind?

Nor was I the only person letting of steam via social media. See 37 Hilarious Responses To Knighthoods Being Brought Back To Australia.

Mind you, I thought I should get in on the act and updated my Facebook avatar accordingly.

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There is an alternative:

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Neither of which matches one I saw years ago in some tome in Sydney University Library – which was a “gyronny of eight arg/or…” or something….

But of course I am probably not entitled to any of them.

Perhaps Great-great-grandfather William (1812-1897) would have known.

That’s William. His father, Jacob? Well, who knows? This may well have been him:

See also family and Whitfield.

The term “bunyip aristocracy” is well worth looking at.

And the “rat cunning”?  It may be Tony Abbott is just a knob, but I and many others think this has all been a splendid distraction from such matters as Manus Island, our inability to find somewhere finally to put the asylum seekers languishing there and on Nauru, our lack of concern for human rights issues in Sri Lanka, our  steamrollering thousands of changes, some benign and some not, through Parliament right now, our pathetic response to climate change, our backward-looking education minister, and so on….

bigmouthfrogw

Resemblance? Me? I can’t see it!

Update 27 March

John Howard, former PM and Tony Abbott mentor:

As Mr Abbott spent much of Wednesday defending what appeared to be a unilateral decision, Mr Howard, a staunch constitutional monarchist, told The Australian Financial Review that his views on dames and knights, which he formed in 1996 upon taking power and which he articulated in his autobiography, had not changed.

”Despite urging from a number of ­people, I did not restore knighthoods,” he wrote in his book titled Lazarus ­Rising. ”For me, this was an on-balance decision as in some respects the ­knighthood system, properly applied, was a way of giving special recognition to certain people.”