Tuesday, June 06, 2017

For services to himself

It was the foreign monarch's false birthday over the weekend, complete with the traditional handing out of honours. And head of the list was former Prime Minister John Key, "for services to the state". Key of course is "immensely proud", and I suppose he would be - after all, that gong is worth a lifetime of free airline upgrades and highly-paid board positions. But what did he actually do to deserve it? Getting elected three times? Ignoring climate change and child poverty. Or possibly dragging us into a US war in Afghanistan and getting kiwi soldiers killed? Even if you're a fan of feudal titles (and I'm not), his record as Prime Minister is hardly stellar or deserving of recognition.

Its also unseemly. Given the long lead time on honours, Key may very well have awarded it (sorry, advised the foreign monarch to award it) to himself. At best, he was awarded it by his friends as part of his exit package (on top of his Parliamentary superannuation, ex-PM's annuity, and lifetime free air travel). A political stitch-up which cheapens the honours system, like all of those "coincidences" around knighthoods and high-paying National donors.

OTOH, if we want a perfect example of why we need to do away with archaic feudal bullshit, it's this. We should abolish knighthoods. If politicians want to play at feudalism, they should join the SCA.