More modern crusaders, please
By Amy Lowell
March 29, 2014
WE knew there was something missing in our lives and Tony Abbott had the foresight to realise it was knighthoods.
You know where you are with knights and dames, unlike the arcane Australian honours system in which no one except the recipients ever understood the difference between being made a Member of the Order of Australia (really important) and receiving the Medal of the Order of Australia (a bit important).
So all credit to Mr Abbott for reviving the order of knights and dames after a gap of 26 years, but I have to say I was disappointed by his first two appointments. Quentin Bryce and Peter Cosgrove seem pleasant enough, at least from a distance, but they’re not the kind of people who’ve made Australia the great country it is today, feared around the world.
Ideally knights are required to demonstrate the virtues of honour, bravery, chivalry, justice and compassion, but traditionally they were also the backbone of national and private armies.
The most famous were the Knights Templar, a Christian military order that helped to recapture Jerusalem from the Muslim empire in 1099. As is usual in such liberations, they massacred several thousand inhabitants along the way, not just the Muslims but also the Christians and Jews, but better safe than sorry is a maxim of war.
Anyway, knights have to be up for a fight. Of course, Sir Peter used to be a soldier but he always acted kind of non-violent, as if he’d rather talk his way out of a war than fight one, certainly not the kind of attitude we want to encourage in Australia. If it wasn’t for the sacrifice of our gallant World War I soldiers, we wouldn’t have an Anzac Day holiday.
No, Mr Abbott should keep the titles of knights and dames for our modern crusaders, the ones spoiling for a fight, who refuse to talk to the enemy, who take no prisoners, who know baddies when they see them, and knock them down.
It’s not too late. He said he would appoint up to four knights or dames a year, so here are a few suggestions for next time round.
Nothing like a dame
In Britain, "dame" is used of old women while in the US, it refers (or used to) to good-looking women, the kind who could stop a man from thinking straight. Think Damon Runyon and all the dames in his “Guys and Dolls”. In pantomime, the dame is traditionally played by a bloke in a frock, with lots of bad make-up.
Whatever was Dame Quentin thinking when she accepted the title?
- A modern warrior, Sir John Howard, for invading Iraq in the most successful Christian crusade since 1099, and for protecting Aussie battlers from the kind of people who bring their babies half way round the world and throw them into our seas.
- Sir Andrew Bolt for bravely tackling anti-racist bigots, mad Muslims, pale Aborigines, fruitcake Greens and hysterical “warmists” in spite of several times sustaining very hurt feelings.
There are plenty more great men and a couple of good women. Send your suggestions to the Post, and I’ll forward the list to the Order of Australia Council.