Over the Tasman, Tony Abbott's premiership is foundering over his worship of an archaic, foreign feudal system. Which has naturally caused people to ask whether we should retain it here. This morning, Andrew Little gave a clear answer: no [audio, @5:57]:
Espiner: John Key's already brought back dames and knights that the last Labour government did away with that. What's your feeling? Would you look to ditch dames and knights should you have the opportunity to be Prime Minister and move back to a New Zealand honours system?Meanwhile, while we're waiting for that to happen, we should follow the advice of Australia's Bob Carr and boycott feudal titles (you may notice I've had such a policy here for quite a while). One of the things National's cash-for-honours recipients pay for is to force people to call them "sir" - to turn us into peasants. But we don't have to cooperate with that. Meanwhile, if anyone wants a member's bill to have Parliament ban the awarding of feudal titles to New Zealanders, I'm happy to draft it.
Little: Yes, it would be my preference to do that. They're a bit of a throwback to an old age that I don't think suits us any more. I think we can recognise those who do great things in our community in a different way and its certainly not my preference to have dames and knights.
Espiner: Interesting. So you would ditch dames and knights should you have the opportunity.
Little: If it was my decision alone, yes, I would do. Its not an issue that occupies the Labour party hugely at the moment, but I think it was a backward step to go back to an old system of honours.