Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Friday, 25 April 2008

We deserve Knighthoods too

To her Most Excellent Majesty, ELIZABETH the Second.

May it Please Your Majesty,

We beg forgiveness for approaching Your Majesty's throne in this manner, but we were saddened to learn that Your Majesty did not appoint the Honourable John Howard to Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter yesterday. We were saddened not out of falsely raised expectations, but because expectations have now been raised to seemingly impossible heights, and because we in the Commonwealth are gravely starving for lack of Your Majesty's honour.

Madam, it is saddening beyond measure that we in the Commonwealth Realms abolished British Honours and knighthoods in favour of national orders without knightly rank. The old knighthoods had history, and heritage. They weren't just a Scout merit badge for good conduct, they were an honour and an obligation. Being a Knight of the Honourable Order of the Bath, or of Saint Michael and Saint George, being called "Sir" and having a coat of arms, all that was more than just window dressing. Being a knight meant chivalry, honour, tradition and obligation. It was more than the community saying "Well done", it was a way of tying our high achievers into the fabric of the community. Reminding them of their obligations, to be generous, and community-minded. Chivalrous and gentlemanly. We expect Knights to act rightly. And more than that, it was a very public salute to excellence, to kindness and to service. Our national orders, the Order of Lenin, I mean Canada, or Australia or New Zealand, are not yet on the same level. Handy to have. Nice to look at. But not elevated, not a real honour, not a knighthood.

In abolishing British honours, Your Majesty's governments wanted to reflect a distinctive national identity. This, we were told, would strengthen the community, and abolish elitism. In reality it did nothing of the sort, it destroyed our inheritance and left our communities weaker. All it did was loosen the ties of affection that unites Your Majesty with your people, and your people with each other in the community. Our national orders have no transcendent significance because they are not knightly. They have no history, no "Honourable" heritage, and, although they show the recipient to be A Nice Chap and a man of merit, they don't remind him of his obligations to the Queen and to the community that gave it to him either. Our best, brightest and kindest deserve more than a gold-plated merit badge. They deserve honour. It is a shame that we no longer believe in the concept.

Madam, because you are still able to confer honours upon Commonwealth subjects that emanate from you personally, even though your governments may silently cast aspersions for the effrontery of bypassing them, we humbly beseech your most gracious Majesty to take these matters into due consideration. We wish long life and happiness to your Majesty, and am, forever,

Your Majesty's most Faithful and obedient Subjects,

Beaverbrook and Pitt


David Byers said...

I also had hoped Mr Howard would have gotten the Knighthood. Remember this; Mr Rudd did have a private audience with the Queen and I would not be surprised it he advise against it. Even though it is a personal honour from the Sovereign she would not like to upset one of her Prime Minister.

polyxena said...

Mr John Howard, ex- Prime Minister of Australia is not deserving of a knighthood. In his period of office Howard, like Hitler, kindled and fostered prejudice, narrowness, racism and fear. He divided the community and was contemptuous of compassion. He lied to the Australian people not once but many times and built his re-election campaigns upon lies. He politicised the public service and independent institutions that were created to keep a check on governments and he passed some of the harshest laws in any country. Howard a knight? never - he did not display any of the high values embodied traditionally by a knight.

Neil Welton said...
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Lord Best said...

Were it usual for ex-PMs to recieve a knighthood these days I would not object to him recieving one. However to give him one when it is highly unusual would send the wrong message to 50% of the population who hate the man with a passion. Maybe one day, but not yet.

Neil Welton said...

Interesting diverse viewpoints.

Looks like people disagree on this one.

Too bad that Her Majesty makes the final decisions.

As a consequence there's another principle at stake.

Mere subjects do not mess with The Queen. :-)

David Byers said...
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David Byers said...

Lord Best when you say "50% of the population who hate the man with a passion" were on earth do you get that information from? Have you spoken to everyone of voting age in Australia? What an odd thing to say.

I still wonder if it all came from advice given to the Sovereign by that celebrity brown-noser of a PM we are now stuck with.
We will probably never know.

David Byers said...

Neil when you say "Mere subjects do not mess with The Queen." that is wrong as the Prime Minister (a mere subject) advises the monarch and she MUST take that advice - that is legal FACT. Reserve powers of the Sovereign are extremely rear and that is how it is in a democracy!

Neil Welton said...

You contradict yourself.

You cannot, on the one hand, demand that The Prime Minister does not give the advice to the Monarch that you do not personally agree with - whilst also insisting that The Queen does not make the final decisions. Which is it? You cannot have it both ways.

As I said before - who are you to disagree?

To the Queen you are a subject.

To your political opponent you are nothing.

Neil Welton said...
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Neil Welton said...

"50% of the population who hate the man with a passion - where on earth do you get that information from?"

Th election results last November.

Hee! Hee! Hee!

Here is where we all can agree.

"We will probably never know."

David Byers said...

Neil, not only do you love word play you also live in a fantasy world with little or no understanding of Constitutional Monarchy.

A Constitutional Monarchy such as ours can only act on advice of her ministers, that is constitutional and legal fact as any true supporter of the Crown would tell you.

The Sovereign and her Governors do have reserve powers which are only ever used under extreme circumstances – e.g. to break a deadlock.

Using phrases such as “mere subject” is, I would guess, an attempt by you to further your own fantasy, like when you use words like “methinks”

The Crown needs real grown-up men and women to display it in its true way to an intelligent modern people, not silly boys in love with their own fantasies.

Lord Best said...

Howard was always hated by a large portion of the population, just because you think the sun bursts forth from his rectum doesn't mean everyone else did, My Byers. People tolerated him for various reasons, when those reasons ceased they dumped him in a most satisfying fashion (only the second PM to lose his seat, lovely).

This is not relevent to the matter at hand however, for whatever one thinks of the pathetic little wretch, he was PM of this nifty little country of ours and that deserves some honour, in my opinion.

Stauffenberg said...

Lord Best is talking sense.

As far as knighting John Howard is concerned he sums everything up neatly further above(26 April 2008 07:20). John Howard seems to be as controversial in Australia as the lady with the handbag elsewhere.

As for Lord Best's most recent post - I nearly killed myself laughing when reading that brilliant idiomatic phrase which had existed unbeknownst to me for too long. Made my day.

David Byers said...

Lord Best, how's uni going? Life as a 20-something, so much to learn about life.

Mr Howard was not hated by that many people, his personal approval rating was always very high. People just wanted someone different, that and the strong dislike of "work choices"

Mr Howard NEVER said Australia should become a republic as our new PM does.

Neil Welton said...

"A Constitutional Monarchy such as ours can only act on advice of her ministers."

So, what's your problem David with Kevin Rudd's advice.

Other than you personally disagreeing with the advice.

I fail to see the problem you have - for he has acted (in your view) within Australian constitutional principles.

Methinks it was Her Majesty's final decision.

That way it avoids all unnecessary nastiness.


I rather liked John Howard.

Maybe his number will come up next time.

Neil Welton said...

I certainly hope Lord Best didn't support Kevin Rudd.

What was that Lord Best was telling me about the dangers of the Left earlier this month.

Hee! Hee! Hee!

As I said before - who are you all to disagree or to say John Howard "deserves" to be honoured in some way?

To the Queen you are a mere subject - to your political opponent you are nothing because you oppose him.

I fail to understand your objections on constitutional grounds - other than you personally disagreeing with the decision. Sadly, whether you agree or disagree counts for nothing in the real world. That's how it is.

David Byers said...

Neil, above show just how NOT to defend the Crown in Australia.

Lord Best said...

I did support Rudd, as it was a choice between one faux conservative and another, I decided to try for the newer one. I have to say apart from the republic issue (which is a big one I admit) he has not performed too badly. Unless you are a traditional liberal supporter (I'm more of a swinging voter) in which case he is the devil himself.

Anonymous said...

No the Queen doesn't HAVE to follow the advice of Her ministers. Our constitutional monarchy is based on Convention not statute law - what this means is that she follows the advice of Her ministers because it is expected that she will do so - not to do so may be considered a constitutional crisis and could well spell the end of the Monarchy or prompt statues to be written limiting the Sovereign's powers.

The powers out in the realms are normally exercised by Her Gov. Gen. (anyone remember a certain Australian PM being unceremoniously fired back in the '70s??) and they follow in a similar vein to the Sovereign.

Hope this helps.

David Byers said...

Anonymous remember I did say: "The Sovereign and her Governors do have reserve powers which are only ever used under extreme circumstances – e.g. to break a deadlock."

Anonymous said...

The Nickle Resolution. Wrongheaded then, wrongheaded today. Bring full honours back to Canada.