Thursday, April 01, 2021

This is on Ardern

So, corporate pillager Ron Brierley has plead guilty to possession of child pornography, and there are obvious calls for him to be stripped of his feudal honour (awarded in the 80's for services to his own banak balance). When faced with such calls in the past, the government has hidden behind the foreign monarch, saying that they're her honours, so its up to her whether people keep them. But this is, quite frankly, bullshit.

New Zealand honours may be awarded by the foreign monarch, but they're awarded on the advice of our government right here in New Zealand. There's a special unit in DPMC which considers nominations, makes shortlists, and sends them to Cabinet for confirmation (and of course for the politicians to shoehorn their donors and cronies in). And they're quite explicit that honours can be removed "on the advice of the Prime Minister and with the approval of the Sovereign". There are guidelines for when this should happen, one of which is when it would bring the honours system into disrepute. Which you'd think possession of child pornography certainly would (as well as a whole lot of other things, like defrauding investors and severe corporate malfeasance; that's certainly the standard which the UK applies).

So, the obvious question is "when is Ardern going to give that advice"? Or does she think a self-confessed child pornographer is a fit recipient for a New Zealand honour?

(And, for the curious: New Zealand has stripped a knighthood in the past, from Cook Islands Prime Minister Albert Henry, for electoral fraud. Here's the New Zealand Gazette notice for it. Muldoon was able to do the right thing then, Ardern should be able to do the right thing now).

Update: Well, that was quick. I'd barely finished writing this when news broke that Ardern was doing her job, and moving to strip Brierly of his feudal honour. Good. And now do the others please? (Better yet, abolish the lot, because feudalism belongs in fantasy novels, not democracies like New Zealand).